Many who enjoy social media are drawn to Instagram for its colorful photos, attractive filters and ease of use, not to mention the sense of community found within hashtags. Though once limited to only those with iOS, there are roughly 200 million active monthly users on Instagram according to their official company blog (at the time of this post). Through my experience on the app, and thanks to social media discussions with friends, I’m sharing a few Instagram Etiquette Dos and Don’ts below.
Do create the desired experience. After following friends and family, begin to explore the world of Instagram by searching keywords that line up with your interests (across users and hashtags). If you have a love of vintage, for example, a quick search brought up @Vintage_Vogue (sharing nostalgic images) among other accounts, more than 11 million posts under #vintage, and countless other ideas such as #vintagejewelry and #vintageinspired. Follow those that peak your interest and add something meaningful to your day.
Don’t “borrow” photos and quotes. Avoid the temptation to do a quick screen capture of a photo you happen to admire on Instagram, and then share it in your own feed. Instead, utilize one of several repost apps for Instagram so that credit is clearly given.
Do keep your stream professional. As quickly as photos and videos can travel online, it’s a good idea to keep your content cheerful and clean. This advice holds true whether your account is set to “private” or not!
Don’t overdo hashtags in your captions. If you’re looking to grow your Instagram network, adding a few hashtags in your post caption is an effective way to extend your reach. However, row after row of hashtags can come across as mildly annoying. For example, if you’re posting from Times Square, consider simple hashtags like #travel, #timessquare or #NYC.
Do vary your content. Yes, there is an abundance of food photos (and selfies) no matter the time of day or night. But, that doesn’t mean you are obligated to share these moments from your own life. Take an iPhone photography course, experiment with different angles and filters and make the most of the app by posting a variety of photos.
Don’t overpost. Avoid the tendency to “livestream” to Instagram, one post after another. Instead, download a frame app (there are several free options) that will make it easy to share multiple photos in one post.
Do look for Instagram meetups in your city. Many gather regularly to take a tour of a designated area in the community, whether a historic district or scenic park, sharing photos and videos along the way. A quick scan of Meetup.com for Instagram reveals more than 1,600 cities where this is an option.
If you enjoyed these tips on making the most of your time on Instagram and have thoughts of your own to add, tag me on Instagram @dianegottsman or comment below.