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How To Write Engaging Instagram Captions (6 Copywriting Tips With Examples)

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How do you write scroll-stopping instagram captions? In this article, I’m going to share 6 copywriting tips with real life examples that you can use to skyrocket your engagement. Be sure to read to the end for a my quick list of favorite social media tools!

Hey guys! It’s Alex, so happy you’re here!

If this is your first time on my blog, welcome! Make sure to also head over and hit subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any videos from me! And ring that bell to be notified when my next tutorial goes live – next week, I’ll be talking about 8 profitable income streams for copywriters and online entrepreneurs!

I’m super excited about this week’s post because it’s one that a LOT of you have been asking me for: how to write KILLER social media captions!

Now, it took me awhile to release this because, I’ll be honest, I’m a big believer in only teaching things on the Internet that you ACTUALLY have put into practice and have real results and evidence to back it up.

I don’t typically write social media captions for my clients as I stick to the higher level key conversion assets like sales pages, webinars, and websites.

BUT…

If you follow us over on Instagram @CopyPosse, then you might’ve noticed that we’ve been seriously killing it on content over the past few months. HUGE shoutout to my amazing social media team.

We’ve been experimenting like crazy in our posts and stories with different designs, formats and techniques to grow and engage our audience…

And we’ve been growing like crazy. In fact, we’ve more than doubled our following in the past 3 months alone and just this week we crossed the 10,000 mark. So, instead of doing a standard “how to write Instagram posts” tutorial and show you what everyone else is up to, I am going to share our own best performing posts and the proven strategies we’ve followed to boost our following and engagement dramatically.

First things first, like all types of copy – Instagram captions too need to follow the ABCs of copywriting.

One, they need to get ATTENTION, with a great graphic and compelling headline.
Two, they need to provide a BENEFIT or value, in the form of education, entertainment or inspiration.
And three, they need a strong CLOSE. They need to give people one clear and concise CALL-TO-ACTION.

Copy that? And now, here they are….

6 tips for writing KILLER instagram captions, along with real life examples from the CopyPosse.

Tip #1. TO GET MORE LIKES: Share A Relatable Story

My most liked post of all time is this one.

 

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It’s a known fact that actual photos of people do typically get more likes – especially for personality-based businesses like me. So, yes, while this photo of me did help grab attention, I opened the caption with a strong and relatable question: “What if my client doesn’t like my copy?”

This speaks to one of the biggest insecurities that copywriters have, no matter how long you’ve been doing this! And it’s a question I get a lot.

In fact, this post was inspired by one of my Copy Posse Launch Pad students who was feeling a bit derailed after a client sent back her work with a bunch of edits and comments.

So, I shared our quick exchange with my Instagram community because it was real, authentic and 100% RELATABLE. I knew other people would benefit from hearing that even experienced copywriters, like myself and my high-level coaching students, have doubts sometimes and have to deal with less-than-glowing client feedback.

So, rather than trying to pull content out of thin air, as much as you can, share real stories… and be as specific as possible! Remember, the more specific your story, the more relatable your copy.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to create polarity, take a strong stand for something you believe in or own up to your imperfections.

Nothing engages people more than a story that validates their own concerns, doubts and fears or speaks to a shared cause, mission or belief.

Tip #2. TO GET MORE SAVES: Share Your Fave Tips & Tools

My 3 most SAVED posts of all time all share one thing in common – they are short, educational lists of my top copywriting tools, copywriting courses and copywriting books.

 

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These types of quick “top 5” or “top 10” lists provide insider tips and invaluable shortcuts on a topic that is highly relevant to your followers.

Also, there’s something about lists that we humans just love, am I right? It’s scientifically proven that people are attracted to lists and listicles because they are simple and provide easy frameworks for people to process information quickly in our otherwise oversaturated and overwhelming information age.

On top of a compelling headline and clear list given in the caption that supplements the graphic, we also include clear CTA to comment YES below for us to DM you the links.

Or sometimes we’ll include a “Save For Later” banner directly above the Save ribbon button. One effortless click is all it would take so that there’s no pressure for the follower to make a decision — they can always revisit the post in their folder later.

Tip #3. TO GET MORE SHARES: Post A Thought-Provoking Meme or Quote

Ah, yes the biggest crowd pleasers of all — memes and quotes. Both are punchy, straight to the point, and offer a quick burst of fun. Just like a tequila shot.

Memes have the ability to unite us using the universal emotion of humour. There’s no better way to do this than through satire of real life.

And while quotes may have gotten a bad rap lately by those spreading over-simplified, stolen and sometimes painfully cliche wisdom, the numbers don’t lie. People LOVE quotes.

