Ever wonder why your photos don’t attract as many likes and comments even when you almost bent over backward just to get that shot?

Rest assured that it doesn’t mean that you suck as a photographer. 

But if there’s one thing you should remember if you want to thrive on social media, then it’s the fact that content will always be the key. And this means every piece of content matters… and this extends even to your words!

That’s why we’ve always been a firm believer that while your photos are what catches your audience’s eyes, your Instagram captions are what will make them stay.

Sure, they may just seem like that one line or block of text under your photos. “Who reads those?” you think. Well, most of your audience probably will.

That’s why your Instagram captions are not something you can conjure up in 20 seconds, no matter how much of a wordsmith you are.   If you’re still on the fence about it, here are 5 tips on how to write captions that compel your audience to engage!  


1. Ask yourself if your Instagram captions are telling your story


Yes, your photo is definitely the eye-catcher. But you shouldn’t stop right there. You could be doing so much more with this piece of content. No matter how much you scored the perfect lighting or how great the angle is, your audience will still be left clueless without a caption.

Hook them right in with the most interesting story behind the photo. Start with an anecdote or tell people what you learned from the moment that photo was taken.

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Ever wonder how you are going to overcome obstacles in life? Looking at problems and disappointments as if it is a boulder field.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Who doesn't? Like you I have to face problems every day in business and in life. Sometimes I feel like giving up and just walk away. Somehow I always manage to motivate myself to continue, keep a smile on my face and hope in my heart. Keep in mind that no matter how difficult the boulders are you are climbing now, once you reach the top of the mountain you are climbing you can look back and enjoy the view. The big boulders have turned into small imperfections in the landscape you are enjoying. And let's be honest. A perfectly smooth horizon is a bit boring.

A post shared by Peter (@thebeukering) on

Feel like you’re simply rambling? Take a look and double think if each word is actually relevant. It helps to see if your caption has the potential to make an impact on your audience’s lives. Social media is already filled with a lot of fluff so make sure yours add value.  



2. Know your brand voice and have some fun


Consistency is oftentimes the key. Do you love storytelling and prefer writing long captions? Or did your short, straight-to-the-point Instagram captions won your followers attention in the first place?

Take this post as an example. Tea Crush consistently writes short and straight-to-the-point captions to complement their upbeat photos. So when their content pops up on their followers’ feeds, they won’t be expecting a long inspiring story on their recent adventures.

Rather, Tea Crush’s content seems more like a quick mood boost that complements the brand’s healthy product offers. And since Instagram thrives as a fun and youthful platform, mixing your brand voice with Instagram’s can be a great way to catch people’s attention.

Emojis are the key to catching your audience’s eye while wit is what captures their hearts. Add some personality with punny captions for Instagram and replace words with emojis to mix it up like what Shani Yoga did in her post below.

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Today's practice theme for me was exploration, both of my body and emotions. I'm pretty flooded by them ever since we're back home for several reasons, and between the movements I started crying and I kept moving even though tears dropped down my eyes. When I finally lay down in Savasana I just felt so much relief, that I was also thankful to my soul for starting to express itself when it needs to 🙏 Day 5 of #MayWeGiveSomeLove is all about splits, and my inspiration for today is the gorgeous @seonia ❤🙏 My beautiful photo was captured by @ljbnyc1 🙏🙏🙏 • Don't forget to check out my lovely co hosts @yogi.bree @carolineanneyoga @geeoice_yoga And our amazing sponsors @aloyoga (my outfit 💗) @alo.moves • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #yoga #yogalove #yogi #yogaeverydamnday #yogisofinstagram #igyoga #instacool #iloveyoga  #yogajourney #backbend #backbends #yogagram #splits #yogapractice #yogachallenge

A post shared by Shani Yoga (@shani.yoga) on


3. Learn to prioritize


Nope, this isn’t a productivity tip. What we mean is that you should know how you’re going to start your caption. When browsing through Instagram, you’ll notice the word “more” in some of the captions’ first line. 

