Yes, getting some love on your Insta pics is good, but there is something even more important. Getting people to really pay attention before they keep scrolling.
But There’s something more important than getting that double tap on Insta before they keep scrolling – getting people to really pay attention.
You know that all-powerful algorithm that everyone groans about? It doesn’t just measure how many likes you have. It also measures comments, shares, and time spent on posts.
But how are you going to get people to comment, share, or look at your posts for longer? Write really, really good captions.
Photo by Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.
Just like you need a good photo to grab people’s attention, the first words of your caption have to make people want to keep reading.
On Instagram, that means making the first two lines before the “… more” good enough that people want to click on the post and read all of what you have to say instead of just scrolling on.
We’re both trained in journalism, so we often call this the “lede” (no, we didn’t spell that wrong).
Your lede does a lot of heavy lifting. It needs to grab ahold of people’s attention and get them curious enough to read on.
When you’re writing your lede, think of what gets you to stop and take a second look. It could be humor, a shocking fact, or even emojis. Whatever it is, just make sure that you stay true to your brand.
See it in action: Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. does a good job of grabbing people’s attention with emojis in the beginning of their captions. Adding them in instead of just plain text can be an effective way to get people to look twice.
Photo by 42 North Brewing Company
Long captions aren’t bad. In fact, they keep people on your post longer giving you bonus points in the eyes of the all-powerful algorithm.
But having a long caption just for the sake of having a long caption can hurt you more than help you. If people feel like they’re wasting time by reading what you’re saying, they won’t do it again. They might even unfollow you, and that’s the opposite of what we’re going for.
So when you’re writing your caption, make sure that you’re giving your readers something valuable. It could be information, a cool fact, or even just a short, funny story. Whatever it is, it should be worth the time it takes to read it.
See it in action: 42 North Brewing Company keeps people on their post with beer descriptions. They do a great job of breaking their paragraphs up so they’re more readable. The last thing you want is for your followers to get intimidated by a big chunk of text and scroll on before they read what you have to say.
Photo by Tommy Rotter Distillery
Let’s talk about CTAs. A CTA, or call to action, is an acronym that is really just asking “what are you trying to get someone to do?”
Having a CTA at the end of your post can increase engagement, attendance at events, and even sales, but they get tricky.
If your call to action is constantly “stop by today” or “get it before it’s gone” people will think you’re cheesy. That’s not to say that you can never say this. But you need to mix it up or people will roll their eyes and move on. Because let’s face it, we already see too many ads every day.
Instead, save “stop by today” for when you have an event or promotion, and “get it before it’s gone” for when you have a limited release. Day-to-day CTAs can be simple. Think “double tap if you agree” or “tag someone who needs this.”
These small suggestions will help to boost your engagement, which will put you in front of more followers. That means when it is time for a bigger call to action like getting people to click a link and come to your event, you’ll already have an active group of followers ready and waiting.
See it in action: Tommy Rotter Distillery’s cocktail recipe is a call to action in itself! Writing the recipe out inspires people to buy the ingredients (including your product!) and make the drink at home.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
Here’s the thing. Captions are hard. We know because we write them all of the time. When you have a billion things on your plate, you might think that you don’t have time to think up the perfect caption. That’s where we come in. Send us an email, and we’ll meet you for an in-person consultation to get you going!
Master Instagram’s algorithm by writing captions that encourage likes, comments, and shares – aka captions that get your post in front of more people!