In spite of the popular belief that Instagram is purely a visual platform for marketers, influencers, and consumers, the caption you create for a post can have a tremendous impact on your engagement rates. Here are some of the most common captioning mistakes you might have made in the past with your brand’s Instagram posts and ads — along with some helpful solutions to improve engagement in the future:

No Caption at All

Some brands rely heavily on paid Instagram campaigns and follower growth from website traffic, but these alone are not sufficient to get your posts in front of enough viewers. Even if you’re in a hurry to churn outposts on a near-daily basis, it’s always preferable to include a caption rather than throwing an image on your brand’s page and hoping enough followers see and like it.

Hashtag Overload

You may have noticed other brands doing this before: #everything #seems #to #be #hashtagged #even #if #it #doesn’t #need #a #hashtag #!!!

Rather than hurting your audience’s eyes with a caption drowning in hashtags, be sure to start out your caption with an engaging message written in plain English (then follow up with a couple of well-chosen hashtags so you can at least increase your post’s viewership rates).

Boring Captions

Even the highest quality, relevant images can’t make up for a terrible caption in an Instagram ad campaign. If your photo or video is spectacular, then why settle for a dull, everyday caption (or blatantly sales message) when you can take some extra time to come up with a witty or engaging caption to accompany your post?

Long Captions

Did you know that Instagram users and business profiles tend to use longer captions – even when studies show that shorter captions are more effective when it comes to boosting engagement rates? A 2018 study from Quintly found that posts with 1-50 characters (out of the 2,000 character limit) receive the highest engagement rates, though a majority of posts use at least 300 characters in their captions. For best results, try incorporating a variety of lengths in your captions to figure out which length is best for your target audience.