Captions are more powerful than you think especially to grow Instagram followers! Though Instagram is a visual platform, a lot depends on the captions when it comes to engaging users. Aren’t we all guilty of choosing images and videos that go well with the caption in our minds?
Most brand managers stress on posting content that is top-notch and pleasing to the eyes. However, giving a thought to the captions is also very crucial and must be a part of your content strategy. Captions are not just descriptions of what your post is all about. It is a route to connect with the user, to make them stay on your content.
A compelling Instagram caption is an opportunity to increase engagement on your posts, reach new audiences and drive leads to your website. The fact that it adds a voice to your visual content and a bit of personality to your feed in general, is just another plus point.
In this blog, we’ll help you get started on creating attention-grabbing captions to increase Instagram followers.
Instagram Thumb Rules to Keep in Mind To Grow Instagram Followers
ATTENTION!!! Before you come up with fancy words, it is necessary to know the rules of Instagram. The platform has character limits and several other regulations.
1. Character limit
The limit for Instagram captions is 2200 characters. Also, Instagram doesn’t show you how many characters you have typed. It will simply not display the extra ones!
You may decide to use all 2200 characters for your captions but keep in mind that Instagram does not show all of it at once on your follower’s feeds. Instead, Instagram truncates (shortens) your caption to display only the first three lines. If you want your entire caption to show, Instagram advises you to keep the length of your Instagram caption under 125 characters.
Any links you add in your Instagram caption will not be clickable. While it is good for the user experience, this does make it difficult for you to link your followers to relevant website pages. This leaves you with only one option if you want to generate leads from your Instagram posts – drive your followers to your bio using a clear call to action in your caption, where you can direct them to your webpage.
You can add up to 30 hashtags to your captions. Unfortunately, these 30 hashtags are also counted in the length of Instagram captions, which is 2200 characters. If you add more than 30 hashtags, your caption will not be visible on your post at all. You also cannot add more than 30 hashtags in the comments. So make sure you count your hashtags in the length of your Instagram caption before you post them.
Now that we know the points to keep in mind while creating captions let’s talk about creating captions that can help grow Instagram followers.
1. Say something extra about your post to your Instagram followers
Adding value to your visual content is the job of a good caption. Is the caption making the audience think? Is it compelling enough for them to take any action (like, swipe, comment, click on link)? Is the caption capturing the intention of the post? If it fails to do any of the stated then you need to up your writing game.
2. Keep your captions consistent and creative
Every brand has a tonality which conveys its approach towards its audience. While some brands take a formal route, some go for a more informal approach. This highly depends on what your brand deals with and the followers. No matter what approach you choose, be sure to be consistent. Right from the length of your captions to the usage of emojis, everything should feel uniform on your brand page.
Coming to creativity, you need to focus on the on-going trends on the platform. This will help you grow Instagram followers and will keep the existing followers engaged. Here are a few tips to be creative with your captions-
- Include quotes that are relevant to your post
- Use witty one-liners and puns
- Add behind-the-scenes stories
- Pose a question to the followers
- See if your post allows you to include any numbers in the caption
3. Use the storytelling approach for your Instagram followers
Promoting your products and services with a caption that talks about its benefits is nothing new. The psyche of the users has changed and they are now looking for a personalised touch in brands. Hence, most brands have now taken to the storytelling approach when it comes to content on social media platforms especially Instagram. Right from brand history to stories about their employees, brands are banking on this technique heavily and are gaining amazing engagements. Additionally, some brands have also started using user-generated content for their posts to garner more reach and grow Instagram followers.
4. Use emojis right
Not everyone is a personal fan of emojis, which is just as well because they have the power to make your caption look either incredibly childish or extremely appealing. There is a fine line between overdoing it and making the emoji compliment your caption, and you need to make sure you fall in the latter category. Emojis can help you grow Instagram followers but can also drive them away!
Using emojis is a tricky thing and to ease your woes we have shortlisted a few hacks to make this easier for you.
