10 Tips on Instagram Etiquette

Instagram is necessary for many people, brands, and businesses, but can be frustrating at times. We've been trying to crack the Instagram code for 5 years now and I can safely say we still haven't figured it all out. But while we are all working on our IG game, we need to remember to be kind and truthful. So to help us all out, we wrote this post abot Instagram etiquette. If there is one thing we've learned over the years, it's that there are some basic things everyone should keep in mind while operating their Instagram account. So let's get started!.

10 Tips on Instagram Etiquette

1. Ask permission. We have events at our house, and people love to take pictures of our house. We don't mind, and asking permission to take pictures of our house isn't necessary. But everyone may not feel the same way we do. It never hurts to ask.

2. Tag appropriately. Let's face it- we all want to gain followers on Instagram. If you are putting a picture on your Instagram and it involves anyone else, then tag them. If you are taking a picture in front of someone's well styled mantle at their house, tag them. It's their creation, not yours. In my opinion, you should mention a person in the caption but at the very least tag them in the picture for heaven's sake. BUT FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, if you are posting a picture that someone else took, in the caption you should write "photo by so-and-so". You didn't take the picture. Be honest about it. Because when you don't do this, people assume you've taken the photo. Ask them what to tag. If they are like us, they have a zillion IG accounts. Find out which one they want you to use. This is all just good insta karma.

3. If you don't know the source of picture, don't post it. I hate to see when people post that the source is unknown. Or they'll source tumblr. That is someone's work, and you aren't giving them credit. The fact that picture has an unknown source is not your fault. But somewhere along the way someone else reposted this picture without giving proper credit and other people kept doing it. Stop the cycle. There are plenty of beautiful photographs you can repost that have a known source. Don't perpetuate the cycle.

4. Don't follow a bunch of people and then unfollow them if they don't follow you back. I hate this. I also hate when someone likes 809 of our pictures and then follows us, or even crazier- doesn't even follow us. I am not interested in your games. Follow me if you like my account, period. We have started blocking people when we see it happening. You just want me to follow you and it ain't gonna happen, so let's just cut the middle part out and move on.

5. Don't buy your followers. I shouldn't have to say this, but don't. Don't buy your likes or comments either. This may work for you for a while, but brands are figuring you out. Also, it's lying. If you are doing this to get stuff from brands, well then you suck. That's harsh, but we were on the receiving end of that when we had the clothing brand. We once had an influencer who has 60,000 followers post a pic of our kimono and we gained zero followers from it. Zero. That's a dead giveaway that your followers are fake.

6. Be kind with your polls. Okay this is a new feature on Instagram stories and we are all still figuring it out. We love this feature because when used correctly. It can be really fun for you and your followers to interact. Make sure you are framing your questions and answers in a way that doesn't make you or your followers look negative. If you ask your followers if they like seeing you post about your laundry, yes or no, and you fully intend on still posting about your laundry, maybe just don't ask that. Because if one of your followers likes following you, but doesn't particularly like seeing you do your laundry, you've just put them in a weird predicament. If you really really want to ask this question, maybe choose better answer choices like "yes" or "more home photos!" That way when someone decides that they don't actually like seeing you do your laundry, they can choose an answer that is still positive. People like being mean, so don't give them a chance to. Which brings us to part 2- Don't call out the people who voted in a way you didn't like. Don't tell people that you can see who voted and your are blocking all of them. If you are asking a question, people assume you want an honest answer. As they should. Also, maybe only ask questions you are prepared to handle the answers to. For example, I would never post on a poll- who do you like better, Casey or Savannah. We don't need to know that. When you are asking your followers questions, make questions that are useful. 

7. Comment on people's pictures with relevant or actually meaningful comments. "Nice pic" is lame. Most of the time when someone leaves a comment like this, they are botting. Not interested!

8. Forget comment pods. We don't love these. We were in one for a week to see what it was all about. First, we didn't notice that being in a pod helped anything. Second, being in a pod felt icky. At the end of the day the engagement you have isn't real. I know people are doing it to trick the algorithm, but Instagram algorithms are smarter than us. Also, it's not fair to brands. Maybe you don't feel sorry for giant brands, but there are lot of little brands that look at engagement rates. When we made clothes, these pods made it hard to tell what was real and what was fake. For tiny little brands like we were, making yourself look bigger and better than you are is not nice and can really bite you in the butt in the end.

9. Don't post photos back to back to back. People don't do this for the most part, but I'm pretty certain no one wants you clogging up their feed with 8 different angles of you and your dog sitting in the grass. Use the multiple photo in one post feature if you really need to post all of those. My personal least favorite is when someone uses the IG grid to create a way larger photo. Looks cool on your profile, but irritates your followers as you are putting them up. And now with photos from day before showing up on your feed, things just get really weird with those. Why is this really grainy photo of a toe on my feed? Ohhh.... Two pictures a day is our personal max, but we don't even do that often. 

10. Before you ask a question- do your research. People will DM us and ask what our email is. There is a place on our profile where you can click on "email" and it will start writing an email. Or they will ask a question when the answer is in the caption. Sheesh. This is more than an Instagram tip, really. This is a life tip. Asking questions is almost never a bad thing- unless you are asking a question (that has already been answered) because you are too lazy. 

All in all, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a pretty good rule of thumb here. Don't suck. Don't lie. Don't cheat. Give credit where credit is due. Be self-aware. These are all good life rules and they apply to Instagram too.

peace, Casey

1 comment

  1. These are amazing tips & I'm happy to say we've followed them so far. Yay! Thank you for sharing :)

    xo, B&K