How to write scroll stopping Instagram captions

A good caption on an instagram post can increase your engagement and get that post seen by a lot more people.

There are different ways to encourage people to stop scrolling when your image comes up in their feed. Whilst a strong image is important, having an engaging caption is also key. A good caption could be the difference between someone: a) scrolling by your post without even giving it a ‘like’ or b) stopping, reading and even clicking through to your website.

Did you know that the longer people dwell on your posts, the more the Instagram algorithm favours your posts. Thus the lovely algorithm is likely to push them further up people’s feeds.

This gives your posts:

  • More exposure
  • More engagement
  • More likes and comments
  • More followers
  • More business!

So how do I make my captions better?

There are various things you can do – aside from hiring a copywriter of course – to make your captions really stand out. Here are 6 actionable, easy tips from the Sarah Clay Social tips and tricks department!

1) Know your audience

Us social media marketing folk talk a lot about ‘audience’, but what is it?  Your audience is made up of the people you want to target with your content. Who you want to appeal to and/or sell to. They may be your current followers or they may be people you want to have as your followers. 

It is vital that you have identified who they are as otherwise how will you know how to target them. When I give social media workshops I always start by establishing who the account is targeting. It’s vital to know that to help us with so many things like times to post, language, even down to colours of visuals!

2) Speak the language of your audience. Consistently.

If your words don’t resonate with the people you are trying to attract then they won’t read your posts!  Think about how they, your audience, speak. Which words and phrases do they use?

If I started to use big marketing words and fluffy sales speak I would put all of you off and you would stop reading my stuff right? So, I keep it straight forward and no-nonsense as I know you (my lovely audience), like it that way. It’s about you lot after all!

If you ‘re not sure what kind of language your audience use try reading their posts and you’ll soon find out!

Keep your language consistent too. If you keep chopping and changing the way you speak in your posts, your audience/followers will get very confused! So when you write your posts, proof read and re-read before you go ‘live’.

3) Add a call to action

If you have a good call to action, you can really see an increase in engagement as some (not all), people will act.

What do you want people to do when they read your post?  Do you want to direct them to your bio, buy something or just add a ‘like’?. If you want your audience to do something specific, why don’t you just ask?!  

It could be something as simple as ‘double tap if you like this’, or ‘head over to my bio for more’. You don’t have to sound ‘pushy’ or ‘salesy’ – keep it light and fun!

4) Ask a question

The idea being, of course, that people will answer. This is something that can be overused so be cautious and be careful that you only ask questions which your audience are likely to relate to. The increased engagement you will get from the number of replies enables more people to see your content.

5) Use emoji’s

I know I know, you’re probably thinking ‘what a cheap trick’ but take a scroll through your Instagram feed and look at people’s captions and see how they stand out more if there are a few emoji’s in there. Instagram is a visual platform after all so why not appeal to people’s visual nature?!

6) Long or short?

There is no definitive answer to this I’m afraid. It depends on your audience! The thing to do though is practice with both. Write some long and some short and see the difference in results. You should see a pattern emerging but if there isn’t, use both depending what the post requires!

So there you go – 6 easy tips to help you boost your Instagram presence using words not pictures.

If you’ve found this helpful, sign up to my email list where you’ll get easy, actionable social media tips delivered to your inbox – absolutely free!

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