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How to Write AI Art Prompts [Examples + Templates]




Ever feel like crafting AI art prompts requires secrets and magic? How are all of these creative professionals creating stunning, mind-blowing visuals in tools like Midjourney and DALL-E when all of your prompts fall flat?

The reality is that creating cool AI art prompts isn’t as complicated as it might seem. With the right knowledge, you can use simple keywords and formulas to generate high-quality AI art.

In this article, we’ll break down how to write effective AI art prompts from start to finish. We’ll also offer up examples and templates that you can use to jumpstart your own AI art projects.

Looking to add generative AI to your social media flow? Check out OwlyWriter AI, Hootsuite’s very-own AI caption generator.

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Bonus: Get the always-up-to-date social media image size cheat sheet. The free resource includes recommended photo dimensions for every type of image on every major network.

How do AI art generators work?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of AI art prompt tips, it’s important to understand how AI art generators work. First off, generative AI applications are robots, not humans. That might seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that these generators don’t understand the world like you do.

AI art generators don’t know what an owl looks like in the wild. They don’t know what a sunset looks like in a physical sense. They can only understand details about features, patterns, and relationships within the datasets they’ve been trained on.

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Prompting for a “beautiful face” is not very helpful. It is more effective to prompt for specific features such as symmetry, big lips, and green eyes. Even if the bot doesn’t understand beauty, it can recognize the features you describe as beautiful and generate something relatively accurate.

To get the best results from your AI art generator prompt, you’ll need to give clear and detailed instructions. An effective AI art prompt should include specific descriptions, shapes, colors, textures, patterns, and artistic styles. This allows the neural networks used by the generator to create the best possible visuals.

How to write an AI art prompt

Now that you know how AI art generators work, it’s time to start crafting your prompts. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use when writing good AI art prompts.

1. Describe the content of your image

When writing an AI art prompt, you’ll want to be as descriptive as possible about the content of your image. Is it a drawing, sketch, or 3D rendering? Should it look like a photograph, or is something more illustrated?

Try starting your prompt like this:

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  • A photograph of…
  • A 3D rendering of…
  • A sketch of…
  • An illustration of…

2. Describe the subject

All AI art prompts should include a description of the subject you want to create. This could be anything from a person, animal, or object to an abstract concept or emotion. Get as specific with your descriptions as possible so the AI generator knows what to look for in its datasets.

For example:

  • An illustration of an owl…
  • A photograph of a president…
  • A 3D rendering of a chair…

Here’s a Midjourney AI art prompt for: “An illustration of an owl.”

four illustrations of brown horned owls in a grid

3. Add relevant details

Next, add detail to your prompt by including relevant information about the elements of your image. This could include anything from colors, color palettes, shapes, sizes, and textures.

If you want to generate an image of a bear, don’t just say “bear.” Explain what kind of bear it is (brown and black, grizzly or polar), its surroundings (a forest or mountain range), and any other interesting details.

For example:

  • An illustration of a red owl with bright blue eyes…
  • A photograph of a president wearing a navy suit…
  • A 3D rendering of a chair that’s round and yellow…

Here’s an AI art prompt example from Midjourney for: “An illustration of a red owl with bright blue eyes.”

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four images of red owls in illustrative and photorealistic styles

4. Describe the form and style

You’ll also want to provide details about the form and style of your AI art. This is especially important if you’re looking for a specific visual effect. For example, you might include keywords such as “abstract,” “minimalist,” or “surreal” to convey a certain artistic feel.

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Try this:

  • An illustration of a red owl with bright blue eyes in the style of abstract expressionism…
  • A photograph of a president wearing a navy suit with a minimalist look…
  • A 3D rendering of a chair that’s round and yellow in the style of cubism…

You can also use a specific artist’s name here to mimic their style. For instance, say, “Like Salvador Dali.” Or, mention an artist’s specific artwork, like “Like Andy Warhol’s Shot Marilyns painting.”

Here is the Midjourney result for “An illustration of a red owl with bright blue eyes in the style of abstract expressionism.”

four red owls in a grid in the style of abstract expressionism

5. Define the composition

Finally, you can use keywords to define the composition of your image. This includes things like resolution, lighting style, aspect ratio, and camera view.

For example:

  • An illustration of a red owl with bright blue eyes in the style of abstract expressionism with volumetric lighting.
  • A photograph of a president wearing a navy suit with a minimalist look taken from an aerial viewpoint.
  • A 3D rendering of a chair that’s round and yellow in the style of cubism with a resolution of 4096 x 2160.

Here is the Midjourney result for: “An illustration of a red owl with bright blue eyes in the style of abstract expressionism with volumetric lighting.”

four red owls in a grid with various expressions

With these examples, you can see how each image changes as the prompt evolves.

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Additional AI art prompt tips to consider

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when generating AI art from prompts.

  • Use keywords that the AI generator can understand. Don’t use overly complicated or uncommon words, as the AI’s neural networks won’t be able to recognize them.
  • Keep your prompts short and sweet. While having at least 3 to 7 words in an AI art prompt is recommended, don’t overwhelm the system by being overly descriptive.
  • Adjectives are your best friend! Use multiple adjectives to describe your art’s subject, style, and composition.
  • Avoid conflicting terms that have opposite meanings. For example, using both “realistic” and “abstract” to describe the style of your AI art will likely confuse the generator.
  • Use other AI copywriting tools, like ChatGPT, as AI art prompt generators. Why not let the robots do the work?
  • Research the specific tool you’re using to find out what keywords it can recognize. Tools like Midjourney, DALL-E, and Bing Image Creator all work a little differently. We’ll go into their characteristics later on in this article.

