It’s a funny thing how we can speak with people all day long with no issue but as soon as we’re prompted to write 150 words or so for a caption (you can use up to 2200 characters) under an Instagram photo we freeze and feel like we’re just rambling irrelevant garbage. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone!
So what’s the point of captions? Well, captions are there to start a conversation, build a connection and encourage your audience and customers to engage with your post. But why is this important? Well, engaging with your community is essential to sustainable growth on Instagram.
Instead of focusing on the word “caption” and becoming overwhelmed or stressed, let’s change caption to “text”. So instead of “captioning” an image or video, think of it as “texting” your favourite customer, because that’s essentially what you’re doing. A brilliant “text message” should do four things:
- Add context to the image or video.
- Showcase your brand’s personality, or “brandonality”, as I like to call it.
- Entertain your audience.
- Encourage your audience to take some sort of action (where applicable).
So now that you know the purpose of a great caption, here are four further considerations to take when you’re composing the perfect caption.
1. Who are you talking to?
Before even thinking about writing your caption, stop and think about who it is you’re speaking to. Once you know your who, you’ll feel like you’re talking to a friend, and there’s a greater chance the words will flow more easily.
2. Mind your language
Next, think about the sort of language that your followers will relate to. Write down three adjectives that would describe the type of copy that they will connect with. My adjectives are “funny, witty + sassy” and whenever I write a caption I ask myself if the caption reflects those 3 things before I post it.
3. Size matters
Length depends on how much value you can give. Make sure your content is always entertaining, education or inspiring. If writing a longer caption, remember that Instagram truncates posts after the first three lines so be sure to get to the point quickly to grab the interest of your audience.
4. Say it out loud
Last but not least, before you post your caption, be sure to say it out loud. This will stop you from sounding too robotic or boring or worst of all like you’re selling something.
Brooke Vulinovich, Social Media Expert, www.villamanagement.com.au