— March 8, 2019
Instagram is a photo sharing social media app with well over 800 million users worldwide. Out of all of their users, Instagram estimates that there are about 500 million active daily users. That is a wide range of people to engage with if you’re a business owner.
Besides being the third most popular social media platform, Instagram is also a shopper’s paradise. A stunning 72 percent of users reported buying something they saw on the app, and the social media site is quickly becoming known as the place to browse for people who enjoying purchasing luxury items.
The goal many business owners have is connecting with their audience through social media marketing. Instagram is primarily designed for sharing photos, but you can include captions to go with the images you post. Your captions can improve audience engagement and increase sales if implemented properly. Instagram’s latest algorithm change rewards those with high engagement, so there’s an incentive for reaching a wide audience and having them engage with your brand.
We are here to show you some great techniques to improve the quality of your posts and boost engagement.
Ask for Opinions
People absolutely love sounding off, especially if the topic is controversial or trending. If you want to get people talking on your posts, pose a question that will start a conversation. Your question should be short and concise. Instagram typically cuts off caption text after three lines. Users then have to click “See More” to view the rest of the caption.
If you start out with your question at the front of the caption, people are far more likely to respond. Here’s a great example of asking a question from Starbucks.
Considering that Starbucks has over 17 million Instagram followers, it’s no surprise that people were willing to start a conversation about their favorite coffee. Look at the nearly 160,000 likes on this one post!
Use Your Brand Voice
Every business is a little different. One thing they all have in common is they all have their own unique voice that distinguishes them from the competition.
When you’re writing your Instagram captions make sure you’re thinking about the voice you’re projecting and how your fans may perceive you. One of the best examples of how using your brand voice helps boost engagement can be seen in this Old Spice post.
Old Spice is basically known for being over-the-top silly in their advertising campaigns. If you were scrolling through your Instagram feed you would have to stop and doubletake at a man “playing” with a shark. They top their hilarious image with a caption that fits their brand to maximize their chances at engagement.
Create a CTA
Your goal on Instagram is to improve your sales through user engagement, right? Well, all those potential customers will never convert if they don’t know exactly what you would like for them to do.
Make sure you include a clear call to action (CTA) in your Instagram captions on photos where it makes sense. As you can see below, Wendy’s has a clear CTA in their post alongside a picture of a tempting Junior Bacon Cheeseburger (JBC in the ad.)
The call to action for customers is that they should install the Wendy’s app on their smartphone to score a free cheeseburger. This will open up the door to further engagement in the form of push notifications for special offers as well as special coupons on social media for those who have the app installed.
Give a Shoutout
Another excellent way to increase engagement and bring people closer together is by giving shoutouts to everyone who helped you along the way. It doesn’t matter if you are tagging an influencer, a customer who gave you a shoutout, or even just someone who took the photo you’re sharing.
Here’s a prime example from National Geographic. Notice that they give the shoutout front and center, which opens up a line of communication between the person tagged and everyone who follows them. As a result, you’ll gain new followers, link clicks, and deeper engagement on your posts where you tag someone who helped with the image.
Social media marketing can be tricky. You should always try to reach your audience by giving your brand an authentic voice, posting pictures with a call-to-action, and promote something that your potential customers will find valuable.
As your social media page grows, you’ll discover that Instagram is geared mostly towards people who want to be entertained. If you nail your tone and message, you’ll have increased engagement and conversions as you update your account. There’s no doubt that social media is going to continue to grow as time passes, the sooner you get in and get your account established, the better.
Your captions should teach, inspire, and make your audience smile. A happy audience is one of the keys to a successful business.