50 AI art prompt examples to try

Need AI art prompt ideas? Here are some of the best prompts for AI art generator tools you can use today.

  1. A 3D rendering of a tree with bright yellow leaves and an abstract style.
  2. An illustration of a mountain in the style of Impressionism with a wide aspect ratio.
  3. A photograph of a steampunk alien taken from a low-angle viewpoint.
  4. A sketch of a raccoon in bright colors and minimalist composition.
  5. A 3D rendering of a spaceship in the style of cubism with high resolution.
  6. An old woman washing her clothes in the winter in the style of Renaissance art with a narrow aspect ratio.
  7. A 3D rendering of a star with pastel colors and a whimsical look.
  8. A picture of a butterfly riding a motorcycle in vaporware style with a wide-angle view.
  9. A photograph of three friends playing music on the street in the style of Pop Art with a medium aspect ratio.
  10. A group of pug dogs at a rave in a Renaissance style.
  11. A sketch of a mysterious castle in the style of Gothic art with an aerial viewpoint.
  12. A 3D rendering of an office desk with a futuristic look and bokeh.
  13. Cubist painting of a backlit train station with bright colors and realistic textures.
  14. An illustration of a woman laying on a bed in a dynamic pose dreaming in black-and-white.
  15. Impressionist oil painting of a beach at sunset with a narrow aspect ratio.
  16. A photograph of a city skyline in the style of Edward Hopper taken from an aerial viewpoint.
  17. A 3D rendering of a cat sitting on a windowsill in minimalist style with high resolution.
  18. Graffiti-style painting of a city street with an urban look and textured surfaces.
  19. A sketch of a pirate ship in black-and-white with realistic textures and low resolution.
  20. A chalk drawing of a family picnic being attacked by ants in Central Park with a surrealist style.
  21. A watercolor painting of a coffee shop with surreal elements in vibrant colors.
  22. An oil painting of a rainbow over a rural abandoned town with classic style.
  23. A 3D rendering of a spaceship taking off into space with a cyberpunk look and wide aspect ratio.
  24. A futuristic space station is shown in jewel tones, ultra photoreal, and cinematic lighting.
  25. A creative composition of a frog wearing a crown sitting on a log in a Japanese anime style.
  26. Outside of a 1960s diner in monochromatic colors and vintage feel.
  27. A retro-style robot playing a futuristic video game in neon tones with medium resolution.
  28. An image of a dark and mysterious castle with bats flying around it in an American Gothic style.
  29. An animated GIF of a robot dancing to 80s music with a cartoon look.
  30. An illustration of a family photo taken on the beach in the style of Ansel Adams.
  31. An abstract painting of a sunflower in the middle of a desert with bright colors and low resolution.
  32. A beachfront bar at a holiday resort at nighttime with purple and pink tones in a pop art style.
  33. A 3D rendering of a garden blooming with flowers under the moonlight in a low-angle view.
  34. A fantasy painting of a castle sitting on top of a craggy peak with a cinematic tone.
  35. A candid photograph of a woman standing at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean in an art nouveau style.
  36. A 3D rendering of a cityscape at night with neon lights and an abstract style.
  37. An illustration of a spaceship flying through the stars in the style of Van Gogh with a full depth of field.
  38. A sketch of two cats sitting on a sofa watching TV while eating spaghetti.
  39. Two monsters playing chess in the style of cubism with bright colors and low resolution.
  40. A picture of a person walking alone through a forest in the style of Romanticism taken from an aerial viewpoint.
  41. A low-detail oil painting of a thunderstorm over a cityscape with dark tones and a backlit resolution.
  42. A 3D rendering of a futuristic train station in the style of Art Nouveau with volumetric lighting.
  43. An illustration of a river winding through a meadow in the style of Impressionism with a thick black outline.
  44. A photograph of a person sitting on a bench facing the sunset in black and white.
  45. A minimalist painting of a city skyline in bright colors and high resolution.
  46. A sketch of two robots talking to each other with a surreal look and narrow aspect ratio.
  47. A Dadaist collage of a post-apocalyptic world in neon tones and 4K resolution.
  48. A rococo painting of a garden with abstract elements and high resolution.
  49. A photograph of an old man walking in the rain making eye contact with the viewer in a mid-shot view.
  50. A watercolor painting of a flock of birds flying over a river at sunset with realistic textures.
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AI art tool comparisons

Finding the right AI art generator for your project can be tricky. To help your process, let’s compare Midjourney, DALL-E, and Bing Image Creator. This will help you decide which is best suited to your needs.


midjourney logo with swirling words behind it

Midjourney is an AI tool that creates pictures from words. Users can change the image size, shape, view, and more. Midjourney is known for its photo-realism images, as well as hyperrealistic images.

Midjourney also operates in a Discord chatroom. You can see how others create AI art prompts and get inspired by their work.

various midjourney prompts and outputs shown in discord chatroom

Keep in mind your first 25 images on Midjourney are free. But after that, basic plans start at $10 per month.

Some tips for using Midjourney:

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  • Words at the start of the prompt hold more weight than words at the end.
  • Midjourney particularly likes artist references, so feel free to include them in your prompt.
  • Some of the most effective Midjourney keywords include: Fashion photography, Pulitzer Prize-winning photography, Bokeh, Volumetric Lighting, Golden Hour, Soft natural lighting, and Film gain. Find more here.

Here’s a Midjourney example for: “A Dadaist collage of a post-apocalyptic world in neon tones and volumetric lighting.”

midjourney ai art results for A Dadaist collage of a post-apocalyptic world in neon tones and volumetric lighting


dall-e image generator home page showing various art results

DALL-E is a great AI art generator trained on the concept of “imagination.” It creates surreal dreamscapes and can interpret creative concepts as well as abstract ideas. The images DALL-E produces often have a unique, otherworldly feel to them.

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Unlike Midjourney, DALL-E focuses more on creative prompts and less on photorealistic images. It also follows word prompts closely and has an intuitive interface, giving new users a relatively low learning curve. DALL-E gives you 50 free credits upfront and then 15 more each month you use the service. But, those that use the tool beyond their free prompt limit will need to pay $15 for every additional 115 prompts.

Some tips for using DALL-E:

  • DALL-E works best with specified art styles. Try styles like digital art, steampunk art, cyberpunk art, or vapourware art.
  • As a faithful prompt follower, DALL-E enjoys descriptive prompts. Add adjectives like dark, light, epic, sad, or happy to improve your results.
  • DALL-E often leaves the background white if you don’t specify a color. To add a backdrop, include keywords like “in Paris” or “in the woods at night” to your prompt.

We used the same AI art prompt from our Midjourney test, ​​”A Dadaist collage of a post-apocalyptic world in neon tones and volumetric lighting,” in DALL-E.

Here’s what we got:

dall-e ai art result showing dadaist, abstract space scene with white drawing laid over top

Different, right?

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Bing Image Creator

bing image creator home page showing prompt box and copy encouraging users to create images from words with ai

Whereas Midjourney focuses on photorealism, and DALL-E emphasizes creative concepts, the Bing Image Creator specializes in vibrance and detail.

Bing Image Creator struggles a bit with facial features, fine detail, and consistency of style. But it’s free to use, so you don’t have to feel bad if you don’t like your results.

Some tips for using Bing Image Creator:

  • Bing Image Creator recommends formatting your prompts like this: Adjective + Noun + Verb + Style.
  • Adding creative details like locations, artistic styles, and camera views can help improve your image quality.
  • Get creative and have fun!

Here’s the result for “A Dadaist collage of a post-apocalyptic world in neon tones and volumetric lighting” from Bing Image Creator.

spacey, neon scene from bing image creator, showing a northern-light looking scene of a futuristic city

FAQs about AI art prompts

Is there a free AI art generator?

There are many free AI art generators, such as Nightcafe, Starry AI, Bing Image Creator, and Craiyon. Tools like Midjourney and DALL-E also offer free credits for accessing their services.

What is a good prompt for AI art?

The best AI art prompts vary depending on the tool and the desired outcome. In general, it’s best to use a combination of descriptive adjectives and specific nouns when writing your prompt. You can also use other artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT to generate prompts.

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How can I create my own AI art?

To create your own AI art, use an AI art generator like Midjourney, DALL-E, or Bing Image Creator. Then, use the tool’s interface to craft your prompts and generate images.

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How To Save Tons of Time With Instagram Auto Reply





Responding to messages quickly is a huge part of social media customer service—and it’s no different whether you’re dealing with messages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Luckily, Instagram has an easy-to-use option that can cut down on your team’s time responding to questions.

With Instagram auto reply, you can easily set auto-responses to common questions and messages. This feature cuts down on the time your social media support team needs to spend monitoring and replying to customers.

In this article, we’ll talk more about the Instagram auto reply feature, how it can be used, and a few message examples for inspiration.

Bonus: Get a free, easy-to-use Customer Service Report Template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts all in one place.

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What is Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a feature available in your Instagram message settings that allows you to send automatic responses to frequently asked questions.

For example, if you regularly get a question like, “Do you offer free shipping?” your team can set up an auto reply that will answer the question instantly rather than forcing the customer to wait for a real person to respond.

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There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Instagram tools: Set automatic responses for frequently asked questions or craft canned messages that your team can easily send out via Instagram DM.
  • Meta Business Suite: Set up messaging automations for both Instagram and Facebook.
  • Third-party inboxes: Use tools like Hootsuite Inbox to easily monitor and manage your Instagram direct messages and comments.

Learn more about how a social inbox like Hootsuite’s can help streamline your social media communication in this video:

There are several ways to take advantage of Instagram’s auto reply feature. Here are just a few types of automated responses you might consider setting up:

  • Welcome messages
  • Away messages
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Share contact information
  • Share business hours of operation
  • Provide shipment and payment details
  • Offer discounts
  • Explain wholesale pricing information
  • Tell customers how to handle issues with their orders
  • Share links to additional resources

Pros and cons of using Instagram auto reply

So why use Instagram auto reply? Is it the best option for creating automated responses and freeing up your team’s time? As always, it depends on your needs.

Let’s cover some basic pros and cons to help you decide.


  • Make a good impression. Instagram shows your followers how quick your team is to respond. A faster response time is a better look for your business.
  • Answer questions before they’re asked. Create an auto-responder that gives your customers a clear idea of when they can expect to hear from a real person—unless your auto replies can give their answer immediately.
  • Save your team time. Stop writing the same reply over and over again. Automated messages give your team more time for escalated messages and other customer support issues.
  • Never miss a message. You don’t have to worry about time zones when you enlist auto reply. Even when your team isn’t working, customers can get answers as soon as they send a message.
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  • Only for Instagram and Facebook. Instagram/Meta’s built-in features only work for these two platforms. You’ll have to enlist the help of external tools for other social media platforms—don’t worry, we’ve got more on that below.
  • You have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages. In order to access some of the more advanced tools, you must use Meta Business Suite, so you’ll have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

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15 Instagram auto reply message examples

Not sure what types of auto replies to set for your Instagram messages? Here are 15 examples to help inspire you.

