Use Instaspacer to Clean Up Your Captions

Clean up your captions with Instaspacer

One of the most annoying things about writing extended captions on Instagram is the absence of line returns between “paragraphs.” You can clean up your captions with Instaspacer.

I’ve been wondering why. Instagram envisions itself as an image-sharing platform, it didn’t consider the needs of a blogger. The mechanics of inserting a clean line return isn’t top of mind for them.

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Great to get out in the cold, sunny 🌞 weather today! I feel like I've been glued to my computer for the past three weeks! 💻 . . Have you ever had a bad dream, only to realize it wasn't a dream? 🌌 I created a slide deck on Kanye West for my digital marketing class. The assignment was to analyze a social media celebrity. I thought I was presenting next week. 🌟 . . I was shocked to see my name listed as one of the presenters lined up for TODAY. 😱 I had not rehearsed my presentation AT ALL. So it ran two minutes over the time limit. ⏱️ Not good. . . The good thing was coming home knowing it was over, so I was able to go for a walk.🚶‍♀️Saw lots of piles of dirty snow, ❄️ and very few flowers. 🌺 The cold has taken a toll on the plants. 😿 . . But it was nice to see the fake flamingoes out in full force. 💗 This one seemed to be making a nest! . . Have you ever been caught unprepared? How did it turn out? I hope it was a better experience than mine! ☺️ . . #Hellebores #lakewashington #flamingo #nest #pinkflamingo shot with #pixel2xl #googlepixel2xl #pixelphoto #pixelphotography #madrona #seattle #flowerstagram #flowersofinstagram #flowersoftheday #returntoschool . .

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I’m seeing more people write longer captions to go with their images. Some give up the fight and write a solid block of prose. Others employ various methods to create a space between thoughts

In the examples above and below you can see:

  • Line return
  • period
  • Line return
  • Period

Typing a period on a fresh line, then hitting a line return and then typing another period and another line return will do the trick. The advantage of this is being able to compose the caption directly in Instagram.

Sometimes Instagram will ignore one of the “line return – period” so doing it twice ensures you will see at least one line of space between paragraphs. The sample that follows shows an enlarged example of the extra periods and line returns.

Instaspacer

I recently came across an application called Instaspacer that is the answer to this problem. There is a caveat. You have to type your caption into the Instaspacer app, then copy and paste into Instagram. It’s pretty easy. After you write your caption, click one button to copy it.

Many of us are already using at least one external app before posting into Instagram, so it’s not that big of a deal. And the benefit is worth the effort.

With Instaspacer, the line returns are retained when they’re copied and pasted into Instagram:

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Today was my first official day off since the quarter ended. It felt great taking my last two finals yesterday! 😊⁣ ⁣ It was great to see a long time friend and celebrate her birthday. 🍰 Each year is a gift. She lives in a houseboat on Lake Union, and much of the day was warm and beautiful. 🌅⁣ ⁣ Houseboat neighborhoods are mostly organized by docks with maybe 20 houseboats on each dock. The houses are completely surrounded by water that is deceptively deep – maybe 20 to 30 feet? (6 to 9 meters). There are spaces between them, often filled with moored boats belonging to the home owners. 🛥️ A large boat passes by on the lake, and the waves lap at the dock. It’s a really special way of living in Seattle. 🌊⁣ ⁣ I was ready for this break. The past three months have been intense, but gratifying. I can’t remember feeling so unsure of myself — so full of doubt — as I have since re-entering school. 🏫⁣ ⁣ For me, the whole point of going back to school was to learn stuff I didn’t know before. So I told myself I wasn’t going to care about my grades — the focus would be on the quality of what I learn. 🔎⁣ ⁣ The only problem with that notion is that it’s my nature to be competitive. So it became apparent that it wasn’t enough to simply learn. I want to get good grades, too! ✒️⁣ ⁣ Nine days until spring quarter starts. 🌱And as for my grades — they’re now in the hands of my professors. 👨‍🏫 I hope I did well!⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Photos: Central District Koi; spring flowers; Lake Union houseboat ramp; Houseboat on Lake Union⁣ ⁣ #pixel2xl #pixelperfect #koi #centraldistrict #seattle #flowers #flowersofinstagram #flowerstagram #cherryblossoms #lakeunion #houseboats #urbanlifestyle

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The clean spaces between paragraphs appear!  Very nice!

So if you decide you want to try your hand at blogging within the framework of Instagram, check out Instaspacer, available on both iPhone and Android. You’ll be happy you did!

For more information on Instagram captions, check out: Do Captions Make a Difference? 

MORE ABOUT TERRI:

Her store on Alki Beach: Alki Surf Shop
Terri Nakamura Design
Terri Nakamura on Twitter
Alki Surf Shop on Twitter
The Horsfall House on AirBNB
More by Terri Nakamura

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How to Use Tools to Automate Your Instagram Scheduling

 

Instagram Scheduling

For a long time, it wasn’t possible to use automation for Instagram scheduling.  People could use an application called Buffer that would send reminders that it was TIME to post an Instagram update, but that was as far as it went.

Other applications got into the game. One of the main issues is, it is hard enough to manage content on your phone, so apps like Buffer made it possible to control things from your PC. It was a big game changer as it also allows collaboration by members of a team.

It has been shown a regular posting window can be beneficial in terms of one’s audience on Instagram. You begin to encounter some of the same users in a specific time window. For example, I have a tendency to post pretty late at night (anywhere from 9 PM up until midnight), so that means many of my followers and those with whom I most actively engage are either night owls in the United States (except Hawaii, which is 3 hours earlier!) or those in Asian, Europe or even in the southern hemisphere.

So predictable posting times can work in one’s favor if cultivating a dedicated audience is one of your objectives. Buffer is able to schedule   photo posts as well as video updates including captions and hashtags.

Deck Platforms

There are scheduling and monitoring/engagement “deck” platforms similar to Twitter’s Tweetdeck, with Hootsuite being a long-established and versatile application for scheduling/monitoring; engagement with content; and allows oversight of specific account streams, hashtags and more.

Hootsuite is an expansive tool and allows connection to myriad social accounts if you have a paid subscription. Otherwise, free account users are allowed three connections and basic analytics reporting and message scheduling. Some of the additional social profiles that can be used with Hootsuite include  Facebook profiles/pages/groups, Twitter pages, LinkedIn profiles/groups/companies, YouTube, WordPress and Instagram accounts. It’s also possible to connect to Tumblr, Flickr and others.

A few other  Instagram scheduling apps you might wish to explore include SkedSocial, OnlyPult, BufferGram (soon to relaunch as BUSY.IO) and AutoGrammer.

https://skedsocial.com/

 

 

 

https://onlypult.com/

Again, Buffergram has announced on its website that it will be relaunching as BUSY.IO

http://buffergram.com/

https://www.autogrammer.com/

One or more team members, or accounts?

If you are new to Instagram, or work as a social media assistant to a small business, it is important to note many apps have free versions for a single user.

If you are working with a team with numerous people curating content, it may be worthwhile to investigate Enterprise or Team options. Also, depending on your needs, services such as Buffer and Hootsuite allow scheduling and monitoring across many platforms. Click the links to find out more.

For information on other useful tools, check out How to Monitor Your Instagram.

Feature Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

MORE ABOUT TERRI:

Her store on Alki Beach: Alki Surf Shop
Terri Nakamura Design
Terri Nakamura on Twitter
Alki Surf Shop on Twitter
The Horsfall House on AirBNB
Terri Nakamura on Instagram 
More by Terri Nakamura

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Do Instagram Captions Make a Difference?

Do captions make a difference?

For the most part, I would say 90 percent of those I follow provide informational captions, identifying what is in the photo, or maybe adding a few hashtags. So I’ve wondered — do captions make a difference?

Those who delve into more storytelling generally garner a greater response from their followers.

But the single thing that makes the most difference (in my opinion), is an acknowledgment to any comments that are made.

Let’s take a look.

@sensastone

Sensastone

@Sensastone is in Sweden, and he has become one of my favorite friends on Instagram. We have some really great conversations about the world and the forces at play, whether environmental, political or otherwise. He has fewer than 3,000 followers today, but here is something amazing — the center picture above has 688 likes and 216 comments, which is phenomenal engagement. He responds to comments in such a thoughtful way, it blows me away sometimes. In fact, his engagement was so epic that I realized I needed to something to change up the way I was sharing.

Here is the caption and hashtags that accompanied the center photo:

sensastone

The Abominable Snowman😆😆😆 :
:
#winteriscoming #winterishere #winterday#winterpic #winterwonderland #picoftheday#ice #sun #sky #photooftheday #instagood#feelgood #freshair #weekend #snow#instapic #instapics

Influencers and Captions

My wonderful daughter-in-law, @queenhorsfall, along with the next three people are hugely successful influencers on Instagram. @queenhorsfall has more than 60,000 followers. She, along with @ryanintheus, @helloterumi, and @shilpiboseofficial collaborate with sponsors in various capacities.

In addition to posting sponsored or personal content, @queenhorsfall consistently posts Instagram stories and they are available to view in the category circles you see on her profile. (Examples above: Cooking, Apps, Malta, 2 Days, Sale Alert, Netherlands, Shop, etc.)

