For essentially any type of modern-day business or organization, producing social content and leveraging your business via social media is a must. One of the most popular global social media platforms is Instagram, and using Instagram can be an incredible way to increase brand awareness, engagement, and even directly influence sales.
It is a fairly simple process to set up an Instagram account for your business, but it can be quite frustrating when you do not see the results you would like after a few weeks of regularly posting. There are a variety of factors that contribute to success on Instagram, and today we are going to discuss a vital, yet often overlooked part of an Instagram social strategy - captions.
Posting on a frequent and consistent basis is key when it comes to Instagram, but not if your post quantity comes at the expense of post quality. If you are consistently scrambling to think of content to post in an effort to meet a certain number of posts/week, the quality of your posts and captions will decrease and your audience will notice. Make sure you only post when you truly have something to say, and that each post caption is specifically tailored to bring direct value to your audience. If you find yourself repeating very similar statements in your post captions, or are struggling to think of anything to say, take a step back and reassess what message you are trying to convey, and how realistic your post schedule is.
Ultimately, social media is just modern storytelling. Brands and organizations have the opportunity to craft a perspective and identity via social media that can help cultivate a unique and dedicated audience. Make sure your social media captions help tell the story of your brand: what makes you unique, what is the history of your brand, and what characteristics do you and your audience have in common? Let the viewer into the “world” of your brand and the content will automatically become more intriguing.
For businesses, the goal of an Instagram post is to directly or indirectly influence some sort of action, be that anything from a simple post like, to a newsletter sign-up, or a social media contest entry. Make sure that you make it very clear what you want your audience to do, but that you do so in a seamless manner. Your Instagram captions should work to fold the CTA into the overall post caption so that the post caption is not overly blunt which ultimately will turn readers away.
For example, an Instagram post discussing your latest blog post can encourage readers to read your new blog, but make sure to frame this within a larger context
Example: “Over the past year, Covid forced educators to adapt to new methods of teaching within a virtual environment, and as the next academic year quickly approaches hybrid classrooms present new challenges and opportunities. Read more about the future of the classroom in our latest blog post, link in bio 🔗”."
Notice how the CTA is framed within a larger context that is more likely to intrigue the viewer.
Although this is not applicable for every single business, humor can often be an extremely effective tool to leverage in your social media captions (use your judgment as to when humor is not an acceptable tone in certain circumstances). Using humor can give your content caption that extra boost that makes the difference between scrolling past your post and reading more. Especially in the world of business, an organization using humor can be a refreshing change of pace from the often overly serious tone that can permeate business accounts. When it comes to implementing humorous content, it is key to find a balance; making jokes too frequently, or too directly, can actually harm your business. Start out slowly in order to gauge the reaction from your audience, and add until you find the perfect balance.
Length is another major factor that can influence the effectiveness of your Instagram posts. It is important to remember that Instagram is primarily a platform for sharing visual content, and people do not explicitly come to the platform to read long-form copy. In general, you should aim to keep your posts no longer than 150 characters. This may seem short, but when you choose your words carefully there is a lot you can fit into this general rule. There are going to be certain exceptions to this rule - if you truly have something to say that you believe your audience will want to hear, it is fine to publish a post with a longer caption from time to time. However, you should make sure you do not consistently post extremely long captions, as your audience will become overstimulated which has the potential to negatively impact engagement levels.
This Instagram post caption is short but effective. Notice how the language used creates a specific brand “feel” that is unique to Issuu, and that the post ends with a CTA encouraging viewers to join and publish on Issuu.
This Instagram post caption really emphasizes the qualities that connect the Issuu brand to Issuu creators and users - “creativity, freedom, expression”. Paired with the image, the post provides a strong impression that draws viewers in. At the end of the post the Issuu tagline “Create Once, Share Everywhere” acts both as an inspirational message and a subtle CTA.