Welcome to the Anatomy of a Perfect Post series from Metigy. This series shows you how to create the best content across the most popular social media platforms. In this edition, we cover everything you need to create that perfect Instagram post. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect Instagram post. But there are some best practices that can improve your engagement over time. We have gathered some simple tips to put your Instagram strategy on the right track. If you want to know more about how the Instagram algorithm works and how you can leverage that knowledge to increase your followers and conversions, check out this video from Dominik DeCoco. Let’s get started!
Instagram caption best practicesSometimes that perfect Insta caption might just pop into your head. But most of the time, you might struggle to find the perfect words. Here are some quick tips to help you nail that caption every time:
- Write multiple drafts: Try drafting a few versions and ask your colleagues which they think is best in a poll. Remember, your first draft isn’t always your best.
- Put the important stuff first: While the character limit for captions is 2,220, the text gets cut off after a few lines, so make sure to put the important stuff first. If you’re short on space leave hashtags and mentions till the end.
- Always include a CTA (call to action): This is really important: you always need to encourage your followers to take action. This can be by asking a question, directing people to a link in your bio, or by saying “double-tap if you love this pic!”.
- Use humor if it’s on-brand: Humorous captions tend to perform well, so don’t pass up a good opportunity for a pun if it fits your brand’s voice.
- Use emojis: emojis can add a little uniqueness to your captions, and even the more serious brands tend to use them.
- Short and sweet: This should be your default setting because social media is by its nature a concise platform. Long posts should be the exception, not the rule.
Hashtag best practices for InstagramWhile everyone has their own unique hashtag strategy, here are a few pointers to help you keep your posts both discoverable and readable: Don’t use too many: while there is no right answer, in general you should try to use less than 8 hashtags per post. Make sure you only use hashtags that are relevant. The post below features a great pic, but uses the limit of 30 hashtags which can distract from the quality of the pic and seem a little spammy. Create a branded hashtag: this is a great way to make your brand stand out from the crowd. Keep it short and easy to understand. Herschel Supply Co. uses the branded hashtag #WellTravelled which is now one of the most popular hashtags for travel photos: Go niche: the more generic a hashtag, the more competition. By picking hashtags that are more specific, you are more likely to get engagement. Keep the hashtags readable: when used in the caption text, make sure the hashtags don’t interrupt the flow or distract the reader.
Imagery best practicesWhile captions and hashtags are important, Instagram is all about the imagery. Your photos can make or break your Instagram post, so make sure they are on point by following these tips: Tips for taking photos:
- Use natural light – you need to make sure your picture is well-lit but not overexposed.
- The rule of thirds – this is a great way to position objects in the photo. Start by dividing the frame into a 3 x 3 grid. Now, position the subject of your photo in the center square, where the lines intersect.
- Choose one focal point – don’t clutter the photo with unnecessary noise. The example below focuses on the detail they wanted to highlight, the sash and straps of the dress, rather than overwhelm users with showing every intricate detail: