Better your Captions on Instagram: 8 Tips (2/2)

better captions on Instagram

Continue to this previous article, you will find out 4 more interesting tips to write a better Instagram captions here.

4. Four hashtags are enough.

A hashtag on Instagram works in the same way as it does on Facebook or Twitter. It ties the conversations of different users into one stream. If your account is public, everyone who searches for the hashtag may find your post on Instagram. Learn more about hashtags and how they work on some social media platforms here.

Hashtags are great to connect people who don’t know one another, but they’re talking about or interested in the same topics, events, brands, …

Here is a fun example form FOMU:

Instagram caption with two hashtags by FOMU Ice Cream

However, you should use hashtags sparingly. Some Instagram users think that they can get more followers by using a ton of searchable hashtags. But the fact is, the followers will notice, and they will find it spammy. Three or four hashtags are enough for you.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to add any at all if you don’t really want to. You don’t need a hashtag to make a perfect caption on Instagram.

Let’s see an example of a great caption with no hashtag from Starbucks:

starbucks-instagram-no-hashtag.jpg

Use hashtags at the end of your caption.

Unless the hashtagged phrase matches naturally into a sentence, don’t add any hashtags until the very end of the caption. That way, the part of your caption that’s more appealing to humans will come first that makes it more user-friendly.

Moreover, if your caption is long enough to get cut off, the hashtags that are there to connect people (as opposed to delight people) will be hidden. So the hashtags in this caption …

lorna-jane-expanded-instagram-caption.jpg

… will be hidden from people who scroll by in their Instagram feeds which is totally fine, since they’re just there for search reasons.

lorna-jane-cut-off-instagram-caption.jpg

Pro tip: Do you need suggestion for a hashtag that’s already popular? Instagram will suggest hashtags to you based on their popularity when you create a new post and type out the # symbol followed by an incomplete search. This is an example of that in action:

Nutella user showing how to use Instagram hashtag suggestions in a caption

5. Balance your brand voice.

Each social media platform has its own tone that works most effectively. For example, jargon-heavy copy may work well on  LinkedIn but it doesn’t work as well on Instagram. The best Instagram posts usually have a lighthearted, fun tone that shows off more authentic, human and personable side of a brand.

This is the reason why you should create a more lighthearted tone for your brand voice.

In the case of Wistia, it is way more easier for them because their brand voice are already lighthearted and fun.

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However, for others with a more serious brand voice, you should try to make a balance between sincerity and relatability.

bank-of-america-earth-day.jpg

Spending more time on your Instagram voice can help you build your brand on the channel. For instance, you should think about how long most of your posts are.

Do you want to become a storyteller who writes a paragraph or more?

Or do you need some space to jot down recipe or instructions?

Or do you just want to add some words because you like a minimalist approach?

If you are not sure, be funny. Clever people usually perform well on social media, especially Instagram. Followers find it interesting when brands make a joke or add a play on words.

You should watch this excellent example form JetBlue:

Instagram caption with lighthearted tone and puns by JetBlue

And another one from Chobani:

Instagram caption with lighthearted tone by Chobani

6. Use emojis.

Emojis are available to most smartphone users. You should add some to your Instagram caption. A lot of brands, even the more “serious” ones use them in their Instagram captions to show their personality.

There are several ways to use emojis on your posts.

Like this example, you may use emojis at the very beginning of the post to attract people’s eyes.

Instagram caption with emojis by FedEx

You can also replace words in the middle of sentences, or at the end of a post as a sort of “punchline,” like this:

Instagram caption with emojis by Starbucks

7. Cross-promote your other social channels.

You can totally write your caption to cross-promote your other social media accounts. This is a good way to show your followers other social media platforms where they can find you. So, your followers on Instagram can follow your Twitter account, become your fans on Facebook or your Snapchat fans, …

You might promote a campaign that’s taking place on another channel, like Coca-Cola did here:

Here’s an example from WeWork:

8. When in doubt, keep it brief.

You should depend on your audience to decide how long your Instagram captions need to be. In case that you’re a company about food, you might post a recipe on your caption, it’s OK. Remember to front-load your caption with the most important information such as the name of this recipe, so it doesn’t get cut off.

However, you’re not sure what your brand voice is yet, a good rule of thumb is to keep it brief. Some of the best Instagram captions are short punchlines, or in some way make their point quickly and let the visual content do most of talking.

Coca-Cola: “Goodbye, tan lines. Hello #SpringBreak.”

coca-cola-brief-instagram-caption.png

WeWork: “Every day.”

BuzzFeed Tasty: “Whip it good.”

 

 

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