How to Write Good Instagram Captions (2/3)

Continue with some other tips to write good Instagram captions…

4. Limit yourself to 4 hashtags.

With good Instagram captions, don’t forget to put some hashtags. On Instagram, a hashtag behaves the same method as it does on Twitter and Fb: It ties the conversations of different users into one stream. As long as your account is public, anybody who does a seek for that hashtag might find your Instagram post.

Hashtags are good for connecting users who are not otherwise connected to one another, however, who’s talking about — and — in the same subjects, events, brands, and so on. They are additionally a good way to add some fun and coy humor to your posts like FOMU did below.

Instagram caption with two hashtags by FOMU Ice Cream

However, use hashtags sparingly on good Instagram captions. Some Instagram users include a string of searchable hashtags as a method to get more followers — however, the fact is, it seems spammy to the followers you do have. When you use tons of hashtags, people will notice, and they will assume it is lame. Limit your hashtags to 3 or 4, tops.

And keep in mind, you do not have to include any at all when you do not want to. You do not need a hashtag to have an awesome Instagram caption. This is 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 fits naturally into a sentence, do not list any hashtags till the very end of the caption. That method, the part of your caption that is more appealing to people will come first, making it more user-friendly.

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

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… will be hidden from folks scrolling by in their Instagram feeds — which is totally fine since they are just there for search reasons.

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

Pro tip: Need inspiration for a hashtag that is already prevalent? Instagram will suggest hashtags to you based on their popularity if you open up 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. Meld your brand voice with Instagram’s lighthearted tone.

Every social network has a special tone that works best. While serious, jargon-heavy copy might work well on LinkedIn, for instance, that same copy will not work as well on Instagram. The best Instagram posts tend to have a lighthearted, fun tone, showing off the more authentic, human, and personable side of a brand.

That is why you will want to adapt your brand voice for Instagram’s more lighthearted tone. That’ll be simpler for brands whose brand voices are already lighthearted and fun, like Wistia’s:

wistia-virtual-high-fives-caption.jpg

For others with a more serious brand voice, discover a balance between sincerity and relatability.

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Being relatively consistent in your Instagram voice could help you build your brand on the channel. For instance, consider how long you will typically want most of your posts to be. Do you want to be a storyteller who writes a paragraph or more?

Or do you need the space to write out instructions, or a recipe?

View this post on Instagram

Spinach And Artichoke Cups Here’s what you will need: Yields: About 16 Dip Cups For dip: * 8 oz cream cheese * 3/4 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained of excess liquid * 1/2 cup mozzarella * 1/2 cup romano * 1/2 cup parmesan * 14 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered * 1/4 cup chopped bacon * 1/4 cup sour cream * 1 tsp minced garlic * 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes * 1 tsp dried basil For Cups: * 1 box puff pastry, thawed according to box instructions For Toppings (Optional): * Parmesan cheese Instructions: 1. Preheat your oven to 400˚F/ 200˚C. 2. Combine cream cheese, drained spinach, mozzarella, romano, parmesan, artichoke hearts, bacon, sour cream, garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried basil in a large bowl. 3. Mix until the ingredients are well combined and set aside. 4. Roll out the puff pastry using a rolling pin. 5. Take a jar and press down on the dough to create perfect circles. 6. Once you have all your circles, remove excess dough and repeat steps four and five until you have enough to fill your muffin tin, or until you run out of dough! 7. Take your dough and place it in the muffin tin to create a cup for the dip. 8. Spoon the dip into each cup until they’re 3/4 full. 9. Top with parmesan cheese (optional). 10. Bake for 20 minutes at 400˚F/ 200˚C (temperature and time may vary based on the oven) 11. Remove from muffin tin and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. 12. Serve & Enjoy!

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Or do you favor a minimalist strategy with only a few words?

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FRIYAY.

A post shared by New England Patriots (@patriots) on

When in doubt, be punny. Cleverness tends to perform quite well on social media, particularly Instagram. People love when brands crack a joke or include a play on words. JetBlue, for instance, is always a superb source of puns:

Instagram caption with lighthearted tone and puns by JetBlue

This is another one from Chobani:

Instagram caption with lighthearted tone by Chobani

When you are experiencing caption writer’s block, the Wall Street Journal‘s Elizabeth Holmes suggests playing a word association game or brainstorming with a friend.

6. Use emojis.

Emojis, the cartoon-like emoticons available to most smartphone users, could add some personality to an Instagram caption. That is why lots of brands use them in their captions — even the more “serious” brands.

There are lots of different ways to use emojis on your good Instagram captions. For instance, you could use them at the beginning of the post to catch people’s eye, like this:

You could also use them in the middle of sentences to replace words, or at the end of a post as a kind of “punchline,” like this:

Instagram caption with emojis by Starbucks

7. Cross-promote your other social channels.

You could also utilize your caption to cross-promote your other social media accounts. It is a good method to let your followers know where else on social media they’ll find you — so that your Instagram followers could become your Twitter followers, your Fb fans, your Snapchat audience, and so on.

For instance, you may promote a campaign that is taking place on another channel, as Coca-Cola did here:

Pro Tip: When you have a Snapchat account, Snapcodes are good for cross channel promotion on your other social media profiles. Every Snapchat user has a unique Snapcode, which is a picture that looks like the Snapchat logo however with a unique pattern of dots. To follow you on Snapchat, all users will have to do is open the Snapchat app, take an image of your Snapcode, and tap their screen.

This is an example from WeWork:

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