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3 Tips for Writing Better Instagram Captions

But first, a story. I finally gave into the three years of Stitchfix ads I’ve gotten on Facebook. I was in a fashion rut, was time crunched due to a busy stint at work and thought I’d go full Tom Haverford and treat myself. The gist is that you pay $20 a month, a freelance stylists curates 5 items and mail it to you on a semi-regular basis. But I learned a good lesson about articulating my personal style that I want to share:

I took the little quiz at the end of my Stitchfix registration. TLDR: I thought I covered every single detail of my daily and aspirational style. Boy, did I get that wrong. My first “stitch” came with things I wouldn’t wear. Where had I gone wrong?! I recounted this story to my mom on a road trip. She pointed out something important: I’d articulated my fashion preferences in a super broad 20,000 foot sense, but not about the microscopic details of what I love and need for my daily life.

I think that taught me a lesson about writing for the internet in general: talk about the details. Get into the weeds about the zipper you love. Talk about fabric texture. Tell the world why you love that local designer or boutique. Don’t be afraid to get specific about what you love, because authenticity is under the rock of broad statements. This made me examine the working parts of a good Instagram caption

Provide Context:

Sure, your outfit could be on fleek (side note: do the kids still say that these days?) but if they don’t know why you’re wearing that ballgown to a local fundraiser, most of your point is for naught. Always answer the who, what, where and why with brevity and wit.

Show Your Personality:

Anyone with a account can tell you they’re “loving this look” with a bevy of emojis. But what makes people, even your best friends, come back to your account because for a few seconds they enjoyed what you posted. Your photos will make them pause on your content, but your captions will make them remember it.

Have a Call to Action:

If you’re managing a personal or professional brand, consider what your long term goal is. Do you want them to go to your blog? Visit your Enter a sweepstakes? We in the biz call this a KPI or a key performance indicator; basically, what do you want the consumer to do after seeing your ad beyond liking or sharing it?

You’ll bring the horse to water and make it drink by considering your call to action (or CTA for short). Ask at the end of each post to:

  • Visit your bio for a link to an off-site engagement, such as blog reads or signups.
  • Watch your story if you’re doing an social media account takeover.
  • Swipe up to visit another page or go-offsite.

What other tips do you have for telling your story in post captions, especially on Instagram?

Also — if you’re interested in checking out StitchFix, use my referral code so you get $25 to spend and I get $25 to spend. My closet and checking account already thank you!

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