It’s a hard balance to strike when trying to captivate an audience with your Instagram captions and photos. On one side of the spectrum, you want the world to note how your subject looks through your personal lens. You want the world as your audience to feel what you feel and think what you think when you look at the photo. On the other side of the spectrum, you want to tell the world through a brilliant caption of your photo. After all, the caption is everything.
Imagine looking at three different cheeses. Let’s say, for the sake of this example, that the cheeses in front of you include Havarti, Gouda and Brie; all of which are very different. Because the cheese is physically present with you, you can taste the cheeses and know why they are different. Now let’s say you want to post a picture of the cheeses on Instagram. How are you going to tell everyone else, or even your own mother, just what makes them different through a picture? You do it through your caption. Here’s how to come up with the best captions for describing even the most seemingly dull subjects.
If your aim is to communicate the photo to a select group of people, like your friends and family, your Instagram caption should be dictated by what would be of interest to them. If you were to post something like “Crushing Havarti like Pavarotti,” you would have to assume that your audience knew that Havarti is a cheese and that Pavarotti, the opera singer, is a large figure. The likelihood of them understanding that you’re eating enough cheese to become a large Italian man isn’t great. So, in an effort to not lose your audience, try speaking in their vernacular, their lingo, their language. You could try something like, “One more bite of cheese and I’ll be as nutty as it is.”
Your audience is scrolling through what could be hundreds of photos in a very short period of time. Your window of opportunity for getting their attention is very limited. Make the most of the time with a caption that can be read in just a few seconds. The last thing you want is for them to take one glance at your picture, barely notice it and head off to their HydroWorx Fitness Pool without even really looking at what you were trying to communicate. Brevity is your friend in a caption. Think one sentence. Think simple. Think focused.
Let’s go back to the cheese example. I’m sure you were hoping I was done with that sample, but it’s a perfect illustration of a not-so-thrilling topic that can be made interesting through a fun and witty caption. For example, for the photo with a half round of Gouda replacing your own smile, you could say, “This Gouda is good-a!” It’s cute, simple and a product of witty genius. The point is that you don’t want to be filling up everyone else’s phones with a picture of a dead leaf and say in your caption that the leaf is dead. That would be rather dull, right? Emily Vanderbeek of Independent Fashion Bloggers has some great examples of how to make your Instagram Captions less dull and more follow-worthy.
So the next time you’re working up a new photo and trying to create a caption that will capture the attention of your followers, consider who it is you’re talking to, what it is you want to say in just a few words and how you can say what you mean in a way that is inviting and fun. May your captions be full of less snoring and just a hint more cheese.
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