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When we first visited Portugal 3 years ago it was a lot quieter than it is nowadays. Lisbon was at least. It seems tourism has picked up. ⠀ ⠀ In the past 2 months, we visited the area of Lisbon 3 times. We have noticed a big increase in visitors. Even in the offseason, it felt more crowded than in peak season 3 years ago. ⠀ ⠀ Just outside of Lisbon center is an area called Sintra. There are a lot of castles and beautiful hills like in this picture. The main and most visited castle is Pena Palace. But make sure to also visit some of the other gems hidden in these hills. Also hidden in these hills is @penhalongaresort with a beautiful golf course. The best location to explore Sintra for sure.

A post shared by Peter & Steph | Luxury Travel (@touristexclusive) on

Not everyone will be willing to read through everything. You have three to four lines to prove to them that your content is worthy of 2 minutes of their day.
Make the most out of it. Know which information to prioritize and what will hold their interest the most.

4. Use hashtags strategically


Hashtags are a lifesaver when it comes to introducing your content to new people. Use them sparingly though since it can be an eyesore to some (even bordering spammy!).

Take this post as an example. Jolien just used three hashtags yet she still grabbed over a thousand likes. This is because she used hashtags that are commonly searched on the platform and words that are relevant to her caption. She placed the rest of her hashtags in the first comment to not spam her caption. 

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HOW TO SET AND REACH YOUR GOALS ⚡️ . Yay it's Friday! I like to use my weekends to rest, but also to get a head start on the next week: . ✔️I like to take a moment to reflect on the past week: what am I grateful for? What can I do better next week? Set new goals for the next week: be honest with yourself and write them down clearly. 🖊 I like to write down my goals as if I have already accomplished them, for example: "I train 4 times a week" and not "I want to train 4 times a week". . ✔️This way, you send a positive message to the universe and to yourself. Visualize yourself accomplishing your goals and I promise you, you are more likely to succeed because mentally, you already did it. . ✔️Last but not least: take the time to recharge. I mean it. We are only human and we're not made to be 'on' all the time. Be brave enough to let it all go once in a while. . Have you got any tips on how to set and reach goals? Any plans this weekend? let me know! 💗 . 📸 @morriscoumans . #goalsetting #dreambig #metime

A post shared by Vegan Fitness & Mindset Coach (@jolien_brx) on


If the main goal of your content is to get as many likes and comments as possible, adding in more is ideal. However, it’s best to add these in another comment and not in the caption itself.

Use apps that suggest popular hashtags. Randomly writing words with a # in front isn’t as effective as you might think. It’s best to know the popular ones that are also relevant to your post.

And did we mention we also have a free ultimate guide to hashtags? If you’re having a hard time finding the right hashtag to boost your visibility, then we got your back!  

And lastly, put them all in the first comment instead of the caption itself if the number of your hashtags are worth a paragraph. This can keep your Instagram captions clean.

5. Don’t forget the CTA


Adding value is nothing if someone won’t take action. Think of a speaker who gave an inspiring speech, moved the hearts of audiences but at the end of the day, not a single one took action because they didn’t know which direction to go.

No matter how witty or inspiring your post may be, you still need to guide your audience. That’s where your call to action or CTA comes in.

Here are the different kinds of calls to action you can try:


* Ask a question

This is best for increasing engagement. Everyone is a storyteller deep down. Asking them to share theirs can start a conversation.

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Every day as part of my gratitude practice I talk about things I'm grateful for during the day. ✨⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ When I'm tucked in bed and Peter (@thebeukering) and I slow down after a business day we talk about the things we are grateful for that day. I compliment him for little things he's done during the day or I say out loud what feeling I had while relaxing in the pool: "I'm so thankful I get to spend my days in freedom and decide what I do and when". ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ You might see me hustling a lot or hear me talk about all the things I juggle but after all, I do it for the freedom. The freedom to choose my life, my path. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ I count my blessings every evening in bed. What about you? Tell me what you are grateful for so that we can attract more of it in our life ✨👇🏼⁣⠀

A post shared by Stéphanie┃Transformation Coach (@stephanie.smolders) on


* Direct them to a link in your bio

This works wonders when you need to promote your product or want to increase your clickthrough rate. 


* Invite people to tag

It’s a great way to reach audiences that you haven’t tapped yet. People often use this during giveaways to compel them to really tag someone. 


We hope this gave you the inspiration to focus on creating the “perfect” caption. Did an idea come to mind?

Tag us on Instagram (@beehavesocial) so we can read your captions 💕!
And if you need help with your Instagram captions, we’ll be more than happy to help!   

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