Confession: I love Instagram. I say this as a 20-something female, so you’re likely unsurprised by my revelation. You know what I’ve noticed, though, through my scrolling of the ‘gram? The captions make or break the post. A great photo is made better by a complementary caption. A mediocre photo is elevated by a fantastic caption. It also appears to me that some companies (and general users) have crafting the perfect Instagram caption down pat. Others, well, they could use a little help. Luckily, learning how to perfect your Instagram caption isn’t just a natural talent that some have and others don’t. It’s a skill that can be practiced and perfected over time. There’s a handful of rules to follow as you continue learning how to perfect your Instagram caption. See our handy guidelines for a ‘très magnifique’ caption below.
How to Perfect Your Instagram Caption
At the end of the day, Instagram is about photos. Don’t overwhelm your photo with a super-long, hard-to-read caption. Be brief. Say what you want to say clearly and succinctly.
It’s become increasingly popular to post long, heart-felt captions – but there’s a time and a place for those. Those type of captions work best for personal accounts, especially ones charting personal development. Your company’s Instagram is not the place.
Two Hashtags per Post
Don’t clutter up your company’s Instagram with many, many hashtags. Hashtags are a good way to be found, but not at the cost of angering your current followers. Choose your hashtags wisely. Do a little research ahead of time to find out which hashtags will be the most powerful for the post. Choose different hashtags each time to reach a broad group of people over time.
Proper Spelling and Grammar
Does this rule go without saying? We’ll say it anyway. Don’t sacrifice proper spelling and grammar in your captions. It’s OK to play around with spelling and grammar if it adds to the caption (in the case of a euphemism, colloquialism, anecdote, humorous story…), but don’t do it so much that readers don’t understand the caption at all.
Add Value to Your Image
Your caption should make your image better, not worse. Add background to the picture, tell followers what’s going on, give some context. Explain a decision, announce exciting news, reveal a surprise. Whatever role your caption fulfills, make sure it’s a valuable one.
No Event-Specific Hashtags
You only have two hashtags to work with, remember? And, event-specific hashtags don’t work so well on Instagram. That’s because the event is over relatively quickly compared to the life of your post. People just don’t search on Instagram by events. (Unless the event is the Met Gala. We’ll allow that exception.)
No caption? Sure!
We’ll reiterate a point we already made: Instagram is about photos. If your photo doesn’t need a caption, don’t include it. Doing so draws more attention to the photo and makes it more powerful.
The the next time you go to post an image on Instagram, scroll through this checklist first. You’ll have your Instagram captions perfected in no time!