You work hard to edit your Instagram Reels, add the best transitions, and pair them with the right audio to make it pop. Now all you need to do is write captions for your Instagram Reels before you hit post. Sounds simple, right?
Not so fast! A good Instagram Reel caption can make or break your post. A good caption shows off your personality, adds context, entertains your followers, and can even compel them to take action.
Captions also give the Instagram algorithm more information to help categorize your content and share it with more viewers. Think of each caption as another opportunity to connect with your audience.
Read on for our top tips and sample captions for Instagram Reels.
Bonus: Claim your pack of free animated Instagram Reels templates created by Hootsuite’s professional designers. Easily customize them in Canva, and take your Reels game to the next level today.
6 tips for perfecting your Instagram Reels captions
Before we get to the captions, let’s go over some basics to keep in mind when you’re crafting your own captions for Instagram Reels.
1. Know your audience
It’s much easier to create effective content when you know what your audience enjoys. Dig into your metrics to see what resonates with your followers.
Are they here to learn something from you? Maybe they’re more interested in your observations, or maybe jokes land better with your target audience. Who are your most active fans?
You can even use Hootsuite Analytics to identify when your audience is most active, so you can be sure you’re posting at the best time to capture their attention.
Once you know what they like and when they’re watching, you can create Reels (and captions) accordingly.
2. Know the character limit
Reel captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, though Instagram adds a “… more” to your caption after 125 characters.
You can’t always count on people clicking to expand your caption, so keep it brief and avoid writing a caption that will get cut off mid-sentence.
If you’re going for a funny caption, make sure it’s shorter than 125 characters so the punchline doesn’t get cut off.
3. Test longer captions on short videos
Our experiment on Reels caption length found short captions most successful, but don’t discount the power of a longer caption! Your Reel will loop while people read the caption, resulting in a higher view count.
If you’re planning a longer caption, make it informative – people appreciate learning something new, and they won’t feel as though you wasted their time.
When writing a longer caption, make sure that the first sentence is shorter than 125 characters. Remember, Instagram adds a “… more” to your caption after 125 characters, so this ensures that your caption doesn’t get cut off mid-sentence.
4. Don’t go overboard on hashtags
Hashtags are a popular way to browse Instagram, but gone are the days of pasting a huge hashtag block at the end of every post.
So, how can you find the right hashtags for your content? A social listening tool like Hootsuite makes it easy to discover the right Instagram hashtags for your brand. Search streams make it easy to see which hashtags are the most popular and the most effective.
Instagram is constantly making changes to its algorithm. The best way to keep up is to review your Instagram analytics on a regular basis to see what’s performing well. Keep an eye on trends and experiment with different types of captions until you get the results you want.
6. Experiment with AI
If you’re struggling to come up with captions for your Instagram Reels, there’s no shame in asking a friendly robot for a little help.
Hootsuite’s OwlyWriter AI is a built-in creative AI tool that you can use to:
Write a new social media caption in a specific tone, based on a prompt
Write a post based on a link (e.g. a blog post or a product page)
Generate post ideas based on a keyword or topic (and then write posts expanding on the idea you like best)
Identify and repurpose your top-performing posts
Create relevant captions for upcoming holidays
To get started with OwlyWriter, sign in to your Hootsuite account and head to the Inspiration section of the dashboard. Then, pick the type of AI magic you want to see in action.
For example, if you’re not sure what to post, click on Get inspired. Then, type in the general, high-level topic you want to address and click Get ideas.
OwlyWriter will generate a list of post ideas related to the topic:
Click on the one you like best to move to the next step — captions and hashtags.
Pick the caption you like and click Create post. The caption will open in Hootsuite Composer, where you can make edits, add media files and links, check the copy against your compliance guidelines — and schedule your post to go live later.
And that’s it! OwlyWriter never runs out of ideas, so you can repeat this process until your social media calendar is full — and sit back to watch your engagement grow.
Easily schedule and manage Reels alongside all your other content from Hootsuite’s super simple dashboard. Schedule Reels to go live while you’re OOO, post at the best possible time (even if you’re fast asleep), and monitor your reach, likes, shares, and more.