Have you ever thought of the perfect joke when it was too late to tell it? If you don’t spend enough time on your Instagram copy, you may come up with the perfect catchphrase when it’s already too late.
To create the perfect photo for Instagram, it is usually necessary to do multiple tests and stick with the best one. And to write on Instagram, the same thing happens. Therefore, I recommend that you write down several ideas for the caption, wait a while before choosing, ask your colleagues and take your time to make sure that the text is perfect.
You may be thinking that it is more important to post at the right time than to leave the perfect text. And up to a certain point, you are right. But due to the change in the Instagram algorithm, interactions are going to be more important than recency: the images that will be shown the most will be the ones that receive the most likes and comments, not the most recent ones. One more reason to take care of the copies.
The maximum length for captions on Instagram is 2,200 characters, but you’ll rarely need to go that long. But the important limit is that only the first 3 or 4 lines of text are displayed in the user’s feed.
Of course, you can extend well beyond those first 3 or 4 lines, but the idea is to concentrate the important information at the beginning so that it serves as a hook for users. Start with the most important content and calls to action, and leave the hashtags, mentions, and other details for last. Here are some examples to inspire you:
- We just finished day 1 of our XXXX event. Today we have shared a lot of interesting information about…
- Product XXXX is here! Get your 30-day free trial right now…
- Congratulations to XXXX, the winner of our YYYY contest. XXXX has managed to win over the jury with his fantastic recipe for…
The best way to increase engagement on your Instagram post is to include some sort of call-to-action in the caption. According to Hubspot research, verbs generate more shares than nouns and adjectives, so they’re essential. For example, you can…
- Encourage users to interact directly with the post: “double tap if you think it’s funny” or “share your story in the comments”.
- Ask a question. Encourage your followers to comment by telling their own experiences. Not only will you improve engagement, but you can also use what they tell you to optimize your Instagram strategy or get ideas for new content. To further enhance this tactic, answer user questions to start a real conversation.
- Send users to the link in the bio. You already know that the only place on Instagram where you can include clickable links in your bio. That’s why the best Instagram profiles update frequently to direct visitors to their latest content and encourage users to click through to view it. By including a shortened link with a UTM code, you’ll be able to track the traffic coming to the rest of your channels from Instagram.
- Invite users to tag their friends. This way you will quickly increase the virality of the post. For example, H&M added a vacation-themed image with an invitation to tag the best friend you would take on a trip.
- Invite users in a contest. Contests are a proven way to improve engagement and brand visibility on Instagram. You just have to invite people to post their images and tag them with a hashtag of your brand.
Gone are the days when it was the fashionable practice to clutter Instagram posts with hashtags. Nowadays, including too many hashtags looks spammy and can end up causing your followers to abandon you.
Hashtags are used to make users related to your brand find you and, in some cases, to introduce a touch of humor. But 3 or 4 per post is more than enough. Make sure they are relevant to your brand and specific content and include them either within a sentence (when they fit naturally) or at the end of the text. For example:
- We are at kilometer 35 of the #MadridMarathon cheering on our colleague XXXX. It’s a great day for running today! #running
- Event XXXX: we remind you that at 5 we talk about the #socialmedia revolution and #virtual reality.
And remember that to write on Instagram it is not mandatory to include hashtags. It’s okay to publish a post without hashtags from time to time.
The caption of your Instagram posts can be a good opportunity to promote your other social media accounts. It’s a great way to let your followers know how to find you on other networks and amplify your audience. For example, Coca-Cola has already used Instagram to give visibility to one of its campaigns on Twitter.