Keep Your Aesthetic 100: Our Tips for Cool IG Captions

Keep Your Aesthetic 100: Our Tips for Cool IG Captions

I watched Bullitt the other day, and I got to thinking  – was being cool just easy for Steve McQueen? Or was it a series of calculated, conscious choices that just looked effortlessly cool?  The latter probably led to the former crescendoing into what we know as just his total vibe.

In the case of McQueen, being cool had a lot to do with his choice of things – a turtleneck sweater, a pair of sunglasses, a 1968 Mustang GT. They’re really obvious, real things we can point to in order to feel, look, go across as cool. That kind of cool is easy to identify because we can see it.

But what if we made a choice to be cool with our language?

Being cool with language can be hard because you’re making a lot of assumptions; the first assumption is that the reader will know and understand your reference without explanation – they just get it; two, that your choice of language makes sense in this respective context without leaving unanswered questions.

Being cool with language is not so much about actually being cool – you should have given that up in the 10th grade. It’s about being confident. Or – better yet – living confidently as a brand. And people buy into confident every, single time.

Why should we care though? Because the social media space is crowded; feeds move fast; posts pop up constantly; messaging gets lost in the mix, forgotten, abandoned. You need to capture a reader’s attention quickly, and you do that with confident language every, single time.

And plus – it’s just damn fun. And we don’t have fun with language anymore.

Instagram is one of today’s hottest platforms; one of the obvious places where cool is dominant for several reasons – I like it for businesses because every post is a good dance between the visual and the verbal, or language/copy/caption.

We’re launching a once-a-month series where we’re breaking down several of the world’s trending expressions and giving you and your business some go-to ways to use them in one of the world’s most trending platforms these days.



Relateable – Obvious – and an HR gem – It means ‘when you can relate to someone.’

Keep it 100 – Translation: Keeping it honest.

TFW – That feeling when…

Aesthetic –  Translation: My vibe. Example: My aesthetic is…

Extra – You’re extra if you’re over the top, excessive, too much.

V – Simple – stands for ‘very.’


CASE STUDY: If you’re a restaurant…

We don’t know about you but we like to be extra with our guacamole.

To keep it 100 with you, we ran out of our blackberry swirl ice cream. Don’t worry though, we will be ready for you on Monday with a whole new batch.

CASE STUDY: If you’re a retail shop…

We’re V excited that our new line of t-shirts is out NOW.

Our aesthetic is women loving their bodies; OR – Our aesthetic for the day is wearing all black everything.

CASE STUDY: #Hashtags…

Spilling coffee on yourself while trying to pick up the baby and answer the phone at the same time. #relateable

(NOTE: Pair with a picture of something exciting) #TFW you open another location and had to tell everyone about it.

(NOTE: pair with a picture showcasing a new drink) #TFW the @panthers play this afternoon and you have a new Panthers Coffee. That’s right… black and blue coffee.

A quick tip: Stop using so many exclamation points; your brand’s new service offering is most likely not a birthday party; one, well-timed exclamation point is fine, but sentence-after-sentence ending in exclamation points is just too much.

In the meantime...

grit, imagination, adventure, soul, good stories, solid advice or maybe a kick ass book rec. we're bringing you all that - in your inbox. sign up right now to receive one lickety-split. (we need to bring that expression back right now.)

You have Successfully Subscribed!

want to stay in the know?

What are you waiting for? Enter your email address now to receive our monthly newsletter that features stories we love, people we love even more, and tips to fuel your own writing.

you have successfully subscribed!