Have you ever had the perfect picture for Instagram and have no idea what to put as a caption? Maybe you don’t even care about it. You should, though. In this post, we’ll tell you why captions are important and share with you 35 Instagram caption ideas to stand out.
Why Instagram captions are important
Instagram has always been known for being a very visually engaged social media. Photos have a great protagonist and lately, so do reels. In fact, the head of Instagram has made clear they’re no longer a photo-sharing app, instead, they aim to embrace video more broadly.
With all that in mind, you might think, who cares about captions? You might just write something at the moment and don’t give it a second thought. However, this is a major mistake. Captions offer an opportunity to provide context to your post and, most importantly, engage users.
Before jumping right into examples, let’s see some things you need to consider to make the best out of these ideas:
1. Know your audience
Generally speaking, social media is a place to relax, unwind and have fun. So memes and jokes tend to be super welcomed. However, different audiences have different senses of humor and will appreciate different references. So before writing a joke, make sure to know your audience will get it and laugh along with you. Stories are a fantastic way to achieve that: ask questions with stickers and polls.
2. Use hashtags and emojis (moderately)
In the same line of thinking, forget about super formal language. This is not an email. So feel free to add smiling faces, hearts, and hashtags. It’s always a good idea to check what’s trending.
However, please don’t overuse any of these. One emoji every now and then it’s cool, ten emojis on one post are super weird.
3. Use emotions
Humans are emotional creatures and nothing drives more attention than content that talks to people’s hearts. So whenever you write a caption, try to think about the impact of your words and how the other person might feel when reading it. If it’s boredom or not any particular emotion, well, it’s time to take a step back and rethink your copy.
4. Be consistent
When you deliver messages constantly, it’s best to always maintain the same tone. Using a consistent tone in your Instagram captions helps you develop a brand voice or your personal voice if you have a personal Instagram account. Anyway, if you find a certain way of writing and talking to your followers that feels just right, replicate it! One influencer that has great consistency in his posts is Joe Ando. Check his account.
35 Instagram Captions to Stand Out
Finally, let’s get to it. 35 Instagram caption ideas to stand out from the crowd and grow faster. I divided them into categories so they’re easier to find.
Most of them are ideas you can model and recreate to adjust to your account and target audience. Since social media trends are always changing, giving you captions to straight-up copy-and-paste will only lead to clichéd and therefore ineffective captions.
General captions for any Instagram account
The following captions work just as well for personal accounts, influencers, business accounts, and pretty much any Instagram account.
1. Make a rhetoric question. “Is there anything tastier than this?”.
2. Tell a story. Add some context to your photo, is it an important moment for you? Why? Maybe you’re in your studio and use the opportunity to write “I was fourteen when I started painting [and tell the story]”. Storytelling is one of the best ways to engage with an audience.
3. Quotes. A classic. From songs, movies, or books, any piece of art is a great source of Instagram captions to stand out. My personal favorite place to find quotes is GoodReads. Here’s one about new beginnings: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ― William Faulkner.
4. Write a short and sweet caption. Sometimes the most effective copy is simply a word or short sentence directly related to the image. That way you create intrigue and they feel the need to pay more attention to the picture and therefore the whole post. “Funny you say that”. See what Glossier does in its posts.
5. Ask questions to drive engagement.
6. Write a caption saying thanks to someone. Be grateful for your followers, your family, or another company you’re working with. “Shout out to everyone who supported me when I first started”.
7. “In my defense, I was left unsupervised”. Perfect for that video or photo where you’re being goofy.
8. Use memes. Everyone loves memes, and most of them have some sort of caption. For example, again, if you’re being silly in the picture, you might also write “my parents when they were my age [did something mature], me: does this”. Wendy’s uses memes marvelously. If you want to see more of Wendy’s captions, follow its Instagram. Avoid doing it when you’re hungry, though.
9. “Monday morning vibes” followed by a picture of something that reminds you of Monday. The caption could be funny or not depending on the picture you choose. Some people preferred to be inspiring and that works too! Chewy celebrates the weekend with a picture of a cat and the caption “Feeeeline good about this weekend 💅”.
10. Be super confident. “If I ever let my head down, it will be just to admire my shoes”.
11. Provoke your followers to change and be better: “Hey you! The world has changed, there are bright futures waiting for you with our lessons. The world changed. Have you?”
12. Be blunt. Social media tends to be shallow and get stuck in inspirational quotes and promises of flowers and rainbows. And although that’s totally understandable- you can never be fully honest to an audience of strangers- you can try to be real with your followers every now and then.
“When you’re in your 20s the only thing that you think about is loving what you do. But what people don’t tell you is the struggle. Even if you do what you love, there’ll be awful and sad days.”
Captions for the Holidays
13. Celebrate Woman’s day by being sassy. “What’s a queen without her king? Historically speaking, more powerful”.
14. Celebrate Christmas with a twist: “Dear Santa, let’s not talk about this”. Or maybe “One little candle can light up an entire room. Or set it on fire. This Christmas, be careful with your candles.
15. Remember Valentine’s Day! The ideas to celebrate it are endless, head to this post where we shared some of the best ones.
16. Some holidays are more important than others depending on your niche. Find a holiday that’s closely related to what you do and make a post about it. For example, if you make food, celebrate Word Potato Chip Day. “What better way to honor this day than getting some chips?”
Instagram captions for businesses
17. If you’re a small business, tell the story of your first sale.
18. Talk about your team!
19. Use the word “free”. For example, free shipping.
20. Create urgency. It could be a limited edition product or a 20% discount until Friday.
21. Provide a solution for their problems. Show them what’s in for them: Useful for going out with friends or partying. Add a touch of gold to your day with #FerreroRocher.
22. If you provide a service, tell people how you adapt to each client.
23. Share how your most popular product was born.
24. Share your business value and philosophy.
25. Tell an inspiring story of something that changed you or your brand.
26. Use the hashtag #TBT.
27. Tell about the ups and downs of your business.
28. Talk about myths and facts. “Myth: knitting is for old ladies. Fact: knitting is fun and anyone can do it”.
29. Share your brand’s goals.
30. “This is your sign to get a [product]”. And to check out Starbucks on Instagram. You’re welcome.
31. Invite people to vote on something. It could be what product they like more. You can also make a competition with your followers.
32. Make a DIY or tutorial.
33. Share testimonials from clients.
34. Tag a friend. Netflix shares a scene of one of its shows with the caption “tag the friend that would give you this advice”.
35. Take a moment to talk about current issues that your company cares deeply about: it could be women’s rights, global warming, animals’ rights, anything! Showing that you care about this, helps to humanize your brand a lot and connect with people.
So there you have it. Next time you’re feeling stuck and don’t know what to write as a caption, come to this post. I also recommend following the accounts I mentioned to get some inspiration. They really know what they are doing. After all, social media is also a place to promote businesses, and it’s your duty to keep potential customers engaged with a creative copy.
What’s your favorite caption idea from the list? Do you have any to add? Tell me in the comments!