Instagram's captions are a great way of interacting with your community. They create higher levels of engagement and allow you to create an even better, more worthwhile flow of content. Our guide gives you an overview of possible captions and what to be aware of.
Next to the content you normally share in your regular feed and Instagram Stories, captions are the other important format that allows you to interact with followers and users. Captions are the place where you are able to directly address your followers, ask questions, share important news or include your own views or inspirational thoughts. Captions can vary in length, topic, structure and purpose. What they all have in common though, is the fact that they increase engagement on your Instagram account. Captions enable you to reach out to followers through the expression of your own thoughts and sharing of information. Any industry has their specifics regarding the shared content and therefore the appropriate captions. Still, certain guidelines can be applied to all corporate Instagram accounts. Here is our strategy guide for engaging Instagram captions.
1. The length of your caption
First of all, we want to highlight certain specifics Instagram has set for the captions. A caption will be displayed in full length, if it’s no longer than 150 or 155 characters. This varies sometimes, which is why a set number of characters can’t be determined. If your caption is longer than that, say over 180 characters, Instagram automatically crops your captions. It will then only display the first approximately 110 characters (again, sometimes this can be more or less). To view the full length of the caption, users will have to click on the three dots next to the cropped caption.
This means, captions that are longer than 150 characters will have to raise enough attention/excitement to ensure users will actually click to view the full caption. Beware of this fact. Either write short captions that will be displayed in full length. Or write exciting and compelling long captions that will raise enough interest for users to read it all.
2. What can be included in a caption
Regarding the format itself, almost anything can be included. Captions can consist of text, special characters, emojis, hashtags and you can mention accounts by tagging them. The biggest exception that is also the greatest loss is the fact that you cannot include clickable links. This means any external links you include can’t be clicked directly to be forwarded. Users would have to memorize or copy them – a task that only a small percentage of users will be ready to fulfill. Most Instagrammers try to work around this by placing their links in their bio (the only place where Instagram allows you to include a clickable links). And when captioning their content, they refer their users to this link.
3. Why you should write captions
Captions can be as diverse as the content you share. They can always be adjusted to the message you want to convey. You can address your followers directly, interact with them or encourage others action they can/should take.
- Explain content: Sometimes your content won’t be self-explanatory or you will have additional information you want to share. The caption is the place to do it. This can include explaining where the picture was taken at, who can be seen in the picture, what is different or special about the presented content etc.
- Reach out to followers: Captions are the place to actively speak to your followers. Ask questions, share important news or information or encourage them to take action, in whichever way. This generates overall engagement with followers, fans and (potential) customers.
4. What should a caption include
As mentioned above, Instagram allows you to include almost anything in your caption. Here is a detailed overview of possible items for your captions.
- Hashtags: Hashtags are Instagram’s system of categories. They generate visibility and allow you to reach a wide audience with your content. Find fitting hashtags and use a mixture of them to give your content a label. You can include a maximum of 30 hashtags in your caption. This might be too extensive for the caption itself, so stick to a few, best-fitting hashtags and separate others that will help you increase visibility visually. If you’re unsure about hashtags on Instagram, refer to our Hashtag Guide.
- Emojis: Just like hashtags, emojis are an important part of social media networks, also on Instagram. Emojis are a great way of lifting engaging. Statistics show, that emojis can lead to 17% increase of engagement. Read more about this here. The important note is to stick to professional emojis. Additionally, do not overload your caption with hashtags. Stick to one, three at the most emojis that underline your statement and content.
- Links: We mentioned before, that Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links anywhere but your bio. So, if your content calls for a new landing page to be visited, change the link in your bio and refer to it in your caption. This way you can generate traffic for your desired landing page, making it easy for followers to visit it.
- Calls-to-Action: With calls-to-action you can transform Instagram-based interactions into real-life behavior. Animate followers to follow up on an action which is related to the content you shared. This makes your Instagram-account more alive which simultaneously increasing real-life profits. Calls-to-action can include visiting websites or online-shops, leaving a comment, participating in a contest and many other actions. Activate your community to increase interaction – in real life and on Instagram.