Are you a punny hunny? An emoji devotee? Perhaps you can’t resist a heartfelt Insta-essay. Whatever your style, a strong caption can give your visuals a voice so it’s worth considering what works for you. As way of inspo, we asked these ’grammers to reveal how they use captions to up their Insta game…
Create a community
I like to write life as I see it – things go wrong but I prefer to make fun of myself than dwell on mistakes. There’s more that unites us than divides us; I find if I’m honest about something embarrassing that has happened to me, or something I’m struggling with, there will inevitably be someone who comments or messages to say “me too!”. It’s cheaper than therapy and has been great for building an online community. So get vulnerable and be real.
“I like to write life as I see it – things go wrong but I prefer to make fun of myself than dwell on mistakes.” –@disastersofathirtysomething
Think about what you want to say
Quite often I agonise about captions for aaages. I tend to jot down random thoughts or puns in a note on my phone, then I give them time to marinate in my brain before making a decision.
“I tend to jot down random thoughts or puns in a note on my phone, then I give them time to marinate in my brain before making a decision.” – @iamkristabel
So I’d say, don’t rush the process. Think about the message you want to share with this post. If you’re stuck, Instagram Collections is great for collating inspiration. I’ve saved a few wordy captions from Instagrammers like @erica_davies and @me_and_orla for those moments when I get writer’s block.
Nail the formatting
We’ve all seen the rising trend for lengthy captions. They’ve morphed from five words that sum up the image to huge essays that can get deeply personal. If that’s your style, great! I’d recommend making sure they’re legible by breaking up the text with paragraphs. My hack is to write your caption in the Notes app with the line spacing you want. If you write it directly into your post, Instagram merges the formatting into one huge block of text.
“My hack is to write your caption in the Notes app with the line spacing you want.” – @rosannafalconer
I find the most engaging option is to ask an authentic question to prompt your audience to take action — after all, social media is founded on its sociability and the idea of a conversation (the clue’s in the name!). By the same token, don’t be afraid to share insight and ideas.
Send a positive message
I like to see my Instagram as a diary so each post gives me the chance to reveal my personal thoughts and empower women. I love to create a caption that touches on themes of self-love, confidence, mental health or self esteem. I then finish with an engaging call to action, such as “how do you best practice self care?”. It’s a great way to encourage an open discussion.
“I love to create a caption that touches on themes of self-love, confidence, mental health or self esteem…it’s a great way to encourage an open discussion.” – @nerdabouttown