We've all come across them. Those beautifully laid out Instagram posts, aesthetically pleasing and full of engaging and interesting content. Broken up into digestible nuggets of information, each paragraph sit apart from one another, a select number of emojis have been used and a satisfactory amount of white space manifests throughout the post.
But how the hell do these other accounts make their captions look so damn good? Pleasing to the eye, it's also worth highlighting that these posts tend to perform much better when it comes to audience engagement. That's why it can get incredibly frustrating when you come to replicate the same kind of thing on your feed and Instagram refuses to play ball.
So today I thought I'd talk you through some tricks that I've picked up along the way to help you curate the perfect caption and take your social feed to the next level. Instagram is becoming increasingly fast-paced, so if you want to improve your engagement, then your captions have got to read well. After all, nobody is going to wade through a stack of text when they can easily swipe to the next post.
1. Use symbols as line breaks
Ok, there are two tricks behind this one. Instagram doesn't technically offer the option of a line break, but that hasn't stopped us creatives from finding ways to cheat the app (and we all love breaking the rules sometimes).
Firstly, you can use a symbol. It's a super simple and easy way to incorporate a break into your caption. Use a dot, dash or emoji - whatever you fancy - and this extra character will act as the space you've been looking for. It's such a quick way of breaking up your caption and if you're in a rush, it's definitely worth popping in.
With just a simple full stop, @laurenastondesigns frequently breaks up her captions and they look great!
2. The invisible line break
If you're after something cleaner and more minimal, the invisible line break may be the way to go. You may have tried to achieve it in the past but watched as your caption jumps around and doesn't do what you want it to! You'll be happy to know then that there is a secret way to insert an invisible blank space into your caption. Here's how:
Copy the invisible blank space in between the two pineapples below.
Wherever you're writing your Instagram captions - either the Insta app or some other scheduling software - just insert the blank space wherever you want a line break. If you usually use your phone, add this special number of spaces as a word in your phone dictionary so it's easy to use when smashing out another post.
Paste multiple times if you want more space in between your paragraphs and make sure you don't add in any extra spaces after the last word in your paragraph, otherwise the blank space trick won't work!
Just take a look at @studio.cotton's feed for an idea of how the use of a line break differs from using a symbol. Aime creates this effect by using the Later.com scheduling app where you don't need to enter the magic spaces above. Simply write your caption in the app and push it to your device. BUT make sure to post it without editing the caption at all in Instagram otherwise you'll lose those line breaks!
3. Don't be afraid to use emojis
There's no need to be scared. Now a staple part of digital culture, emojis have managed to shake off their immature rep, as more and more business accounts integrate them into their online presence. But how do we know when it's the right time to use these little icons of expression?
Well, make sure you they are relevant to your content ( or at least mildly relatable). Nobody wants to see an aubergine when you're announcing the launch of your latest collection of pastel mugs, so it's worth drafting up your caption and adding in a few emojis as the finishing touch. Of course, it's important to not go OTT, but the perfect balance of emojis is a great way to jazz up your text.
Check out @sophiecarefull for the perfect balance between emoji's and text.
4. Use hashtags wisely
Loading your captions with hashtags is not only a waste of characters, it's also a bit of an eyesore. That's why lots of people will advise you to pop your hashtags into the comments section below your post and be done with them. This will make your post look a little cleaner, but I do always think it's still worth including your key hashtags in your main caption. Not only will this indicate the type of content you share, you are also creating a direct link to any other posts you have created; a portfolio in essence.
@paperbyher always makes sure to include their own personal hashtag in captions, but choose to separate more general hashtags into the comments below.
5. Be mindful of the character limit
Before you head off to jam your caption full of line breaks, emojis and hashtags, it's worth bearing in mind the text limit on Instagram posts. At 2,200 characters, there's plenty of space to play with, but you'll be surprised at how quickly this fills up.
Take the time to consider what it is you want to say alongside your image and what you think your audience want to see. Sometimes, short and snappy posts get the most reward, but if you time it right and put together a much more engaging and longer post, your audience are sure to appreciate the time and the effort. Have a play around, find out what fits you and run with it.
That's enough about captions for one day - I hope you found it useful! If you want to see more of what I do, then head over to my Instagram for a nosy. Otherwise, I'll see you here next week for another fun and insightful blog post.