Welcome message

Send one of these options to all new incoming Instagram DMs whenever your team is unavailable for a quick response:

  • Thank you for getting in touch! Our team is available from 10am-3pm CT. We’ll get back to you within those hours!
  • Hey there—thanks for reaching out! Your message is important to us. Someone on our team will get back to you within the next 12 hours.
  • Sorry we missed you! Our team is currently unavailable, but we’ll be back around 8am GMT.

Basic business information

Use one of these when someone messages you on Instagram to ask about hours of operation or contact information:

  • Our hours of operation are 11am-11pm ET Monday through Saturday.
  • To get in touch with a representative directly, please give us a call at [###-###-####].
  • To learn more or request a demo, email us at
  • Our offices are located at 1234 Business Street.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few common questions and answers you might want to incorporate into your Instagram auto replies.

How long does shipping take?

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  • You can expect your items to arrive within 3-5 business days of your order.

How can I cancel my plan?

  • To cancel, go to the “Account” section of your dashboard and find the “Cancel plan” button.
  • We’re sad to see you go! To cancel, please call one of our representatives directly at [###-###-####] or send an email to

Do you offer any discounts?

  • We love that you asked! Use promo code INSTA for 10% off your purchase.
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What services do you offer?

  • We offer accounting services for small businesses.

How much do your services cost?

  • We work on a monthly retainer basis. Packages start at $1,000/month and go up to $15,000+ depending on your needs.

Are you taking new patients?

  • Yes, please head to our website to fill out the form for new patients.
  • Unfortunately, our therapists are fully booked at the moment. Please check back next quarter to see if any spots have opened up.

There are two ways to set up auto replies on Instagram. The first is pretty easy—do so right inside the Instagram app. The second involves digging into the Automations option in Meta Business Suite.

We’ll walk you through each process.

How to set up auto replies via the Instagram app

First, open the Instagram app. Tap the messages icon in the top right corner of the home feed. Then, tap on the ellipses in the top right corner of your messages dashboard and select Tools.

Select Tools in the top right corner of your messages dashboard.

Here, you can set either saved replies (canned responses your team can tap on to send manually) or auto replies for frequently asked questions.

The Tools section of Instagram settings include response suggestions, saved replies, frequently asked questions, and message controls

Tap on Frequently asked questions to access the auto reply feature. Instagram will typically include a few starter questions. You can customize these or use them as is—just add answers.

Add as many questions as you want. You can even show these questions in chat, so customers who want to message you have options to choose from.

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How to set up auto replies in Meta Business Suite

If you have your Facebook Business Page set up and optimized and your Instagram business profile connected, you can use Meta Business Suite to create automations like this.

First, head over to your Facebook Business Page, then click on Meta Business Suite in the left-hand sidebar.

The back end of Facebook/Meta Business Suite

You’ll then be taken to the Meta Business Suite dashboard. From here, click on Inbox in the right-hand sidebar.

The left hand sidebar of Meta Business Suite shows Inbox (among other options)

This inbox section will hold all messages and comments from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. If you’re looking for a single place to manage these, Business Suite is a great place to do so. The biggest downfall is that those are the only platforms you can monitor here (more on that later).

To set up your auto-reply messages, click the atom icon to access Automations.

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The automations option is highlighted in the top right of the Inbox screen

Here, you can set up a number of automations relating to your direct messages across all of Meta’s platforms. If you haven’t previously set up Frequently asked questions, it will appear as one of the Suggested for you options. Click on it to get started.

The Inbox Automations menu shows suggested options, including Instant Replies and Away Messages

Select your Instagram account from the list of places you want to turn this automation on. Then, start adding questions. You can preview them in the left-hand sidebar.

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The edit automation screen in Meta Business Suite allows you to write your own text for an Instagram auto reply

Once you’re done, click Save changes and toggle this automation into the On position. And voila! You’ve got your frequently asked questions set up.

Other automations you can create are:

  • Away messages
  • Instant replies
  • Follow ups

How to auto-respond to messages and comments on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn

We mentioned that Meta Business Suite is great for managing your messages and comments on Facebook and Instagram. But if your brand uses other platforms, like X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn, you’ll need additional support.

Good news—you’re in luck! With Hootsuite’s Social Inbox, your entire social media and customer support team can monitor, manage, and respond to messages across all social media platforms in one space.

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Hootsuite Inbox

You can store information about various customers so you never start a new interaction as strangers, helping customers feel seen and valued. Assign messages and interactions to certain team members so the most-equipped person can handle each specific issue.

Use Hootsuite Inbox as your social media help desk, resolving messages as soon as they’ve been responded to and keeping notes on customer issues.

Hootsuite Inbox

Create auto-responders for every social media platform you manage with Hootsuite.

Book a free Hootsuite demo and try Inbox today

Why should you use Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a great way to minimize wait time for frequently asked questions. If you know common questions your audience has, and there’s a set answer you can provide, set it as an auto-response.

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This saves your team time and ensures your Instagram followers don’t have to wait for a response.

How do you turn Instagram auto reply off?

There’s no quick on-off toggle for Instagram auto reply. Instead, you’ll have to go into your Instagram messaging tools and remove any frequently asked question responses you’ve input.

What is a saved reply on Instagram?

A saved reply is a similar tool to auto replies. Instead of sending instantaneously, though, saved replies are simply stored in your Instagram messaging settings for your team to manually send out. This works if the question someone asks has different answers depending on the time of year. You can save replies for a quick response, but you don’t want to have the response be automatic.