Use emojis in the very beginning of the caption-
The bright colourful emojis can help catch people’s eye so that they would want to keep reading the rest of your caption.
Use emojis at the very end of the caption-
An emoji at the end of your caption makes the caption more inviting and friendly, and it can add a bit of aesthetic to your sentence.
Use emojis to replace words-
You can even use emojis to replace certain words, but do not overdo it. You can take a look at this directory here if you need help in figuring out which emojis mean what.
Use emojis to draw attention to important sentences –
If you have a call to action in your caption, highlight it by placing it between a set of emojis.
5. Include a clear CTA in your caption
All the struggle you put in creating a caption will go in vain if the user does not take action. Depending on your post intention make sure to include a clear call to action in your caption. Be it a subtle ‘Link in bio’ or ‘Swipe to know more’, your audience should be enticed to take an action. Highlight your caption with emojis or different font to convey the message clearly.
6. Ask questions to your Instagram followers
A sure-fire way to get people to engage in your posts is to ask a direct question that will prompt an answer. Your Instagram followers are always surrounded by content and hence, it is best to be direct and make them feel wanted! Asking questions shows your followers that you care and value their opinion. The question can be anything from a request for honest feedback to just a simple ‘How was your weekend?’
7. Know your audience
The first step to create a perfect caption is to know your audience. As a brand, try and figure out what kind of audience is liking your posts. Detect who is following your brand.
It is also necessary to know the key audience demographics like audience age, audience gender, audience location, and audience interest, to curate effective captions and grow Instagram followers.
You can use third-party tools like Unbox Social to track and understand your social media performance and get audience insights. The tool snapshot below shows audience insights for Lakme with regards to audience quality and audience location.
8. Don’t shy away from mentions
Giving credit where credit is due is not only ethical but also speaks a lot about your brand’s authenticity. If your photo features someone, try mentioning them in the caption instead of just tagging them. This can bring your audience’s attention to their profiles and greatly increases your chances of getting the user to give you the love back! Not only is the user likely to comment and share the post, but your post will also receive engagement from the user’s audiences. This is especially great if that user is an influencer with a well-established audience. This is one of the most amazing ways to grow Instagram followers.
9. Use hashtags smartly
(No one likes a post #filled #with #hashtags #like #this)
Filling up your posts with hashtags will not guarantee high reach and engagement. Using the hashtags smartly will do the needful for your brand. You know by now that using hashtags is a great way to get discovered. A post with even just a single hashtag gets 12.6% more engagement, so they are not completely unavoidable either because they can increase your Instagram followers. So how do you use them correctly? Use the tips below.
- Don’t overcrowd your post with hashtags. Keep the number below 10 to make it look authentic. Too many hashtags make the post look spammy! Trust us, your Instagram followers are smart and can detect a post that’s spam!
- Keep refreshing your hashtags regularly so that the post keeps on getting an audience. Also, Instagram sometimes bans a hashtag if its algorithm feels it is getting spammy. This is called a shadowban. To avoid having your post blocked, make sure you keep refreshing your hashtags.
- While the most popular hashtags are popular for a reason, the narrower the scope of your hashtag, the more niche audiences you will attract. And niche audiences are likely to engage more with your post. This way you can attract your intended audience.
- Promote your branded hashtags in your captions! Let your Instagram followers get acquainted with your brand name in the hashtags. This will also help increase your brand visibility.
If you still have questions, here’s an in-depth guide to using hashtags for growing your engagement.
10. Don’t forget to write captions for your Instagram stories
Instagram stories are equally important now because they can help you attract potential customers. Many times, users simply exit stories because they don’t know what the story is all about. In some cases, your Instagram followers may not even see your posts but will view your stories. This is why you need to caption your story right. See to it that your Instagram story caption gives the right information in a creative manner.
These guidelines will surely grow your Instagram followers. But along with this, you also need to track your brand performance on Instagram. Head to Unbox Social and start monitoring your brand and competitors now!
Also, don’t forget to share this blog!