Instagram Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Instagram Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Something that seems to be on the rise within the Instagram world is the use of user generated content, otherwise known as UGC. This is when a company takes someone’s photo and reposts it on their own Instagram account. Odds are, if you catch yourself scrolling through Instagram for longer than a minute a day, you’ll come across tons of content that is considered UGC. However, it turns out that there is a right and a wrong way to go about sharing these photos.

This is just one of the many Instagram rules users may not be aware of. It turns out that there are a few things you have got to learn about the legal side of Instagram! We’re here to help ya get on track and avoid making errors on your Instagram account! Read along as we talk about some do’s and don’ts of our favorite photo-sharing app.


DO: Ask for permission before reposting someone else’s photo!


If you’re wondering why, here you have it. There are photographers out there who charge for their photo to be taken for another brand or person’s use! If you use their photos and tag them, you should still ask for permission just in case. Each photographer is different and they are providing you with content, so go ahead and check with them through comments or direct messaging first.


DON’T: Use someone else’s photo without tagging them.


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


DO: Practice general Instagram safety.


This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating! Always practice general internet safety! When you comment on accounts or deal with customer service issues through the platform, be sure to treat followers with respect. If someone leaves a hate comment, respond respectfully and represent your brand well.


DON’T: Use a commenting bot!


Over the years many apps have been developed that run in the background and like or comment on people’s photos for you in order to increase your following. However, definitely don’t let a bot comment on posts on your behalf! These seem like they would save you the time and energy of building a following for your business on your own, but that is false. They are not allowed according to Instagram’s terms of use. Going against Instagram’s rules could damage your account in the long run. For more about what an Instagram bot is and how it works, you can take a look at our post called “Should You Use an Instagram Bot to Grow Your Following?”


DO: Authentically engage with other accounts!

Find some accounts that match your niche and follow, like, and comment on their photos! This is one way to up your following as well as gain inspiration from accounts. Check your discover page and find some accounts that are similar to your own and start building a little community through the app!


DON’T: Use the “Follow and Unfollow” method!


For those of you who may not know what this is, we’ve got ya’ covered. This is when a user follows an account and then unfollows them a few days later in the hopes of the unfollow going unnoticed and just gaining a follow back!

Believe it or not, this is a tactic that is used SO often for anyone looking to grow their following for their Instagram! Unfortunately, though, it’s not a great strategy. The biggest problem with this method is that it’s not authentic! When you’re constantly following people by the bunch, odds are you aren’t actually looking at the account. This basically makes the person a just another number instead of an account you could actually engage with!


Bonus tip: Never comment and ask for a follow. Instead, leave genuine comments that build community.


DON’T: Use random hashtags just to use them!


Hashtags can be great if you use them right! However, using irrelevant hashtags could just seem spammy on someone’s feed. So, be cautious of what and how many hashtags you are using!

Here’s an to show you how to hashtag the right way to use hashtags. Notice that the photo has a few hashtags and they all relate to the photo! If you want to use more hashtags, simply hide them in a comment.


DO: Be original with your content!


As fun as it is to use other photos and get a feel for the style of other accounts, make sure you put your own spin on your feed. Try not to only use photos from different accounts, and try to mix in some original content of your own.




Instagram is such a fun platform to be creative on and share content. At the end of the day, remember it’s a place to build community and while this might take time, it’s always worth it to engage authentically!

What are your favorite Instagram tips & tricks? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Shannon Haupert
Shannon Haupert is an Editorial Intern at Bloguettes this fall! She loves all things writing, donuts, and coffee. She is currently studying Communications at Grand Canyon University. When she is not in class, you can catch her hanging out a local coffee shop, working on her personal blog, or on a roadtrip to the mountains.