It’s high time you learn how to take advantage of Instagram captions if you’re serious about beating the Instagram algorithm and connecting with your ideal followers.

We know social media (especially the ‘Gram) can get overwhelming now and again.

I have to take beautiful pictures, edit them to match my theme AND write clever Instagram captions?!

Well, yes. But, don’t freak out!

In this guide, we’ll teach you to to take advantage of Instagram captions to grow your following and connect with potential clients.

We promise writing clever Instagram captions isn’t as hard as it sounds. In fact, once you nail down your voice, it should feel like you’re creating Instagram captions for friends.

Let’s dive right into the good stuff, shall we?

Why Instagram Captions Matter

First thing first, why the heck do Instagram captions matter?

Well, as we hinted at earlier, Instagram captions are one of the best-kept secrets to beating the Instagram algorithm.

To better understand this, let’s take a look at how the Instagram algorithm works. We promise it’s not as mysterious (or scary) as it’s made out to be.

This is mega important: The Instagram algorithm favors posts that receive a lot of engagement.

In order to up its own advertising opportunities, Instagram is trying to keep users on the app as long as possible.

When people are engaging with your content, they’re staying on Instagram longer.

The Instagram algorithm is able to recognize posts users enjoy and spend time interacting with (think: likes, comments, saves and shares).

When Instagram sees you have something other users are really into, the algorithm will show your post to more people.

Not only are your Instagram captions a chance to reach new followers, but they’re also an opportunity to start a conversation with the followers you already have.

You are so much more than just your photos, and your Instagram captions are a place to expand on your brand.

Social media is all about finding and cultivating a community, and there is no better place to do that than in your Instagram captions.

Get your followers to stop scrolling by writing engaging Instagram captions!
Photo by: Unsplash

Creating Instagram Captions For Friends

So, you now understand how important clever Instagram captions are, but you’re still not sure how to go about writing them.

If you’re like us, you started your Instagram account because you loved the idea of such a visual platform. You never thought you’d have to worry about writing anything.

If you’d known that, you’d have joined Twitter!

Deep breath, dude. We’ve got you covered.

Some of the best writing advice we’ve ever received is to simply write the way you talk.

If writing to gain followers or attract clients is way too much pressure, imagine you’re creating Instagram captions for friends.

Your Instagram captions should be conversational. When it’s all said and done, they should sound like you’re chatting with your BFF.

If you draw a blank every time you sit down to write your Instagram captions, we’ve got a tip that’s going to seriously help you out.

Once you have an idea what you want your caption to be about, try recording yourself on your phone.

We know this might sound kind of crazy but trust us.

Transcribe your recordings, and we promise you’ll have some really good content that sounds as though you write your Instagram captions for friends.

iPhone on a desk. The bests brands have a voice that sounds like they write their Instagram captions for friends!
Photo by: Unsplash

How To Write Compelling, Clever Instagram Captions

Did you like our voice recording tip? Well, there’s more where that came from!

We’re going even more in-depth about how to write compelling, clever Instagram captions.

Follow these tips, and we guarantee you’ll get more engagement on your posts from your ideal followers.

Tip #1: Plan Your Captions Ahead Of Time

We want you to promise us you won’t let your captions be an afterthought anymore.

Something this important shouldn’t be left until the last minute.

Because your stressed work is never your best work, we suggest setting some time aside just to write your Instagram caption.

We’ve found batching (writing multiple Instagram captions at once) has really helped us to create higher quality content.

Allow yourself to get into the writing zone, then sleep on those captions for a night.

If you wake up and they’re still awesome, you know you’re ready to hit Share.

Tip #2: Provide Real Value

Your followers will love you forever if you provide real value in your Instagram captions.

Rather than tapping out some random Jonas Brothers lyrics or just hitting any old emoji, you need to think about ways to serve your followers.

If you’re stuck, try looking up frequently asked questions about your niche on a site like Quora.

For example, a quick search for “travel” brought up this question: What should I know about Bali before traveling there?

Along with their beautiful photo of a Bali sunrise, a travel Instagrammer could provide real value and answer that question in their caption.

Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

Okay, perhaps some of you stumbled upon this guide in hopes of finding an exact formula to create the ~*perfect*~ Instagram caption.

But, the truth is you need to experiment to find out what kind of Instagram captions your own followers are most likely to engage with.

Compelling, clever Instagram captions look different for every account.

Sorry, but this isn’t a one size fits all type deal.

Your Instagram caption doesn’t necessarily need to be super long to get your message across. Try something short and sweet.

When we do have a long Instagram caption though, we like to put in line breaks in order to make it easier for our followers to read.

Check out this simple caption maker to add clean line breaks to your Instagram captions.

Tip #4: Give Your Followers Direction

In an ideal world, every single person who sees your post would follow up their double tap with a thoughtful comment.

But, we definitely don’t live in an ideal world.

If you want your followers to engage with your posts, you need to tell them exactly how to do so in your Instagram captions.

Arguably, the most vital component of a clever Instagram caption is the call to action (CTA).

What’s a call to action?

It’s you asking your followers to do something. It’s you inviting them to engage.

Personally, we love asking our followers a question. It’s a great way to get the conversation started and show your followers you care what they have to say.

Other tried and tested CTAs include:

  • Telling your followers to click the link in your bio
  • Asking for recommendations or tips
  • Suggesting your followers tag a friend in the comments

Even a not-so-great picture can get killer engagement when paired with a compelling Instagram caption. It’s your second chance to draw people in!

Tip #5: Ask Yourself If You’d Read Your Own Caption

Can we just be real with you for a second? We think it’s time for some serious tough love.

If you’re wondering why no one is liking or commenting on your Instagram posts, you need to ask yourself this question:

Would you stop scrolling and engage?

Remember: our followers are a lot like us.

If you wouldn’t stop to engage, why would they?

So many people are way too quick to blame the Instagram algorithm when a post performs poorly. No shade: we’ve been guilty of this too!

But, if your followers are consistently NOT engaging with your Instagram posts, then the algorithm probably isn’t at fault.

Your content is.

That’s why it’s so important to continually evaluate your social media strategy. Take notes on what works and what doesn’t.

When you see a lot of followers engaging with a particularly clever Instagram caption, try to recreate that magic in your next post.

Let’s face it: the Instagram algorithm is going to do its thing, and while we can complain about it until we’re blue in the face, there’s nothing we can really do about it.

But, what we can do is work our butts off to create awesome content the followers who are seeing our posts will love.

Low engagement got you down? If you're getting zero likes, try mixing up your Instagram captions strategy.
Photo by: Unsplash

Beyond Instagram Captions

We know we just threw a lot at you, but if you follow the tips in this guide, you’re going to be writing clever Instagram captions in next to no time!

Above all, we don’t want you to forget how important it is to be writing as if your Instagram captions are for friends.

The last thing you want to do is sound stuffy and unrelatable on social media. If you can keep your Instagram captions conversational, we have no doubt you’ll have the followers flocking to your account in droves.

While writing compelling, clever Instagram captions is ONE of the best-kept secrets to beating the Instagram algorithm, it’s not the only one.

To make sure you’re doing everything you can to grow on Instagram, check out these helpful posts: