You already know how to get a postcard-perfect photo on your smartphone. You’ve framed your photo just so. You’ve picked the most fitting filter, adjusted the exposure, turned up the luxe. You even know the best color for getting more likes. Your Instagram post is ready to face the world—right after you think up a caption.
If you’re looking for likes, picking great Instagram captions could go a long way. HopperHQ, a program that lets you schedule Instagram posts, analyzed the million-plus photos from its users and found certain Instagram captions were more likely to get likes than others. HopperHQ users don’t necessarily represent all Instagrammers, but it can’t hurt to keep these factors in mind if you’re trying to build followers:
Hashtags are quite literally designed to get your picture more exposure, which means more likes. HopperHQ found out the most popular hastag is #love, with 1.017 billion posts on Instagram already. Tag your photo with it and you can bet you’ll show up in a stranger’s search feed. Not feeling the #love? Other popular options were #instagood (544.2 million posts), #photooftheday (389 million), #beautiful (363.1 million), and #tbt (357.8 million).
Beware of wordy posts—your followers probably think shorter is sweeter. Photos that required users to hit “more” to see the whole caption got 15 percent fewer likes and comments than when the text was fully visible. No need to hold back if there’s a particularly moving story behind your image. But if you’re just showing off that lipstick that makes your lips look amazing, a few choice words will probably suffice. Try one of these hilarious selfie captions.
Photos with emojis in the captions tend to get more likes and comments than ones without, according to HopperHQ. Just don’t go overboard. Captions with more than three emojis can be harder to read. And when people are scrolling fast, the last thing they want is to try to Rosetta Stone all those little pictures you’ve added.