Keep your customers happy with faster message responses, thanks to Hootsuite. Respond to questions and complaints, create tickets from social conversations, and work with chatbots all from one dashboard. See it in action.

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Instagram Emoji Guide: Meanings, Reactions, Ideas





Ever seen an Instagram emoji fail IRL? Maybe your grandma used an eggplant emoji in a… compromising place. Or, your uncle was trying to be funny and added the poop emoji to his bio.


Whatever the case, emoji etiquette exists. Understanding the meaning and placement of emojis is essential to avoiding terrible, embarrassing communication mistakes.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram emoji meanings.

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BONUS: Want to learn more ways to wow your fans on social? Check out our article on secret TikTok emojis.

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Instagram emoji translator

Pro tip: if you’re stuck with emoji translation, we’ve got the perfect tool for you. Hootsuite’s emoji translator is free to use and will help you crack the code on any emoji string.

Not only does the translator break down each pictogram’s meaning, but it also details how viewers typically react to the combo. Super helpful if you don’t want to send an unintended message!

Please note: This tool may display inaccurate or offensive material that doesn’t represent Hootsuite’s views. You’re solely responsible for use of any content generated using this tool, including its compliance with applicable laws and third-party rights.

What are Instagram emoji?

Instagram emoji are pictograms, icons, or small images used to express an emotion, idea, or feeling. Some emoji are universal (most people know that the heart symbol means love), while others have their own unique interpretations based on regional culture and language.

Popular emoji symbols include:

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  • Smiley face
  • Sad face
  • Clapping hands
  • Thumbs-up
  • Heart
  • Fire

There are literally thousands of emoji characters available on Instagram—from dragons and lizards, people exercising, and even ice cream cones. You can find Instagram emojis in two places: your native Instagram app and the world of third-party keyboard extensions.

What are Instagram reactions?

Instagram reactions are a way to quickly express your feelings without typing out a response. For example, if someone posts a funny meme, you can tap the laughing face emoji reaction instead of typing out “lol” or “haha.”

Instagram reactions are generally used as a reply to Instagram Stories and Instagram direct messages.

When watching a Story, click on the Send a message box to reply. You’ll then see a pop-up of six popular emoji to choose from.

instagram emoji reactions shown in instagram story reply

You can also choose your own emoji by clicking on the small smiley face icon on your keyboard.

various instagram emojis including laughing face and heart, shown in phone keyboard

To use Instagram emoji reactions for direct messages, hold your finger down on the sent message, and a list of emoji will pop up. Choose from this list, or click the plus button to use your own emoji.

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instagram emoji shown in direct message

Where can you use Instagram emoji

You can use Instagram emoji in comments, captions, direct messages, as replies to Stories, and even in your Instagram bio. Basically, anywhere that allows for text input.

When you’re in a comment thread or writing a caption, a list of your most-used emojis will appear at the top of your reply.

instagram emoji shown at top of comment reply

If you want more, tap the smiley face icon to access Instagram emojis. If you’ve recently used an emoji, it will usually appear at the top of the list so you can easily select it again.

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Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

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instagram emoji shown in comment reply box

Stuck at home thinking, “Why can’t I react to Instagram messages with emojis?” No worries. You may need to update your messaging app. Follow Instagram’s easy how-to here.

How to change your emoji reaction

Wondering how to react with emoji on Instagram? There are six default Instagram emoji reactions:

  • Crying face
  • Wow face
  • Heart eyes
  • Laughing face
  • Clapping hands
  • Fire

If you use custom emoji, they will show up in your reactions, allowing you to choose from a larger selection.

To choose a custom emoji, tap the smiley face icon on your mobile keyboard. Scroll through the list of options and tap to select the emoji you want. Once selected, it will appear in your reaction selection.

BONUS: Check out our full list of Snapchat emoji to snazz up your snaps.

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Instagram reaction meanings

To avoid any potential misinterpretations, it’s important to remember the meanings behind Instagram reactions.

Here’s what each emoji reaction stands for:

  • Crying face (😢) = Sadness, disappointment
  • Wow face (😮) = Surprised or amazed
  • Heart eyes (😍) = Love or admiration
  • Laughing face (😂) = Funny or humorous
  • Clapping hands (👏) = Encouragement or applause
  • Fire (🔥) = Approval or agreement

Remember, the reactions you use should be appropriate for the context. For example, don’t express sadness at a funny meme. Similarly, don’t use a fire emoji to comment on your teacher’s vacation beach photo.

Popular Instagram emoji meanings

Tired of deciphering the meanings of emoji for Instagram? Here’s a quick reference sheet to keep on file.