Captions are necessary when posting content that has been sponsored by a company or entity and in the U.S., are required by the FTC. (Federal Trade Commission)

Queen Horsfall

@queenhorsfall will sometimes write an extended caption and enjoys tons of positive feedback no matter what she shares. In this instance, she received 3,243 likes and there are 73 comments on this post. The caption and hashtags that accompanied it:

queenhorsfall

Love this photo of me & my partner in crime @andreeabirsan_ 👭Tag your favorite bestie for an inspiration 📸 #bffgoals #pfw #lfw #jfw #sfw #mfw #bfw#twinsisters #streetstyle #winterfashion

@queenhorsfall

RyanintheUS

Seattle via Australia friend, @ryanintheus tells epic stories on his Instagram, and his case, captions make a difference.  Also, note the small black circle in the lower left corner of the image below because it signifies he has tagged a person (or persons) in the post. He received 1,949 likes and 182 comments. The #sponsored hashtag means he has posted this in collaboration with a sponsor.

Note: when viewing Instagram on the web, you can hover over an image to quickly view the likes and number of comments, as shown below. This is a post by Ryan that had amazing engagement. It appeared with the italicized caption below it.

ryanintheus

Excerpt: A lot of people talk to me about the importance of the father, daughter relationship given I’m a single dad with 50% custody of a seven and a half year old daughter. As they should. With all that’s going on in the world, more than ever we need dads to be modeling to their daughters what a real man looks like, so that when they grow up, they know what to look for… (For complete post, click here.)

HelloTerumi

Another Seattle friend, @helloterumi, below shares a sponsored post for Fage yogurt. Terumi and I have partnered with #VerizonWireless as #brandpartners. On the post below, she received 423 likes and 32 comments, which I’m sure will make Fage happy because of the engagement, and also the earned media this mention adds to the share.

The FTC has pressured companies who partner with social media influencers to ensure their content is labeled as an ad, promotion or otherwise sponsored post. Note the first hashtag in her caption below.

helloterumi

#ad Are you making health a priority in 2019? I am! And I’m so glad FAGE Total Split Cups are helping me with this-especially now that the have 30% less sugar too. Find out more about the “less is more” philosophy I’m working on this year on the blog☝️and I’d love to hear about your goals for this year too! 👇 @fage #SplitCups#30PercentLessSugar #FAGE

ShilpiBoseOfficial

The final example is @shilpiboseofficial. Shilpi and I have been friends on Twitter for more than 10 years. Shilpi is and has always been a beautiful woman, mother, wife, and friend. Who knew she would become “Mrs. India!” Since then, her  Instagram feed grew so significant that there was a need to create an offshoot account for her fans.

Shilpi’s post garnered 3,246 likes and 81 comments

shilpiboseofficial

This year 2018 has created a big impact in my life. Followed my passion, worked extremely hard, been upset, tried to give up, went through ups and downs, highs and lows. Achieved success, some dreams came true. Been genuinely happy, learned to find happiness within myself. Learned so much about people and how only few people are real and good to you. If you’re there in my life, believe me I value you. 
2018 will always be close to my heart & I am grateful.
Sporting a @sheinofficial @shein_in tee! Never a basic girl!
Photo courtesy: @dhavalgajjarphotography .

To caption or not caption?

Since I began posting extended captions to my instagram posts, my engagement has increased ten-fold. I attribute the increase to a couple of things:

  • Stories that are personal, interesting or informative can be rewarding and invite connections with fellow IGers.
  • By asking those who are viewing whether they have thoughts or experiences that are similar or different can cultivate conversations and also grow the relationships you create on Instagram.

So for me, captions make a difference.

Strategy

In many cases, micro influencers who are being compensated in some fashion have received suggestions regarding possible content points to make in a given post. Sponsored content will often read more “ad-like” than a personal post. @RyanintheUS is definitely exceptional!

I’ll often have no idea of exactly what I will say when I post on Instagram, but I try to tell a story where the images are there to draw in viewers. The images don’t necessarily relate directly to the captions. I line up the photos (usually I post 2 or more photos in a series), then write on the fly.

It has been great for me, but it can take a while and probably won’t work for everyone.  It would likely be easier if I composed the caption in a text document, then pasted it into Instagram.

But if you make a note of @sensastone’s very brief caption that perfectly reflects his personality and sense of humor, you’ll see you don’t need to write a novella. At the very least, take a moment to say SOMETHING about your images. It provides insights to viewers about what they are viewing!

Most important advice in captioning: be genuine.

_____

Check out this post for tips on how to Build Your Instagram Following.

