The Complete Guide to Instagram Etiquette

Do you can spend hours getting lost in the beautiful world of Instagram. I do. The posts that attract me are those with beautifully crafted photography and videos.

But, the IG accounts I love the most, are the ones that are respectful, polite, and fun — these people are my Instagram friends.

Conversely, the accounts that I avoid are rude, spammy, and lack respect for other users of the platform. It’s hardly a surprise that many of these IG accounts struggle to attract followers, fans, and customers.

If you want to grow your Instagram account the right way so that you get liked and followed, you need to behave appropriately, like you’re at your grandmother’s tea party.

We’re here to help you get your Instagram attitude in tip top shape and avoid making mistakes on your Instagram account that can honestly hurt you and your business.

Proper Instagram Decorum - Pinky’s Up

We want people on Instagram to see your IG as high-quality and worth their time, and not as some random spammer trying to get all the attention. So here are some things that you should consider before posting anything.

Get permission for reposting content

 Whatever you do, ask for permission from the content owner before reposting it especially if they are a photographer. The reason that you should do this isn’t just out of respect for the person’s art; it’s because photographers charge for their photos to be taken and used on social media platforms. Plus, this is how they make a living. If you use their photos please be courteous and tag them. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for their permission. Each photographer has a different approach, so check with them through a DM first.

Always be polite and respectful

When you or your team comment on other people’s posts or handle customer service through comments or direct messaging, please treat followers with respect and courtesy. These followers are real people and impact your business. If someone leaves a nasty comment, then you shouldn’t stoop to their level — respond with respect, so that you represent your brand the right way. If necessary, you can always delete comments rather than get into a public and damaging spat.

Post consistently and spread your posts out

If you are posting a few times a day, then space them out with a few hours in between. It will allow your followers not to feel bombarded with your posts. If you only post once a day, be sure to post at an optimal time every day. If possible, post at the same time every week, so that your audience knows to look out for your posts. 

Be you and be original with your content

As fun and exciting as it is to use other photos and get style inspiration from other accounts don’t forget to demonstrate your unique style on your feed. That is why people want to follow you, for your original content and not someone else’s.

Authentically engage with other Instagram accounts

Do some research. Find a couple of other profiles that match your niche and target audience. Follow, like, and comment on their content. Leave genuine, authentic, and non-generic comments. This approach can you help you increase engagement and grow your following — in fact; it’s at the heart of every good Instagram Marketing Strategy.

Now that we’re covered the proper etiquette for Instagram,  it’s time to talk about the not so pleasant IG behaviour that I see all the time.

Anti-social Instagram Behaviour

There are some critical mistakes to avoid making on Instagram. If you do something seriously wrong, you could put your account in jeopardy, and you might even lose it if you aren’t careful.

I am going to share with you some of the things that you and your brand should avoid doing on Instagram.

Never use a commenting bot ever!

And I honestly mean this. Over the years many apps and software have been developed to run in the background. They do everything for you such as liking or commenting on people’s content for you to help increase your following. However, it’s crucial for you not to let a bot comment on posts for you. Using a bot may seem like they would save you the time of building an Instagram following for your business, but it is not true at all. Using bots are not allowed according to Instagram’s terms of use. Going against Instagram’s rules could hurt your account’s reputation in the long run and could get you users that won’t impact your business.

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Do not use the “Follow and Unfollow” method...

…because it makes your account seem spammy. If you aren’t familiar with this strategy, this is when a user follows another account and then unfollows them a few days later. People’s motivation for doing this? They want to gain a follower without having to follow the person in the long-term. Unfortunately, it’s not a good strategy for growing your following; experienced Instagrammers will know that your follow is unauthentic and not bother to follow you back.

Do not use random hashtags.

 Instagram hashtags can be great for your business if you use them correctly. Using irrelevant hashtags can appear as spam on other user’s feed. Therefore, be cautious and conscientious of how many hashtags you are using in your posts.

Don't use someone photo without tagging them.

It’s so important to tag someone in a post if it’s theirs — this is the way that photographers are given credit for their work on Instagram. Think of it as plagiarism if you fail to do this!

Do not post multiple shots in one go.

Posting many shots at one time is one of the easiest ways for your account to get an unfollow. It will make your IG  feed seem spammy to your followers. People don’t like to be bombarded by content from the same people, so you’ll quickly lose followers if you employ this tactic.

Thanks for reading...

Instagram is such a fun and creative platform on if you are using it the right way. At the end of the day, you have to remember that Instagram is meant to be a place to build community. Building an authentic community takes time, energy, and good manners. But, having a community of devoted friends and fans could do wonders for your business. Isn’t that worth your investment?

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