  • Thumbs up (👍) = Positive sentiment.
  • Thinking face (🤔) = Curiosity, pondering ideas.
  • Laughing with tears (😂) = Something is so funny you’re crying.
  • Red heart (❤️) = Love, affection.
  • Puke face (🤢) = Disgust or disapproval.
  • Skull (💀) = Death, danger, or something is so funny you died.
  • Hot face (🥵) = Passion or admiration.
  • Smirk face (😏) = Flirting, teasing.
  • Poop (💩) = Joking around.
  • Party popper (🎉) = Celebration.
  • Cat (😸) = Cuteness or someone acting like a cat.
  • Drooling face (🤤) = Desperation, wanting something badly.
  • Nail polish (💅) = Girl power.
  • Sunglasses (😎) = Coolness, acknowledgement of a job well done.
  • Eyes (👀) = Watching or paying attention.
  • See-no-evil monkey (🙈) = Embarrassment or hiding something.
  • Money bag (💰) = Wealth, success, or materialistic desires.
  • Smiling devil face (😈) = Naughtiness or reckless behavior.
  • Hugging face (🤗) = Appreciation, affection.
  • Wink (😉) = Flirting or playful teasing.
  • Silly face (🤪) = Fun or being goofy.
  • Nerd face (🤓) = Intelligence, nerdiness.
  • Confused face (😕) = Bewilderment or uncertainty.
  • Money mouth (🤑) = Greed or wealth.
  • Handshake (🤝) = Agreement, making a deal.
  • Fist bump (👊) = Support or agreement.
  • Woman dancing (💃) = Joy or celebration.
  • Man dancing (🕺) = Letting loose, having fun.
  • Tropical island (🏝️) = Relaxation or vacation.
  • Plane (✈️) = An upcoming journey.
  • Rainbow (🌈) = Optimism, happiness, pride.
  • Globe (🌎) = Unity, the world coming together.
  • Praying hands (🙏) = Asking for blessings or help.
  • Rocketship (🚀) = A great success or achievement.
  • Disco ball (🪩) = Partying or having a good time.
  • Peace sign (✌️) = Affirmative, agreement, or a sign of peace.
  • Heart (💖) = Love, care, and affection.
  • Cat with heart eyes (😻) = Happiness due to love.
  • Birthday cake (🎂) = A celebration of life.
  • Star (⭐️) = Stardom, achieving greatness.
  • Four-leaf clover (🍀) = Luck or fortune.
  • Sparkles (✨) = Magic, beauty, and awe.
  • Trophy (🏆) = Accomplishment or success.
  • Shooting star (🌠) = Wishes coming true.
  • Lightning bolt (⚡️) = Power, energy, and excitement.
See also  Twitter Notes Explained: How To Go Beyond 280 Characters

Looking for fun emoji to use on Discord? Check out our full list of Discord emoji, complete with customizations and tricks.

Instagram emoji caption ideas

If you want to get creative with your Instagram bio, here are a few cute emojis for Instagram bios:

  • Chasing dreams and sunshine. ☁️🌈
  • On a seafood diet: I see food and I eat it! 🍣🍕🍔🍰
  • Life’s a game 🎮, and I’m the master of figuring out the rules as I go 🤷‍♀️.
  • Bringing a little sparkle wherever I go. ✨
  • Hoping for a year where all my socks find their soulmates. 🧦❤️🔍
  • Sunkissed and heart full of joy. 🌞❤️
  • Nature doesn’t hurry, yet everything is accomplished. 🌲🕰️🌳
  • Collecting memories like seashells. 🐚📸
  • Plotting world domination 🌍, one project 📁 at a time.
  • Life’s a blend of chaos ⚡, caffeine ☕, and a pinch of serendipity ✨.
  • Lost in the pages of a good book and a happy heart. 📚❤️
  • Radiating good energy, one smile at a time. 🌟😊
  • Exploring new places with a skip in my step. 🗺️💃
  • Happiness blooms from within. 🌻🌱
  • Living life unapologetically and loving it. 🌟💖
  • Sunset state of mind. 🌅🧡🌴
  • Embracing adulting like… wait, how do you adult again? 🤷‍♀️👩‍💼
  • I take mirror selfies because my reflection understands me. 🤳👯‍♀️🪞
  • Wearing my invisible crown and ruling the day. 👑💁‍♀️🌟
  • Professional napper and aspiring world traveler. 💤✈️😴
  • Dressed to impress 💃, ready to conquer deadlines 📊 and dance floors 🕺.
  • Spreading positivity like glitter – it gets everywhere! ✨😄💫
  • Slaying the day one caffeine molecule at a time. ☕⚡️👊
  • Living that “I’m not a morning person” stereotype proudly. 🌅☕😴
  • Exploring the world, one food coma at a time. 🌍🍔🍟🍦
  • Absolutely loving the sunshine on my face. ☀️
  • Embracing the little moments that make life big. 🌟
  • Laughing at my own jokes like… 😂
  • Dancing through life’s ups and downs. 💃🕺
  • Finding joy in the simplest things. 🌼
  • Balancing dreams 💭, goals 🎯, and the occasional pizza slice 🍕.
  • Hiking trails and chasing sunsets – that’s my kind of therapy. 🥾🌅🏞️
  • Adventures and smiles, that’s my kind of therapy. 🌄
  • Savoring the sweetness of today. 🍭
  • Life’s a puzzle 🧩, and I’m collecting moments 📸 to complete the picture
  • Living life with a little bit of sugar, spice, and everything fried. 🍔🍟🍦
  • Spreading positivity like confetti. 🎉
  • Collecting memories around the world, one destination at a time. 📸❤️

