• Hollyn Gayle

How To Write Engaging Instagram Captions

How does everyone you follow get so many comments on their posts? Was there a course in college you forgot to take? Is there a secret formula you're missing out on? Nope, no secret formula (we wish!) but there are some basic guidelines that are probably missing from your captions. Let's break it down below.


Make A Strong First Impression

Your first line is just like a first impression. You can use all caps, a funny quote, colorful emojis, a shocking statistic - anything that is going to pull the eye. Keep this first line short and sweet. You want it to catch their attention before the caption is cut off by Instagram’s formatting. Instagram will typically only show whatever can fit in the first two lines of text, and this includes your user name. The longer your username, the less space you get before Instagram's formatting cuts in. But don’t worry; that first line will be so great your followers will want to click “... more”.

Take Up Space

Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it's not the soul of Instagram. If you have something to say, don’t be afraid of taking up space. People are willing to read on this platform - if the content is engaging. Instagram’s algorithm actually rewards you for how long people stay on your post and an easy way to keep people there is to give them a couple of paragraphs to read. Here's a few basic ways to generate long form captions.


Be a Storyteller

Try telling a story that your followers can relate to. Maybe it's about your brand or maybe it's about you. Keep a casual, authentic tone, and tell the truth. We know nothing turns Gen Z off faster than insincerity. Your followers will keep reading if they feel like they're getting an inside look at your world.


Mini Blog Post

Don't have a blog but have knowledge to share? Create mini blog posts to pair with your killer Instagram photos. You can do this in paragraph form or break it down to an easy to read "listicle".


Use Line Breaks

If you don't have much to stay but you want to take up a bit more space, use line breaks to spread out your caption. If all you have is an inspirational quote and a reminder to check out the link in your bio, be sure to separate these by a line break. Adding line breaks on Instagram can be tricky in the app. Check out a simple tool like Instagram Line Break Generator to add your breaks by typing your caption in the generator and then copying and pasting into the Instagram app.


Call to Action (CTA)

Maybe you've read the abbreviation CTA in our posts before and wondered what it meant. CTA stands for Call to Action. CTAs are essential for driving engagement on Instagram. What are some examples of CTAs?


double tap if you agree

click on the link in our bio

tag a friend who needs to read this

comment your favorite ...


Those all look familiar, right? You've been living in a world full of CTAs without even knowing it. How many times have you engaged with an Instagram post simply because the caption asked you to? Well. That's all you have to do - ask. Make sure you keep your CTAs direct and simple. Asking people to write long responses or do anything that involves leaving the app (other than link in bio) will cause your readers to disengage.

Write Your Captions Ahead of Time

You won't be able to achieve affective Instagram captions if you try to write them the moment before you post. Creating content is tough. It takes brainstorming, research, and lots of coffee. Try to plan out your captions at least a week ahead of time. A great way to discover what to write about is by going to answerthepublic.com. Type in something you're interested in writing about (ex. fast fashion) and the website will gather all the questions people are searching about that topic. Now you can answer those questions in your Instagram captions. The research and extra preparation will majorly pay off.


Set Personal Goals

Maybe writing lengthy captions with a grabbing first line and a solid CTA seems like a little too much for you. That's okay. Try to make a commitment to writing one long form caption a week. As you get better at it, you can up your goal to 2 a week, and so on. We believe in you! Just start somewhere.


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