20 Aug 2018

#Discussion: Caption Writing 101 // #Instagram101

There have been a lot of articles written about the pros and cons of Instagram, how to "hack" the new Instagram algorithm, and anything else you can think of regarding the largest photo sharing social media platform. Whether you're using Instagram for business or personal, here are some tips for creating a feed that everyone wants to follow - and have "post notifications" for.

We've discussed planning out your feed and your photos! We also focused on determining when and what to post on Instagram. But how do you get people to read the caption? And once you get them to, what do you put into it? That's what today's post is all about!

Read the whole series to upgrade and maintain your Instagram feed by clicking on the different links below!

There are three parts to the caption and I'm going to tell you how I write them to best get engagement. Before we begin, it's important to note, before you rush off to cram your captions with 50 hashtags and your life story, Instagram has a maximum character limits: Instagram caption character limit: 2,200 characters. Instagram hashtag limit: 30 hashtags. Instagram tagging limit: 30 accounts.


The first thing you should know is that the caption of an Instagram post that appears on a feed is only 75 characters. You have 75 characters to draw people into the caption, so make it sparkle!

Use emojis, a question, some ALL CAPS, whatever works for you to get people to actually look at the caption. Because, believe me, sometimes it is easier to just like, scroll, like, scroll, etc. and ignore the caption all together.

Being able to get someone to "read more" is the hardest part, so anything you can do to get people's attention on a caption, in 75 characters, is great! Practice writing out your caption a few times to get those first 75 characters just right.


What are you going to include in your caption?

I post book pictures, so I try to add in a bit about why I'm featuring the book (maybe because I just read it!), the summary of the book, and a question or action statement. I'll talk more about the last one below, but it is important to not clog up your caption.

You may get 2200 characters, but that doesn't mean you should use them all. I generally use the majority of my characters because I include the book summary, but I put that in at the bottom so I can give my audience more if they want it.

Figure out what works for you - if you are going to only be doing reviews of books, if you're going to talk about books you got in the mail, etc. have different templates that you can adjust and change depending on the content of the picture.

Note: Caption templates doesn't mean every single picture should have the same words, but the same feel to it. Try A/B testing different captions to see what gets the most engagement and go from there!


But really, captions are another way to attempt to get engagement. That is why the "Call to Action" statement or question is the most essential part of your caption. It doesn't necessarily have to be the first or last thing in your caption, you can put it in the middle, but it absolutely has to be there.

Think of it as this: What do you want people to write in your comments? Turn that into a question and add it to your post!

I try to match my "Call to Action" statements or questions to the theme of the post:

  • Positive book review = "Have you added this to your TBR?"; "Add this to your TBR!"
  • Book mail = "Have you read this yet?"; "Will I enjoy this one?"; "Have you read any other books by this author?"
  • TBR pile = "How many books are you planning to read this month?"; "Which of these books should I start with?"
You can come up with others or use these, it's entirely up to you!
And that's it for my caption writing instructions - and this Instagram series! I hope you liked it and learned something new from it! You can find me on Instagram @booksandladders!

What are some of your go-to caption writing tips?

1 comment:

  1. This has always been a challenge for me! I've recently moved my QOTD to the top of the post instead of starting with something personal. I'm not sure if it helps. XD There are some great tips here!


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