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January 3, 2015

Why Instagram Captions Matter

“A picture’s worth a thousand words.”

The beauty and attraction of Instagram is that it gives users a creative outlet to instantly display the mundane, everyday details of life. So why is that little white box on the Instagram edit page even there?

Here’s why: those every day, mundane (or not so mudane), yet beautiful moments in life all start to look the same at some point. Want to Instagram the latte you bought at Starbucks this morning? So did everyone else who visited the caffeine chain today. What about the sunset painted in a thousand colors? It happened all across town, so everyone’s Instagram feed is probably flooded with orange, yellow, pink and red.

So how do you stand out? How do you make your image worthy of an InstaGrammy?

Caption sets a post apart from the rest. It will take longer and will sometimes take creative wit, but dedicating time to write meaningful, funny or informational captions has the potential to take an Instagram account to the next level. This is especially important for businesses that want to inform customers without boring them.

Here are a few tips for writing an Instagram caption that complements a picture:

  1. Use wit. Humor is a tool that is vastly underutilized on Instagram. However, being funny will make people laugh and will set an account apart from the rest. Changing the words to song lyrics, puns, or new spins on classic jokes are great places to start.
  2. Draw people in with a deal. Promote your business by offering a free t-shirt to the first 20 people to like a picture. Host a re-post challenge for your followers, where they can enter to win a prize by re-posting a picture. Or, simply let people know that all merchandise is 10% off when they use an exclusive offer code.
  3. Provide perspective. Followers may see something different (or nothing at all) than you. Use a caption to let people know exactly what is in the picture or why it is being posted.

And to make caption writing easier, Instagram now offers a feature that lets users edit captions! Cue a sigh of relief from victims of faulty autocorrect.