What can we learn about an engaging Instagram caption from Save the Last Dance asked no one?
You can do it put your personality into it, I can do it put your time into it.
Ok, so I’ll wait as you have your own Save the Last Dance flashback dance party…
No one else? Okay, no… moving along then.
I know writing your Instagram caption often feels rushed or leaves you with that sinking feeling of ‘wtf should I say?’
But don’t waste this opportunity!
The caption is your chance to stand out from everyone else and give customers a reason to follow you and start a relationship with your brand. Anyone can have a “new cute mug in the shop!” But not everyone has your personality, little quirks or viewpoint.
Writing a good Instagram caption also means you’ll receive more comments on your posts. And as we know, Instagram comments are legit gold for boosting your engagement rate.
Why do Instagram comments matter?
- They build customer relationships: A conversation is the start of any relationship and in order to get your customers to know, like, and trust you; they gotta talk to you. Plus, it opens up the door for you to talk back. Learn more about them, get their opinion, give them advice. Ya know, friendly ways to build your ‘know, like, + trust’ factor.
- They boost your Instagram post: Instagram wants to see that your content is high quality + interesting to your audience. And comments are one of the best ways to show them “my audience loves this, show this to more people like them”, which in turn helps your post potentially rank in the top post section (when you use hashtags strategically), get recommended on the Explore tab, or be pushed out to more of your followers’ feeds.
- They promote your post organically: On Instagram, there isn’t a natural “share” button like there is on Facebook. So comments become one of the main ‘sharing’ vehicles. By writing intentional, personality filled captions, your audience will naturally want to share with their friends. You wouldn’t tag your friend in a boring lame salesy post; but when that caption connects with you and your pee laughing over that feeling of “ahhhhahah omg this is so us”, well… you’re tagging the ish out of your friend (are kids still saying ish?).
So take the time to write your personality into each caption (or that of your brand). You’ll build better relationships with your customers, earn more comments (which means you’ll be working WITH the Instagram algorithm), and help your brand stand apart from the thousands of other small businesses. BOOM.
So let’s jump into two ways to create a more engaging Instagram caption.
(What if you knew exactly what to post to each day to turn likes into sales? This post is a sneak peek from IG90: Creative Instagram Plans — It’s the first part of the Lesson “Writing Captions that Matter” where I cover 4 ways to write better captions. Learn more about IG90 and see how you can connect + convert your customers with an Instagram account that sells for you.)
#1 Give the Reader Something to Respond to:
No more: “Another cute mug just hit the shop today! Link in profile!”
As a customer, what am I supposed to engage with besides just showering you with praise? It’s not that customers don’t or won’t LOVE the new cute mug. But it’s hard to make your brand stand out with a “cute mug” caption.
I’m going to harp on this once more and then I promise to move on, but seriously ‘new necklace in shop! dm to buy!’ doesn’t help you stand out, build a relationship, or give your customer a reason to comment. And we all know that engagement on Instagram is what ultimately matters.
Customers are drawn to buy from others that they ‘know, like and trust’ so give them a little more somethin’ somethin’ to start a conversation. Afterall, that’s the first step of getting online lurkers to turn into raving customers.
Instead try something relatable to them:
My boyfriend loves when I bring home ANOTHER mug… he totally gets that you can never have too many. Luckily for him, this cutie just hit the shop today so where my mug addicts at?! – tell yo’ boyfriends to shop the link in profile! #mugaddictsunite #got99mugproblems
See the difference?
Now your customer has something to grab hold of.
It sounds like you’re talking to a real person and people like talking to people! Your engagement will naturally grow as followers laugh along with you or share how they’re crazy about another item their bf always gives them grief over. Plus you’ll start to build a community as your customers feel a sense of camaraderie as all the #mugaddicts come out … OR they’ll just compliment that super cute mug.
So write something people can actually respond to and build a better relationship with your customers. Treat captions more like you’re talking to a friend then trying to “sell” anything – which ironically will help you sell more as you build brand loyalty and show off your personality.
Wrap your product or brand within a larger story:
- Share something you learned from someone else
- Share a story from the past week
- Get personal
- Be relatable, what do you + your customer have in common
- Talk about a movie or quote you saw that resonated with you in some way
- Share your favorites (food, people, places, etc)
- Talk about your upcoming plans
- Share your hopes + dreams (it’s okay to get a little vulnerable)
I love how Brittany does this with her account @glitterandbold… she always has fun witty captions that make me laugh and her personality shines through which makes me want to comment back and engage with her. Here’s a great example of giving your followers more to grab onto then just “heyyy cute fall mug in the shop”
#2 Provide a Call-to-Action (CTA):
Repeat after me: Never leave a customer hanging.
We like knowing what to do next or what’s expected of us. Sounds weird, but it’s totally true. Think about it: How many times do you actually comment on a brand’s post without being prompted? You may not even realize it, but we’re much more likely to check out that profile link or tag a friend when directly asked.
Simple Call-to-Action Ideas for Instagram:
- Click link in bio / Shop link in profile
- psst > Never update your Instagram link again with this simple tool
- Tag a friend who …
- Hop on over to the blog
- Share your next (theme/experience) using #shophashtag so we can see what you’re up to!
- Ask a question
- Leave a comment below …
One last tip for writing better, more engaging Instagram captions?
Schedule in advance!
I use the Instagram post scheduler Later to upload all my images and write captions in advance. You can use their app or log in on a desktop, which I find really helps when I’m writing longer captions or cranking out a bunch of posts in a row. Plus, it’s free to use for 30 posts/month!
So what do you think? Totally doable right?
This post is a sneak peek from IG90: Creative Instagram Plans — It’s the first part of the Lesson “Writing Captions that Matter” where I cover 4 tips to write better captions. Learn more about IG90 and see how you can connect + convert your customers with an Instagram account that sells for you.
Here’s what we go over in the first Pre-Work Module:
And because I know coming up with what to say day after day can be HARD, I came up with 10 Instagram Prompt Ideas just for online shops and Etsy sellers!
Grab your prompt ideas below!
NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY ON INSTAGRAM?
I GOT YOU COVERED!
Grab your customer's attention with captions that connect and inspire action.
That's 30% of your month planned! Done + DONE.