Alright guys. I gotta be honest with ya. As a writer, it would seem like thinking up clever Instagram captions are my jam. Um false! Actually I sometimes (even now after 8k followers) dread them because my brain has a million tabs open. At all times. So trying to simplify what I want to say or "should" say can be so hard!! Amiright?
There is no surprise that if you run a business or are a blogger that Instagram is the app to be on. To connect with a community of like-minded individuals, all swooning over one another's creative feeds and working together to build each other up...I'm all over it! There's just one problem: captions. Ugh! In order to connect, we gotta talk. Or type. Whatever. But we have to use our voice somehow and that's kinda tough sometimes. So I started thinking about what I've learned while building my Instagram community and what seems to draw people in. Here are my 3 tips to elevating your Instagram captions, that you can actually put to use right now! Yes today!
- Tell a story.
Get personal, but in a way that is comfortable for you to share and gives the reader an insider's perspective. My most interactive posts are when I let followers in on key moments that either shifted my thinking or changed my life. Do you have a childhood memory you'll never forget? Is there a family member who impacted you? Choose a story to connect in a real way to their lives. Stories make us humans, instead of digital square people trying to sell something.
- Short and sweet.
Often, the less words the better. Even a few sentences can go a long way. I like to break up my posts by doing very short captions every other day or so. Especially when I share funny memes or quotes. Focus on word QUALITY not quantity! I have read some captions where I wasn't sure where the writer was going...and still don't know! Ha! Your captions should keep in mind that time is precious, especially on Instagram, So if you want a simple caption, just make sure the quality is on point.
- Reader spotlight. One way to elevate your captions is by turning things around and shining the spotlight on your reader. Yup! It doesn't always have to be about you or what you do. Ask a question to get them to comment their opinion. Or write things in a way that leaves them in deep thought, maybe even a funny snippet that will have them rushing to the comment box. When I write captions, I try to think of one person I want to connect with instead of an entire group. This makes it easier to flow with words and makes the reader feel like the caption was written just for them.
It's not helpful to have captions screaming like a cheap car salesman. That won't make sales, it'll just turn people off. We cannot build a lasting community if we're yelling "Follow me! Buy this! Look at meeeee!!" BUT we can make real, authentic connections with people using real life stories. We can think about what we like reading and be true to who we are by manifesting that in our captions. We can use every opportunity to write a caption as a way to connect with someone. That will set your brand apart from the other accounts dripping in tacky tactics and overused phrases.
Comment below with your handle and let's make real, authentic connections!