MORE ABOUT TERRI:

Her store on Alki Beach: Alki Surf Shop
Terri Nakamura Design
Terri Nakamura on Twitter
Alki Surf Shop on Twitter
The Horsfall House on AirBNB
Terri Nakamura on Instagram 
More by Terri Nakamura

 

 

 

 

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How to Monitor Your Instagram Account

After Terri started her Instagram account, she didn’t monitor it for 4 or 5 years. She wondered how to monitor her Instagram followers? On Twitter it’s very obvious as the platform has built that dynamic and awareness into their interface. But at the time, Instagram didn’t make it very apparent.

Years after Terri started her account,she was likely still following all the same people. So she began to wonder about the satisfaction of a one-way street, or “following without reciprocity?”

In cases where people are famous, or they are creators of extremely unique content it’s not reasonable to expect a follow back, especially if you yourself aren’t famous or extremely unique. A mundane account that posts pictures of lunch, cats (or dogs), or family gatherings probably won’t appeal to someone with a large presence. (Except maybe if you’re related to them!)

Are People Following You Back?

So last year Terri began to research what tools are available. There is an overwhelming volume of apps out there!

Since she shoots almost all of her photos with a Google Pixel 2XL and spends most of her time on the Android Platform, she began by looking for apps on the Google Play Store.

Her personal phone is an iPhone, and she still uses it because it’s usually faster for catching a “moment.” (She uses her iPhone for the store account.

In her research, she found a blog post that lists “unfollow” apps on both platforms. She hasn’t tried all of them, but she was surprised by what she found.

Often, people don’t pay close attention to people that start to follow them. If you are in the process of building your account, remember you need to give others time to follow you back. Two weeks seems like a reasonable amount of time.

It’s hard to get a decent screenshot of searching on the Apple App Store, so below are a few screenshots of the apps mentioned by esocmedia.com.

Personally, this seems like a lot of work! If that’s your take too, don’t worry about it. Follower/Unfollower tools are mostly useful if you care about having followers who see your content. Those who view your content are most likely to engage with it, and engagement is a big part of enjoying the platform!

Do you use Instagram for business or for personal Enjoyment? What are your thoughts about it?  Please share below in the comments section. Thank you for checking this out!

For more tips, check out How to Build Your Instagram Following.

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How to Build your Instagram Following

How to Grow Your Instagram Following

Suggested

After you create a new account, you might wonder how to build your Instagram following?

Instagram will provide you with a list of people you might want to consider following. In your settings, under “Follow People,” it could take you to “Discover People” and several tabs which could include “Suggested”  “Facebook Friends” or “Contacts.” Suggested people often are people who are new to Instagram. They might not have many followers yet, so maybe you’ll be among the first to discover their photos.

You can follow those you know

Maybe you’ll be more comfortable adding people you know, in which case you might choose to add from “Facebook Friends,” or “Contacts.”

If you choose to follow the accounts of friends, then find you aren’t interested because you already see their content on other platforms, you can quietly “unsee” their content by “muting” them. They won’t know.

Search “landscape”

You can search for hashtags

Hashtags are great for attracting people to the topics you are sharing, or for you to find. If you go to “search” and type in a word or two that reflects what you are interested in, you’ll be able to find accounts to follow. In many cases, a percentage of people will follow you back.  For example, if you are interested in landscape photography, search for #landscape. You’ll be presented with popular images associated with that hashtag. You can take a look and see if there are any interesting accounts to follow.

You can also look at the people who are liking or commenting on the content of those you follow. If you were to follow them, there is a possibility they’ll also be interested in your content.

quickly build An Instagram following

Another strategy I’ve noticed new accounts employing is to follow as many people as possible. The reason I don’t recommend this is, in discussing with various users on the platform, new accounts with apparent imbalances between “followers” and “following” are frequently perceived as spam accounts. For example, if you have 50 followers but you have followed 1,500 people, many will look askance and avoid you, or even report you as spam. Spam accounts are frequently blocked. If enough people regard you as a spammer, you could find yourself locked out of your account.

Don’t buy fake followers

The final, and worst strategy is to buy followers to make your account look more successful than it is. Lots of famous people, under the misconception that the more fans and followers they have make them seem cooler. But platforms like Twitter and Instagram, periodically go through and clear out fake followers. This means accounts that inflate their popularity through artificial follower numbers benefit in only a temporary way, and have to reinvest money to maintain the illusion.

There are also tools and apps that users can deploy to automatically follow people, and apps that will unfollow people if they don’t follow back.

Bottom line – start slowly and have fun!

A best practice is to let your account grow naturally through organic following and engagement.  And importantly, it needs to be fun. If you enjoy it, you’ll stick with it. And if you stick with it, you’ll succeed!

________

For more tips, check out How to Monitor Your Instagram Account.

More About Terri:

Her store on Alki Beach: Alki Surf Shop
Terri Nakamura Design
Terri Nakamura on Twitter
Alki Surf Shop on Twitter
The Horsfall House on AirBNB
More by Terri Nakamura

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