Five Instagram caption mistakes people make
A picture is worth a thousand words. Yet, a picture-sharing platform like Instagram makes room for captions. Why? Could it be that a picture isn’t worth a thousand words after all?
Well, the truth is that for all the fuss around pictures and how they resonate better than texts with humans, they simply cannot exist without a block of text supporting them. In the world of Instagram, this block of text is what we call “captions.”
So, in simple terms, a caption isn’t something you create just for the fun of it. Instead, it’s meant to support the context of the image in your post. If you’ve been doing it differently from that, I’m afraid you’re doing it wrong. But that’s going to change from this moment.
Read on to discover some of the commonest Instagram caption mistakes people make (perhaps you make them too).
Excessive use of emojis
It is not uncommon to see people flooding their IG captions with emojis, so much so that their message even gets lost in translation. Yes, emojis are cool. In fact, they beautify your captions and help you affirm your emotions.
But guess what? Nobody likes to see too many of them stuffed into one post – they look out of place and meaningless. Some people even tend to take you for a joke when they see too many emojis on your post. They assume you’re just bored and decided to tap on as many emojis as you could.
Not to mention that not everyone is good with emojispeak. So when you stuff your caption with lots of emojis, they find it hard to understand the message you’re trying to pass.
Excessive use of hashtags
Without a doubt, a lot of us are on this table. In a bid to expand reach and gain more Instagram views, many bombard posts with lots of hashtags, so much so that some even get flagged as spam by Instagram.
This is really bad practice and should be stopped. A great Instagram caption is not one that contains all the possible hashtags in your industry-niche. But one that contains just a few hashtags, all of which are positioned at strategic locations on the post – like at the end of the caption or as the first comment on the post.
Captions too long or too short
The caption length is a tricky business. And no single person has the right formula. Although some experts might have you believe that a certain caption length is what is ideal for all your posts, the truth remains that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
What works for this post might not work for the other. And what seems too long for a post, might be too short for another. The best thing to do is to just understand the theme of a post and use that to decide upon the length of the caption.
For instance, while a post about a newly launched product might require a lengthy caption, to discuss in detail the features and benefits of products, a post about a discount offer might require just a few words caption.
Captions as mere descriptions
This is where most brand owners and marketers get the caption game completely wrong. They just go into the caption bar and type things that are already evident from the picture as captions. This is wrong! The caption bar is not meant for you to describe what’s in the photo or video – people can see that already.
Instead, your captions are meant to tell a story about your post. Stories like what inspired the photo. The amount of work that went into the creation. Some hidden secrets and facts about the content. And so much more.
Call-To-Action (CTA) wrongly placed
In the end, the goal of your caption is to drive people to do something. Maybe to go to your bio, visit your store, swipe to see more or do some other things. Unfortunately, some people just place CTAs randomly within a caption, making it difficult for readers to even see or differentiate their CTAs from the rest of the text.
Your CTA should not be mixed in the middle of hashtags, or lost in a pool of emojis. Instead, it should stand out for all to see. And the best way to ensure this is to place it within a strategic location in the caption. Depending on the length of the caption, a strategic location could be at the middle, beginning or end of the caption.
In the case of long-tail captions, wherein Instagram crushes captions using the “see more” feature, be sure to place your CTA close to the beginning of the caption.
The editorial unit