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Instagram Captions are not an afterthought

If you’ve clicked on this page and read no further than the 1st line, then that is what I want you to take away from this blog

We’ll take a deep dive into Instagram Captions and why they’re important throughout the rest of this blog. If you’ve come here thinking Instagram is 100% about the images then this blog will change your mind

We polled our Instagram followers about their thoughts on Instagram Captions and this is what they said

94% of people thought Instagram captions were important
Only 10% of voters generally asked a question in an Instagram caption
76% of people found it harder to write captions vs 24% found taking photos harder
81% of people spend more time on captions than photos
81% of voters took longer than a minute to write a caption

Are Instagram Captions important – Instagram is just about the images, isn’t it?
As you can see from the polls above – 94% of people thought Instagram captions were important

If you think of an Instagram post as having 3 components
Image – makes people stop on the scroll
Caption – intrigues people to stick around and attracts a response
Hashtags – extends the reach of the post

So in that respect, to a large degree, the success of your post and your overall Instagram Marketing will be down to your Instagram captions

Instagram captions are just important, they’re critical to your Instagram success

What will a great Instagram Caption improve?
A great Instagram caption can
– Increase the number of comments
– Increase the reach of your post
– Increase your number of followers

And it will also build and strengthen the relationships with your audience

What should an Instagram caption include? Can I be personal in Instagram Captions?
– Intrigue
– Meaty Middle Section
– Call to action

You need to have a strong opening line to capture the attention of your followers. Something that makes them think, ponder, question or excite

And then you need to have that meaty middle section. It sounds strange typing that as a vegan, but something that offers value if people have decided to read more

A caption can encourage likes, comments and shares (stories) so at the end it needs to have some form of call to action.

A question; A call to click on the profile / link in bio; like the post and so on

It’s not so strange, but if you ask someone to do something they usually do

And personality – 100% yes, people buy from people


Examples of Instagram Captions

Notice opening lines on each of these and calls to action


Do you always need to ask a question in an Instagram caption?

But it’s the easiest way to elicit a response from your followers

People like to offer their opinion, their viewpoint, their expertise

People like to be heard

Look at all the things that fly on social media and attract a response – politics, sports, TV shows, news stories

I’m not saying you have to introduce any of those subjects in your Instagram posts, but give something that people feel they can respond to

Check out our posts on Instagram here (you’ll notice our most successful posts feature a question)

How long should your Instagram captions be?
Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters

Research has shown that the length of captions has doubled since 2016 – so whilst short and snappy may have worked for you in the past, a little lengthier and more personal will work in 2020

Change and adapt are the golden rules of social media

The average caption length is now around 405 characters (not including hashtags) – so about 65-70 words

65-70 words is about the length of this answer you’ve just read here

How long should it take to write an Instagram caption?
This might sound like a cop out, but as long as it takes

I’m an ex Journalist so my biggest strength on social media is the fact that words come easy

One recommendation I always say for writing is get in the headspace and get in the zone

Have one day a week where you write your blogs and Instagram captions for the week ahead

You’re probably the same as me in that when you focus on writing, ideas just flow as opposed to trying to think of something at the end of a stressful day


Examples of shorter Instagram captions

Much shorter than average length – but international brands and call to action on both


Should you tag people in an Instagram caption (or photo) ?
Only ever tag people in Instagram captions or photos if they’re part of the photo or the conversation / narrative

As someone who gets spam tagged regularly because of my position and following it is the worst thing you can ever do on a social media platform to spam tag someone who is not involved in the post

When someone does this all the time, they either get ignored, muted or blocked

I’m not good at writing things down – are there any alternative options?
When it comes to every single blogging session and somebody says “I’m not good at writing things down” we always suggest one easy tip

Voice to text

On your smart phones there is a little microphone icon on your notes function

Click that and start speaking the words you want to say

The function is relatively accurate if you don’t have a strong accent or speak too quickly. It allows you to get the foundations of you Instagram captions down

After that it might require a little editing or polishing, but it’s a great tip for those that find speaking easier than writing

Ok, I’m not good at explaining myself – is there an Instagram Caption Service I can outsource to?
If you want to outsource your captions then there are a couple of options

Caveat to all of this – if the business is just you and your voice it’s best to do it yourself. If it’s a brand such as a restaurant / retailer / charity / b2b outsource away

1. Instagram Caption Services – they’re 2 a penny online. Just google them. They’re cheap(ish) but it does mean your captions will be generic (think the copywriting equivalent of Canva to using a graphic designer)

2. Social Media Marketer / Copywriter – if you’ve got great images and want great captions. Outsource it to a professional to write the words for you

3. Instagram Training – Why not spend half a day’s Instagram Training specifically working on your Instagram captions rather than the mechanics of the platform. Our training can be made bespoke to your business

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services

We offer Social Media Training on
* Twitter
* Facebook
* LinkedIn
* Instagram
* Blogging

We can do this
* 121
* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Face to Face or Via Zoom / Skype

Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email


Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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