Seven types of short Instagram captions to grab your followers’ attention.

When digesting text online, people often skim rather than carefully reading the content. This practice certainly applies to social media posts like the captions on your Instagram posts. To have an engaging social media presence, you need to immediately grab your audience’s attention with an exciting Instagram image and caption. Do this right and you’ll have a far better chance that your audience will pause and notice what you’re saying, and perhaps even read the entire text accompanying your posts. That’s why it’s important to know when and how to use attention-grabbing, short Instagram captions for your posts.

This blog post is a guide to short Instagram caption styles that you can use to impact, influence, and delight your followers.



Why short Instagram captions are important.

Short and sweet. This should be your mantra when it comes to captions on your Instagram photos or graphics. Why? Short captions are instantly digestible, which is critical if you want to communicate quickly to an audience used to fast scrolling. This is true for both the text that appears overlaid on images and the text captions that appear beneath the images.

If you overlay text onto your Instagram image, select your words carefully. You don’t have a lot of room, so remember to keep it short. Also, your text needs to be large enough for your audience to read. The more words and characters you include, the more crowded and busy the image becomes. This makes it hard for people to read.

Don’t make your followers work to consume your content. Instead of overlaying text on an image, it can be better to elaborate on the image by providing a short caption underneath the Instagram post.

Most people quickly scroll through their feed. Keep your caption under two lines of text so your viewers can easily read it without having to click “more”. Clicking adds another action and again, you want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to consume your content.

If you do have a lot of important information to share, you can start your post with a short Instagram caption and elaborate once you’ve succinctly captured the viewer’s attention. Think of your short caption as a headline of sorts.

For example, you can write, “New Recipe!,” if you’re a food blogger posting a new recipe or “Weekend Sale!” if you’re a retailer and want to announce items discounted for the weekend. Write #mood, which is a common one-word hashtag caption for Instagram selfie quotes.

Examples of short Instagram captions.

There’s a whole world of options when conceptualizing your short Instagram captions. Write captions that best represent your brand’s personality and voice. Here are some examples of short Instagram captions to consider.

One-word Instagram captions.

Making a statement in one word is bold, to-the-point, and provocative. A single word caption can be an impactful way to convey an important thought or message, whether it’s for a business or a personal account. A one-word Instagram caption can be presented as a single hashtag, a single word (with or without punctuation), or an emoji. Consider these examples the next time you want to write a one-word caption:

Call-to-action short Instagram captions.

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Be direct. Telling your followers exactly what to do is a great way to get results. A short call-to-action (CTA) caption is powerful, and it works well in Instagram Stories, especially because you can include a link for the viewer to click.

Always start your CTA caption with a verb. Here are some examples:

Informative short Instagram captions.

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An image alone cannot always convey all the important details you want to share. Here’s where informative short IG captions come into play. These captions tell the reader more about what they are looking at or why it’s important for them. Check out these examples of informative short captions:

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There are times when you might notice and want to jump onboard with (or even start) a short Instagram caption trend. This is often in the form of a hashtag and can be connected with an idea (#cocktailsofinstagram, #wanderlust), event (#coachella2022, #superbowl2022), location (#islamujeres), classification (#glutenfree, #vegan, #madeintheusa), or feeling (#summervibes, #selflove, #obsessed). Since it’s in hashtag form, your post will be searchable by that hashtag and will appear in all subsequent searches for that hashtag. In other words, you’ll instantly be grouped with all the cool Instagram kids of the moment.

Funny short Instagram captions.

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If humor fits with your brand or style, funny Instagram captions can help endear your followers to you and keep them looking for your posts. If you’re going to use humor, it’s important to understand your audience. Only you know whether your followers will enjoy a post of you, dressed for a black tie event, with a caption that reads “I woke up like this.” Most important is that your image and caption make sense together and, of course, are amusing. Here are some ideas for pithy, funny Instagram captions:

Inspirational and motivational short Instagram captions.

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There’s a never-ending stream of positive affirmations on social media. And why not? Who doesn’t like reminders that melt your heart, make you smile, heighten your confidence level. Positive captions give yourself and others a break from doom-scrolling.

These good-vibes captions can surface in the form of graphics featuring short quotes (think “You are enough” or “A goal is a dream with a deadline”) or text captions under the image. Just captured a cute selfie? Go ahead and write “Feeling myself” in your selfie captions!

Cute short Instagram captions.

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People like cute things. Puppies, kittens, little kids being little kids. Basically anything adorable inspires people to stop and take in the cuteness. Cute Instagram captions have a similar “Awww” factor. For example, that “I woke up like this” quote becomes an extra cute caption when paired with a fuzzy duckling, a funny bed-head selfie, or even the pair of PJs you’re trying to sell. Add “Made with love” under your cupcake image and viewers will have an extra warm feeling about your sweet treat, even if they aren’t viewing it with an empty stomach. More examples?

Writing captions to fit your brand style.

Now that you have an idea of the various types of short Instagram captions, it’s time to think about how to use them in ways that fit your brand or style. There are all kinds of ways to make Instagram captions your own.

If your short captions are integrated into Instagram photos or graphics, they can be stylized to reflect your brand by thoughtful choice of fonts, graphics, and layout.

This is especially easy to do if you use free graphic design tools, such as the Adobe Express Instagram post template. The app allows you to upload your own image or graphics and add text in any variety of fonts, sizes, colors, and styles. Adobe Express also has free templates if you don’t want to start from scratch.

If you relegate your captions to the text area that appears beneath the images, you can customize them with text style choices. You might try all caps, all lowercase, or all emojis. You might mix emojis with words to add personality and make your words stand out. Maybe you want to add a space in between each letter of your one-word caption, such as the popular G I V E A W A Y.

As you begin thinking about what to write, remember that the best Instagram captions are easy to understand and engage the audience, whether you’re showcasing a pic of you and your best friend, autumn leaves, or your latest product.

Also, see how people react to your Instagram caption ideas and act accordingly. A little trial and error will give you clues as to whether your insta captions will benefit from riffing on famous song lyrics or the addition of a cupcake emoji.

It’s these little things that make the difference between an okay Instagram account and an engaging Instagram account. With a little practice, you’ll be writing cool captions in no time.

Learn more about how to craft engaging Instagram captions.

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