    Life’s too short for a boring adventure. Let’s get lost! 🌟🌍
  • Living in a world of filters, but my personality is 100% real! 😂📸🙌
  • Lost in a world of good vibes. 🌈
  • Living for the moments that steal my smile. 💖
  • City lights and late nights. 🌆🌙 Chasing waves and dreams. 🌊🌌
  • Living life in full bloom. 🌸🌼
  • In a world full of trends, be a classic. 👗👓
  • Sweatpants enthusiast with a PhD in Netflix. 📺👖🍕
  • Taking each day one cup of coffee at a time. ☕❤️
  • Exploring art, one brushstroke at a time. 🎨🖌️
  • Adventures are calling, and I must go. 🌄🌍
  • Counting memories, not calories, on this vacation. 🏖️🍕📸
  • Finding joy in the rhythm of everyday life. 🎶😊
  • Living life like a work of art in progress. 🎨🌟
  • Weekend warrior on a quest for relaxation. 🌴🌴
  • Capturing moments that make my heart skip a beat. 💓📷
  • Trying to adult, but my snacks keep distracting me. 🍕📚🤔
  • Chasing goals and catching smiles along the way. 🏃‍♀️😄
  • I’m not procrastinating, I’m just giving my ideas time to marinate. 🤔🍳🧠
  • Flipping my hair and conquering the day. 💁‍♀️💪
  • Exploring the great outdoors and my own backyard. 🏞️🏡
  • Celebrating life’s beautiful mess one day at a time. 🎉🤹‍♀️
  • Making my own sunshine because I can’t find the remote. ☀️📺🤷‍♂️
  • Happiness is homemade, and I’m the chef. 🍳👩‍🍳
  • When life gives you lemons, add tequila and have a party! 🍋🍹🎉
  • Living life like a perpetual DIY project – mostly Pinterest fails. 🛠️📌😅
  • The only drama I enjoy is in my lashes. 👁️‍🗨️😂
  • Current status: Coffee in one hand, confidence in the other. ☕🙌
  • Facing challenges with the determination of a honey badger 🦡 – fearless and a little bit sassy 💁‍♀️.
  • My bed and I have the perfect relationship – we’re always in a good sleepover. 🛏️💤😴
  • I’m not arguing, I’m just explaining why I’m right. 💁‍♀️🗣️🤣
  • Taking life one cup of coffee at a time, with a splash of sarcasm. ☕️🙃
  • “Adulting” was a typo, and I’ve been trying to “adult” ever since. 🤦‍♀️👶👩‍🍳
  • When in doubt, add more glitter. And then some more. ✨✨✨
  • Living life like it’s a marathon, but I’m definitely built for sprinting. 🏃‍♀️🍕😅
  • Behind every great person is a pile of laundry they’ve been avoiding. 🧺🤷‍♂️👑
  • I put the “elusive” in exercise. 🏋️‍♀️🤷‍♀️😆
  • My superpower? Turning pizza into energy. 🍕⚡️🦸‍♀️
  • If I were a superhero, my power would be finding the last piece of chocolate. 🍫🦸‍♀️
  • My horoscope said I should do something crazy today. So I wore mismatched socks. ♒🧦😜
  • I’m not clumsy, I’m just participating in the floor’s obstacle course. 🤸‍♀️🤦‍♂️😂
  • Too glam to give a damn, but not too glam to eat leftovers. 💅🍛😉
  • When life gives you lemons, trade them for coffee. ☕🍋🤝
  • My life is basically a series of unfinished DIY projects. 🛠️🙈🤷‍♀️
  • Life update: Still using “adulting” as a verb, still unsure how to do it properly. 🤷‍♀️👩‍💼📆
  • I’m not lazy, I’m in energy-saving mode. 🛌💤💡
  • Currently taking applications for a personal chef, laundry fairy, and motivation guru. Any takers? 🍝🧚‍♂️🧘‍♀️
  • Life’s a rollercoaster, and I’m the one screaming in the front seat. 🎢🙀🤪
  • I run on caffeine, chaos, and a dash of lipstick. ☕💄🌀
  • Wander often, wonder always. 🚶‍♀️🌍🤔
  • Trading WiFi for wide-open spaces and unforgettable moments. 📶🏞️📸
  • Counting down ⏳ to Friday like it’s a rocket launch 🚀 to the weekend.
  • Juggling tasks like a circus performer 🎪 – except with more coffee ☕ and fewer acrobatics 🤹‍♀️.
See also  Influencer Marketing Guide: How to Work With Influencers

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Vanity Metrics: Definition & Examples for Marketing





Have you ever heard the phrase, “all sizzle, no steak”? It’s the perfect “meaty” metaphor for social media vanity metrics.

It can absolutely be exciting to rack up the likes or see your follower count jump. Of course you want to shout your reshare rate from the rooftops!

But be careful. any social metric can turn into a “vanity” metric if you’re bragging about it without any context.

Social media metrics are incredibly important for a social media manager and shouldn’t be ignored. They can be key performance indicators: numbers that inform and measure your social media strategy and help your team see where you’ve been and where you’re going.

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But here’s the thing. Not all social stats are created equal. For a metric to be meaningful, it has to tie back to your business objectives.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you cut through the vanity-metric hype to find those beefy, meaty metrics that help you prove the true value of your social media marketing.

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What are vanity metrics?

A social media metric is a number that quantifies a particular action or behavior related to your social media account. A vanity metric is a social media metric that looks impressive at a glance but doesn’t necessarily indicate a company’s overall success in reaching its goals.

In the words of the all-mighty Hootsuite glossary:

A vanity metric is an analytics item that can be measured but is not a signifier of real return on investment. Examples include the number of followers, likes, or comments on social media posts. These metrics are best contextualized by more concrete numbers such as click-through rate or visitor-to-lead conversions.

For example, the social media manager at the Acme Alarm Clock Company might be able to show the CEO that there are 200,000 followers on the brand’s Instagram account. But the goal of the company is actually to sell alarm clocks. And sales haven’t improved at all with this growth in followers.

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So, in this case, follower count is actually a vanity metric. Sure, it sounds good on paper, but ultimately, it’s not helping the CEO move those clocks.

The moral of the story: any social media statistic from any social media platform can be a vanity metric, depending on the situation.

The number of likes on a TikTok video isn’t meaningful if your target audience isn’t on TikTok.

