According to a recent statistic published by the Pew Research Center, 80% of social media browsing takes place on mobile devices. For this reason, it is imperative for the survival and longevity of a business to take advantage of their social media presence on Instagram, which has grown to over 700 million active monthly users.
Having stunning photos and videos is only part of the solution for driving engagement and sales through the social media platform. If you’re not delegating time and effort to formulate attention-grabbing captions, then you may be losing out on critical opportunities. Having a strong visual can grab the attention of your audience initially, but a carefully thought out caption will help you engage with your audience and market your products/services more effectively. Additionally, a compelling and robust caption will help you strengthen your brand awareness and personality.
Earlier this year, Instagram shed light on how it’s new algorithm functions:
“What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.”
Contrary to what most people believe, the posts that appear first in your feed are not entirely determined by the number of followers you own. In reality, Instagram also takes into account the number of people that engage with your post, which is extremely important. This means individuals are liking, commenting, and sharing your posts.
Here are a couple of suggestions to ensure you are maximizing the potential of your posts
1. Take Your Time
More often than not, people rush the caption creation process. They will spend hours capturing and editing their photos to look visually pleasing but will write their captions in a matter of seconds. This is the wrong way of approaching the post. It would be best if you spent time creating drafts and perfecting your wording. Your first few sentences should contain a specific purpose which will allow you to grab the reader’s attention immediately. The key is to create a sense of dialogue and conversation. Posing a question, leaving a link in your bio, or tagging a friend will get the reader more interested.
2. Be Authentic
One of the keys to social media is to communicate like an authentic human being. Make sure to show your real character and come across as natural and friendly. This can be done by choosing captions that move and inspire you. Developing captions that reveal personality will help you build a stronger relationship with your audience.
Here, for example, is one way Old Spice incorporated fun and creative caption and photo into its marketing strategy.
3.Include Emojis and #Hashtags
Using emojis will convey the feeling behind your words. Make sure to choose emojis that are relevant to the message you are trying to communicate and consistent with your brand image. Don’t overload your caption with a jumbled bag of emojis because this will leave your audience feeling overwhelmed and confused. Implementing hashtags is just as effective. On average, incorporating hashtags generates 12.6% more engagement compared to those without. It’s an excellent way to build a sense of community and entice individuals to talk about your product/service. Creating a memorable hashtag will persuade people to share their experience with your product/service on their social media pages. The beauty of this strategy is that your brand will become advertised without any additional costs.
Thousands of community members the #TogetherIsBeautiful hashtag, most of whom are posting about their experience enjoying Coca Cola.
4. Add Value
Use your captions as an opportunity to share valuable information with your targeted audience. Offering “tips and tricks” or any detail that sparks creativity will make users more likely to share and bookmark your post. Users are not only browsing through social media platforms to purchase products/services. They’re also looking for credible pages to gain knowledge and insight from.
5. Organize Contests
Holding organized contests is an excellent method of promoting and marketing your brand by getting users excited about your product. Based off of multiple findings, contests will drive the most user engagement. It’s a successful campaign strategy because it incentivizes people to follow, encourages user-generated content, builds awareness, and sparks conversation as users bounce ideas off of one another.
Dunkin Donuts asked its audience to showcase their favorite Dunkin inspired costumes for a chance to win $1000 and a year’s supply of coffee.