Instagram is its own
fake little world, and with that comes a set of certain unspoken rules that apply.
Just as there’s etiquette for attending and hosting parties or going on dates, social media etiquette is very real, and we want to make sure you’re playing by the rules. Below, our guide to Instagram follower etiquette:
This sounds easier than it is, but being original with your content is crucial. Even if you’re not trying to build a social media following, don’t just post to post or fall into the ruts of Instagram clichés. Instagram is built entirely on sharing, and you’re the only one who has your perspective, so don’t be afraid to share things that excite you.
Instagram is a platform often used for inspiration, and sometimes something inspires you so much you want to put it on your own feed. That’s totally fine, but the proper way to to do it is to ask the owner for permission first. If the owner doesn’t get back to you, you can still post as long as you give the content creator credit by tagging them in both the comment and the photo. If you can’t find the original source, most people credit source: unknown and ask their followers to help them identify the creator.
You think by now this would be common knowledge, but the allure of having a larger following still draws people to the dark side of buying followers. Not only is this frowned upon, it’s also a scam. If you’re trying to build your platform to work with brands, there are apps, like Social Blade, that notify them if your following is fake. Also, Instagram regularly does sweeps, so chances are your fake followers will get wiped out along the way, which is also pretty embarrassing.
You follow people for a reason, and just like you, everyone’s putting content out in the world to be consumed and engaged with. If a follower asks a question in their caption, answer it in the comments! If not, leave meaningful comments that promote engagement instead of something super simple like an emoji or “nice pic.”
It’s also frowned upon to hire a bot agency. Although this isn’t as bad as buying followers, you’re essentially hiring someone to engage with random peoples’ content in hopes that they will follow you back. Unfortunately, most of these agencies also create tons of fake accounts which ties into the root of the problem with fake followers.
The follow/unfollow method has been used by many influencers to grow their following, but it, too, is a scammy way to get people to follow you, and can also hurt people’s feelings.
Nothing seems spammier than loading up a perfectly cute photo of you and your friends with hashtags that don’t even relate to the photo. If you want to get your content noticed, do properly use hashtags. For a glowing skin selfie, it’s totally fine to use things like #glowingskin #glowymakeup #selfie #glossier #glowup #glowbyme, but using things like #followme #like4like #cutegirl #girl are in poor taste and honestly won’t even get your photo noticed. Niche is always better!
Need more social tips? HERE are the dos and don’ts of Twitter etiquette!