The bottomline is, both memes and quotes are indisputably powerful and shareworthy, especially when they are relevant to your audience and speak to their sense of identity or belief-system.

For example, this is my most shared post. It’s a funny quote and speaks directly to our identity writers.

 

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Here’s a meme post that was shared a lot too. Again, it brings us together through humour and a sense of belonging. What people think copywriters do, vs what we actually do.

 

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While memes and quotes are punchy, you don’t want to overdo it. One of the best ways you can distinguish yourself from just another random meme account is to mix up your content and when you do share a quote or meme, use the copy in your caption to provide context and even more value to your followers… and don’t forget your call to action!

Tip #4. TO GET MORE COMMENTS: Ask A Simple Question

One of the best ways to get your followers to comment is to get them to answer a question, of course! But keep it quick and ask a question that requires very little effort. I like to include the question in the graphic as well because don’t forget we’re in the scrolling generation!

You can ask them a multiple choice question, like I did in this post where I asked my followers to let me know where they are at on their copywriting journey.

 

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If you are keeping your question open ended, make the question painfully easy to answer. Like in my most commented on post where I simply asked my followers to tell me where in the world they’re from!

 

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It requires very little effort, is easy to answer and evokes a sense of pride and identity!

These types of posts are great to easily engage your audience as Instagram’s algorithm tracks and monitors engagement. The higher your engagement, the more likely your posts are to be seen by more people. Again, you don’t want your entire account to be these types of posts, but they are a great way to get conversation going and have a little fun between your heavier content posts.

Tip #5. TO GET MORE LEADS: Provide Valuable Resources

Because Instagram prohibits hyperlinks in their captions, it can be challenging for brands to lead followers directly to their website through regular posts without requiring some serious interest and manual effort from the reader.

Those 3 little words “link in bio” require a surprising amount of effort, which means you better be giving people a damn good reason to stop their scrolling, go to your profile and click the link in bio to then leave the app altogether, access your website and take your ultimate desired CTA to sign up or buy something.

With that being said, social media can still be a great source for leads. So see this as a great opportunity to put on your marketing and copywriting hats and ask yourself this question:

What can I give my followers that’s SO good that they’ll stop what they’re doing right now and leave Instagram to get it.

You want to share highly valuable and relevant resources that help them solve one of their most pressing problems.

For example, this is one of my posts that led to the most amount of link clicks.

 

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As you can see, it’s a visual of my Hot Offer Checklist. While the video offers a tangible preview of what you’ll get when you click the link in bio, I didn’t stop there. The caption brings the heat. I open with a strong question headline, offer tips on how to get the most out of this free resources and end with a clear CTA.

Btw, you can grab your copy of this checklist here.

Tip #6. TO GET MORE ENGAGEMENT: Make It Playful & Have Fun!

The best posts of them all are the ones that get likes, comments, shares AND saves. These are the posts that keep people coming back for more and boost your following like mad. My most engaging post across all metrics was this Power Words post.

 

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Power words are a copywriter’s supertool when it comes to giving your copy some needed pazzazz.

So in this good ol’ fashioned word game post, we listed down some common adjectives and offered alternatives that can evoke more emotion and action. We then asked our followers to fill-in-the-blank and find a better word for: Increase.

These types of posts are quick and easy to answer, evoke our human competitive nature, add value and give your audience the opportunity to interact with you in a fun way.

By mixing up the style, format and design of your posts — while following the ABC copywriting rules in your captions — you’ll boost your engagement and following in no time! Plus, you’ll have a fun, creative and exciting feed that keeps people coming back again and again and again.

Before I let you go, here is a a quick list of go-to social media tools we use here at the Copy Posse:

#1 Canva – I’m obsessed with Canva for it’s user-friendly, totally customizable and super gorgeous templates and design. This platform has been a saviour for my copywriting agency and academy. I use it for absolutely everything — worksheets, branded Statements of Work, social media posts and YouTube thumbnails!

#2 Pretty-Caption.com – this simple web tool is a game-changer for formatting instagram captions. Whereas the native Instagram app often removes paragraph breaks and turns your caption into one crammed-up long ass wall of text, this tool makes sure your captions look exactly how you want, beautifully spaced and aligned. To use it just paste your caption into this free tool first and before copying it into Instagram.

And last one, #3 Later App – Later is great for you to schedule your posts in advance so that you can plan your content timeline, preview your feed before posting and manage all your social media profiles in one handy app.

Watch This Instead:


 

Okay, that’s it from me this week! Leave me a comment below if you found this article helpful! As always thanks so much for reading.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss my video next week.

I’ll see you again soon with a brand new post, until then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!

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