An Instagram caption is a useful tool to build a personal brand, Instagram following and increase engagement. @stylebytrade share their insights into how best to optimise your Instagram caption.
It seems very basic right- shoot an image and press share? Sure it can be that easy, but if you use Instagram’s tools correctly, it can be the most effective way of building your audience, increasing levels of engagement and communicating your messages.
First things first, find your tone. For Style By Trade, we are coming from the perspective of an everyday guy who loves fashion and we therefore find that being light hearted and unafraid of laughing at ourselves, not only comes naturally to us but also resonates best with our audience. Giving your audience a glimpse into you on a personal level builds your connection with them- your followers tend to be more invested in you and your profile and therefore more likely to engage with your content. It takes a bit of trial and error to nail exactly what works best (and this can be reflected in your analytics), but the most important thing is being true to yourself and what your profile represents.
Being a men’s fashion influencer, we like to make it easy for the large male following to click through to our collaborator’s profiles via our caption. We create and editorial like credit list where we reference the item of clothing and the brand it’s created by. It’s important to consider who your audience is so you can tailor your captions to make it easy for them to interact and engage with you. Your paid partnerships and collaborators always love receiving a batch of new followers or engagement after you’ve posted about them and will be more inclined to work with you again.
Now we’ve discussed the why, here is the how. There are four key elements to nail:
1. The length of your Instagram caption
The image of your post will be the headline and your Instagram caption is your supporting story so keep it short and punchy as this will keep your follower’s attention. Keep the long winded captions to minimum (this is also a benefit of having a complimentary blog as you can elaborate there).
#hashtags are key in growing your following and increasing your reach by making your content easily discoverable to targeted audiences. For example, using #mensblogger catalogues your post so potential followers who are who are searching for men’s bloggers can find you. Test relevant hashtags in your Instagram caption and pay attention to how this effects your analytics. Check what your favourite fashion influencers are using, research trending hashtags or download apps like Iconosquare that provide hashtag analytics. Create your own hashtag and encourage your audience to use Instagam’s new hashtag follow feature. According to some, varying your hashtags for each post to appear less like spam works in favour of Instagram’s algorithm. Rather then putting your hashtags in the caption, group them in the first comment of your post which keeps your caption short and tidy.
Ensure you pin your location on every post- this is another great way to gain exposure. Vary the location tag depending on where you are- the city you are posting from, the restaurant you are eating or the event you are attending for example.
Tag, tag, tag in your Instagram caption and image. Not only does it provide a credit to the team who are behind your post (whether it’s the brand of clothes your wearing, the location you’re at, your crew, PR agencies etc), it increases your exposure and visibility as a way to communicate with your community. Each profile you tag receives a notification and also appears in their catalogue of ‘photos of you’ images which is reached via their profile. This feature alone gives a greater chance of your post being visible and prone to a higher level of engagement. As an influencer, tagging brands in your posts links your audience from your post to a company’s profile and has almost become a form of currency in monetising your content.
Once you’ve streamlined how you structure your captions, you will be presently surprised how this builds your following and entices engagement!