See also  How to Get More Views on TikTok: 15 Essential Strategies

The number of comments on your Instagram Story doesn’t mean much if they’re all from spam accounts.

A brand’s follower count can skyrocket, but if those followers aren’t engaging with your content, what good is that? (Which reminds us: never buy followers. Trust us.)

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fans and followers engagement on Hootsuite dashboard

In other words, a “vanity metric” for one brand will be totally different from a vanity metric for another brand. It all ultimately depends on what business success you’re hoping to get from your social media strategy.

Vanity metrics vs. actionable metrics

Now that you’re crystal clear on what a vanity metric is, you’re probably curious about what an actionable metric might be. Don’t be embarrassed, it’s only natural.

Actionable metrics are social media metrics that are all meaningful — important social media metrics that help you measure, analyze, and strategize. Actionable social media metrics provide concrete insights and can be directly tied to specific actions that drive business growth. Really, an actionable metric is just the opposite of a vanity metric.

While much of life exists on a spectrum, for social media metrics, a number is either pure vanity or truly actionable. But what side of the binary any given social media metric sits on, of course, will depend on the social media account. We’re all beautiful flowers, et cetera, et cetera.

Instagram post reach impressions and engagement rate on Hootsuite Analytics

Vanity metrics examples

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: It’s important to note that any metric can be a vanity metric without proper analysis. And any metric can be meaningful when presented in context with the proper analysis. That being said, the following metrics are most commonly prone to being viewed as vanity metrics for any given field.

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Vanity metrics in social media marketing

In social media marketing, vanity metrics include follower count, likes, and comments. Sure, these numbers can offer a quick ego boost, but the truth is, they often fail to reflect the true engagement and influence of your brand on your business’s bottom line.

This might lead you to ask: so, what are the actionable metrics for social media marketing? Engagement metrics like engagement rate are probably meaningful numbers that can offer you and your team some insight. Shares also say more about whether your content is resonating with your audience than likes (try putting your posts through Rachel Karten’s shareability test).

See also  The Perfect Social Media Style Guide for Your Brand in 2022

But at the end of the day, it really depends on what your specific goals are with social media and your business.

Bonus: Get a free social media report template to easily and effectively present your social media performance to key stakeholders.

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Vanity metrics in digital marketing

Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of channels, including social media, email marketing, and advertising, so this is a pretty tough one to identify vanity metrics for. In some cases, vanity metrics for digital marketing could be likes; in another case, it could be page views.

If you’re tracking the ROI of digital marketing, you need to identify vanity metrics specific to each channel to make sure that you can prioritize actionable metrics that align with your unique business goals.

Vanity metrics in content marketing

Social media can be a great tool for driving traffic to your blog posts, articles, whitepapers, or research docs… and content marketing, in turn, can be an effective conversion or branding tool. This leads many people to assume that pageviews or click-throughs are the metric for measuring success. In reality, these can be vanity metrics.

Is your bounce rate low? Is the time spent on the page high? Those are numbers that can provide context to the pageview stats and let you know if those views are actually valuable. (Metrics like conversion rates, in this case, can be far more informative about the impact of your content on audience behavior.)

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Vanity metrics in email marketing

People are opening your emails! That’s wonderful news!

But are they actually reading those emails? Are they clicking on your links?

Is anyone actually buying any of those alarm clocks you’re still trying desperately to sell? If not, your high open rate might actually not be that impressive after all. (Sorry!)

email performance click rate and open rate data

Open rates and click-through rates are commonly mistaken as the ultimate indicators of email marketing success. But the truth is that conversion rates and revenue per email are more actionable metrics that reveal the true ROI of your email campaigns.

Vanity metrics in advertising

The online advertising industry is built on the back of impressions. After all, if Meta tells you you’ve reached 300,000 people, that certainly sounds like a good use of $100. But impressions and click-through rates in advertising can be deceiving.

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Meta ads dashboard Instagram and Facebook advertising summary

A more concrete way to measure the success of a social media advertising campaign would be to concentrate on metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS). These are stats that will more accurately allow you to assess the profitability of your advertising efforts.

See also  How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

Vanity metrics in brand management

While they can be really important and helpful, metrics like social media reach and sentiment scores can also be misleading out of context.

Just because someone has seen your post doesn’t mean they care for your brand or products. Just because you have a positive sentiment score doesn’t mean that your target audience likes you more than your competitor. (Oof.)

To gauge brand perception accurately, consider metrics like brand awareness, customer lifetime loyalty, and Net Promoter Score (NPS). But, again, a meaningful brand management metric really will vary from brand to brand, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand management strategy.

Vanity metrics in search marketing

You’d think measuring the success of search marketing efforts would be simple: did people find you when they searched for you? But metrics like rankings and organic traffic numbers can be surprisingly superficial.

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Instead, focus on metrics like organic conversion rate and keyword ROI to measure the actual impact of your SEO efforts. (Psst, while you’re here, maybe brush up on your social SEO skills?)

Vanity metrics in public relations

In the PR world, metrics like media mentions may seem like an obvious mark of success. But that number is really just a surface-level impression of the success of your efforts.

To really see the impact of public relations work, you might be better off focusing on metrics that demonstrate the impact on your brand’s reputation and credibility — think sentiment analysis and share of voice.

So there you have it: everything you ever wanted to know about vanity metrics for social media. Please, please, no need to thank us. Just go forth and practice analysis with all this info!

Go beyond vanity metrics and track the real value of your social media performance with Hootsuite. Publish your posts and analyze the results in the same easy-to-use dashboard. ROI has never been easier to prove. Try it free today.

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