How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions

how to write engaging instagram captions @mickeytwist

Instagram captions are more important now than ever. Gone are the days when you could post a beautiful photo with a single emoji as the caption and get the engagement you want (unless you’re Kylie Jenner). Use this guide to write more engaging and meaningful captions.

Nowadays, your audience wants to see the personality behind the profile, they want to connect.

Your Instagram caption can’t be an afterthought to the image, it needs to have priority.

But writing good captions can be really hard. And it can be exhausting to always be trying to come up with interesting ideas when you have a photo you want to share.

Micro-blogging has even become a big trend, and two masters of it are @thebirdspapaya and @jennakutcher (see below). It’s a great way to connect on a deeper level with your community.

the birds papaya instagram
jenna kutcher instagram

The Formula

Context + Personality + CTA = Killer Caption

The context comes from the relation between the photo and the caption, it also comes from posting within your niche. From there, make sure that you are letting your personality shine through, and don’t be too formal.

Next, add a CTA (call to action). A simple call to action to comment or like your post can go a long way when trying to drive engagement. You can ask the reader to “double tap” if they agree with your post, or ask them a question to encourage more comments (more engagement on your post, the more people that will see it #instagramalgorithm). Keep it simple or less people will likely participate. It can also go further than Instagram by inviting the reader to check out your website, sign up for a newsletter or shop the post!


Write an Engaging First Line

There is a lot of importance on the first line. Not only will readers decide if they want to read on after the first couple words, but Instagram only shows a short line before the reader needs to click “more” in order to read the rest. Therefore, your first line is very important in capturing the reader. Make it interesting enough that the reader needs to know more!

Have a Caption Notepad

It can be extremely difficult to come up with meaningful captions on demand. I recommend making it a habit to recognize when you have an idea, and jot it down in your notes on your phone. Even elaborate on the concept in the moment if you are in a writing mood. That way you will have a list of ideas and ready-to-use captions for when you have the perfect image! Or the caption may even inspire the image, even better!

Don’t Forget Emojis & Line Breaks

This one’s pretty simple, but I really like to use emojis to add a pop of colour, grab the readers attention and make the caption more readable. Just don’t over do it!

Line breaks are also really important to make the caption more easy to read. It’s a lot more difficult to read one big paragraph. All you have to do is hit “enter” twice when you want to add a line break, just make sure there is no space after the last letter before you click “enter” or it may not work.


Coming up with captions may be hard at first, but it’s important. And the more you make it top of mind and record ideas when you have them – the easier it will become. Captions cannot be an afterthought! These are just a couple quick ideas, but they will make a difference.

Tag me in your post if you try out my tips, I’d love to give them a read! And comment below if you have any more tips or tricks to improve Instagram captions.

Don’t follow me on Insta? Follow along here to see me using this formula on my own posts (or call me out if I’m not doing it lol)!

Do you have any social media questions you’d like me to cover? Feel free to comment below or use the form here.

Hi!! I'm McCall, a lifestyle blogger from Kelowna, Canada. Here you will find tips drawn from my personal experiences on a little bit of everything - style, skincare, adventures and healthy living!




Leave a Comment


  1. Jen Meyer wrote:

    Great post McCall! I often do a quick google search of a theme/image I post to give me some ideas and inspiration. Sometimes a great quote fits the image perfectly, but to your point, you need to incorporate your personality as well. Do you think a call to action is important for your average instagramer with no real agenda?

    Posted 4.27.20 Reply
    • mccallcapozzi wrote:

      Thanks Jen! I agree, sometimes a great quote is perfect. This post is definitely more so for those people who are trying to sell, improve engagement, increase followers etc. For your average Instagrammer just using it mostly fun? Do whatever you want! A CTA is definitely not important, unless you want to start a conversation with your audience!

      Posted 4.29.20 Reply