Most social media platforms limit your characters. Although Instagram’s limit is gigantic (2200 characters), only the first few lines of what you write is shown to your followers unless they click to see more. Why? Because if you don’t captivate your followers in the first few lines of text, the words beyond likely don’t matter. 


Instagram's algorithm favors posts with high engagement. In other words, when you get lots of comments, likes and saves, Instagram will show your post to more users and possibly even place your post on the Explore Page! 

So how do you write copy for Instagram your followers will want to read and, more importantly, engage with? Use these 8 tips and watch your engagement grow!

1. Value your followers more than yourself.

Can we tell you a secret? Somewhere, inside of everyone, is a desire to be in the spotlight. It’s why your story < your follower's story! In other words, spend less words talking about you and your shop and more words talking about your follower. 

2. Tell your followers how your product will make their life better. 

You think your products are great, right? We hope so! Here’s the thing, you have the curse of knowledge. In other words, you know how your product will positively impact others, but your followers likely don’t. Don’t shy away from telling them! 

3. Write for clarity over creativity. 

Woah, hold the phone. Aren’t handmade shops known for creativity? Absolutely! In an attempt to be creative, though, you run the risk of losing all clarity. You might be surprised how simple clarity can lead to sales. 

4.  Call your followers to action. 

Don't assume your followers know what you want them to do with your Instagram posts. Call them to action! Tag a friend, double tap, raise your hand if, comment below, follow link in bio, buy this… just remember, never tell your followers to “like” your post. 

5. Tell a story. 

Everyone loves a good story. Your followers are no exception. Find ways to tell the story of your handmade business, a customer who had a great experience with what you sell, or a behind scenes look at your biz. 

6. Use hashtags.

Hashtags quickly make your content visible far beyond your followers and bring in a whole new audience to engage with your content. Instagram not only allows users to search for hashtags, they can now follow hashtags as well. Don’t be afraid to mix it up by using hashtags within your post, after your post, and in the comments of your post. Just don’t use too many—you’ll look desperate, or worse, spammy. 

*Check out Later’s advice on Hashtags:
Adding hashtags to your Instagram caption is a great way to make your caption even better, but be careful about how many you add! Too many hashtags (more than 3-4), can make your caption look spammy, and it draws attention away from the rest of your caption.
Instead, add your Instagram hashtags to the first comment on your photo after you’ve posted it. Claiming the first comment keeps your caption clear and concise, and helps your followers focus on the words and your message instead of the hashtags.
If you have your own branded hashtag to promote, you don’t want it to get lost with all the other hashtags you’re posting!
Posting your hashtags in the first comment is also important if you want your followers to visit the link in your bio. 
After reading your caption, your goal is to have them click to view your Instagram bio and then click on your link. If you have multiple hashtags in your Instagram caption, your followers may click to browse the hashtags instead of click to visit your link.
How to hide your Instagram hashtags in the first comment:
  1. After posting your photo, add a comment
  2. Add the dot symbol, dash, or asterisk each on a separate line
  3. Add your hashtags all together (Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post)
  4. Now, when your comment appears in the thread it will look like […] and your hashtags are not visible to your audience.
Posting all your hashtags in your first comment makes your Instagram caption look less spammy, keeps your audience invested in the message of your Instagram caption, and ensures you get all the visibility you can from your hashtags.

7. Toss in some emojis. 

No, we’re not suggesting every post be littered with emojis. That said, there is value in these little pictures. They’re fun, recognizable, and have a way of catching the eye of someone who is quickly scrolling through Instagram on her phone. According to Quintly.com, the use of emojis leads to 47.7% more interactions on Instagram--woah! 

8. Go beyond your brand. 

Your brand is the main thing, but the face behind it is important too! Don’t be afraid to give your followers a glimpse into your life outside of the brand. There’s a reason Steve Job’s biography was the top selling book for most of 2011. People want to know about the creator as much as they do the creation.