Are there rules of Instagram Etiquette?
On Instagram there is no guidebook, no place we can go where all the “rules to the game” are carefully laid out. Part of the problem is that if there were a guidebook of Instagram etiquette it would have to be updated almost daily. In this ever-changing landscape it is sometimes hard to keep up. When you are new it can seem overwhelming. I want to take some of the mystery out of Instagram by answering common questions here.
The best part is that I want this to be an interactive series. Please comment on which questions were helpful and what questions you still have. I’ll be sure to include them in my next post.
If I want to share or repost someone’s photo what is the proper Instagram etiquette?
- The best etiquette is to begin by asking the person in advance. It is the rare occasion that someone does not want their photo reposted. This has only happened to me once, but it was very awkward.
- When reposting you should not alter the person’s photo in any way without permission. This means changing the size or adding wording to the photo. Remember, this is their property. You wouldn’t alter someone’s property without permission.
- Also, you must give them full credit in the wording of the post. I like to list their name (it’s more personal) as well as their IG account name. It’s better to give credit early on in the post and not last thing (like an afterthought). Imagine it is your picture being featured and act accordingly.
- It is also essential that you tag the photo with their account name. This is important so they are alerted and so their picture is easily located. If they are off their phones or have a big feed they may never know you featured them unless they are tagged in the photo itself. If you prefer not to tag in the photo, your other choice is to contact them via DM (direct message).
What is the proper Instagram etiquette if someone features my picture?
- If you are the winner of a design challenge or someone is reposting your picture because they are giving you a shoutout and featuring you it is like a gift. So of course you should thank them.
- When your picture is featured on someone else’s feed you should keep an eye on the post, heading back to “check on it” several times. The comments on this post will mainly be directly to you, so you should thank the people who make these kind comments. Most importantly, you should make sure to answer any related questions people pose.
- If you are particularly touched by someone’s generosity you might direct message a personal thank you to them as well.
If someone has used my picture and has altered it without my permission or not given me proper credit, what should I do?
You should direct message them and explain how it is your property and ask them to kindly remove. Mistakes are made. Many people don’t know what is proper Instagram etiquette. Often there is no mal intent. Remain polite but know you have rights too. If nothing is done you have the right to report abuse of your pictures.
How often should I post?
There are different schools of thought on this. Here are some guidelines:
- The key is to not overpost. You risk annoying your followers if you post a series of photos or more than one photo at a time.
- 1-2 photos a day is a good rule of thumb, one in the morning and one at night.
- Or if your schedule doesn’t allow for that much activity, once a day is fine.
- Generally speaking, don’t post more than 3 times a day.
- Above all, try to be consistent.
- With the new algorith, quality over quantity is the rule.
While we are on the topic of Instagram etiquette I just have to conclude with this. Negativity has no place. And I’m sure I don’t need to say this to any of you beautiful followers, but always let kindness prevail. Always. If there is nothing positive to say, don’t say anything…in life and on Instagram.
Also, if you witness anything rude or unkind my rule of thumb is to delete and report, or report and block. Sadly, there are people looking for attention in any form they can get it. Instagram is a very big place, so while monitoring is on-going, without our help damage can be done before Instagram finds and suspends people. We can help IG stay safe and positive by reporting anything that is unkind and/or inappropriate. It’s like picking up trash in the real world. We all need to do our part to keep our world beautiful.
Julie & Jodie
Make sure to check out our other posts on the topic of Instagram, as we share our experience and insights into Instagram. See you on IG 🙂