Despite being a visual platform, Instagram captions are very important to your overall strategy on the platform. Captions help you better tell your story, show up in keyword searches, and increase engagement.
For those of you new to Instagram, a caption is a chunk of text that can help explain or give context to a photo. In your Instagram feed, captions appear beneath the photos. For Reels, they appear over the bottom of the video. It is here that you can practice your storytelling or keep it a simple description. You can also include emojis, hashtags, and mentions to boost your post.
According to the 2023 Instagram Engagement Report, including a caption on your feed posts, Stories and Reels gives you a boost in engagement although not as much as we have seen in previous years. This is most likely due to the rise of video content that doesn’t require you to provide as much text since you are presumably speaking your point.
Source: 2023 Instagram Engagement Report
And according to the report, for English-speaking users, 21-50 characters is ideal sweet spot.
Tips for Creating Instagram Captions:
Always include a caption
Start with your most compelling content as longer posts get truncated
Use a tone and style consistent with your organization’s, but keep it casual if you can
Tell a story in your caption that helps drive home the content itself
Break up longer content
An emoji can increase engagement. North American users seem to tolerate up to 10 emojis.
Posts that used over 11 hashtags actually have the highest engagement rates followed by those that used 4
Use hashtags that are community and interest based as opposed to more generic hashtags
Go short or go long. As you can see from the chart above, globally, captions with 1-50 characters and captions over 2000 characters see the most engagement.