The Etiquette Guide: Instagram

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Instagram has been around for a few years now, but while you may be using it everyday, there are some tips and tricks and rules of etiquette out there that you might not be aware of that will make you a nicer Instagrammer. We thought we’d mention a few here…

Sign Up!

Even if you have no intention of ever using Instagram, it is still worth signing up for an account and linking your Twitter to it. That way, no one can take your name, and when friends tag you in pictures, it will show with your Twitter name when they tweet it.

Tag Them Anyway

So perhaps your friend hasn’t signed up for Instagram, but you want to tag them in, or perhaps you just don’t know their Instagram name (but you do know their Twitter name) Just tag their Twitter name as normal, but put two @ signs (e.g. @@bonjourblogger) This will come out the right way on Twitter.


Hashtags are awesome. They allow you to search for specific things on Instagram that interest you but there’s nothing more annoying than when someone goes totally overboard on the hashtags. 30 hashtags (which is apparently the limit on how many hashtags you can put in a comment) from the most relevant to the spammy is a time suck (“If I include this hashtag, will I get more likes?”) and can be annoying for other users who are using specific hashtags to find people with the same interests as them.


If you’re taking a photo to show off your outfit, then why not tag the brands that are mentioned in the photos. You can do this by putting their usernames into the caption, or you can tag photos like you would Facebook. This is good for you (it gets your photos seen by your favourite brands!) and it’s good for the brands (they can show their bosses a figure of how many people they interacted with)

Be Social, Don’t Be A Dick

It’s nice to reply to comments. It’s awesome to reply to questions. It’s quite rude to ignore questions about specific items in the image – especially if you’re using something like liketkit to send out affiliate links. Sure, it gets annoying having to answer the same questions every time (perhaps you could answer those questions on a page on your blog like the Twitter landing page we talked about last week?) but by not answering  or talking to the people following you, you’ll just lose followers and annoy former fans. Remember, you can tag people in comments as well (just like you would on Twitter), so when you do reply to a comment, tag the person so they get notified

Location Location Location

If you’re signed up for Foursquare (which is basically like Facebook places, where you check into locations to potentially earn badges and discount), then you can check in to locations with your Instagram snaps. Just set the location and send the picture to Foursquare. Much easier than opening up another app!


Just…no. Follow for follow, like for like, begging for follows and likes, paying for follows and likes – it’s all pointless. Enjoy Instagram for taking photos and for looking at other peoples photos, stop focusing on the numbers!

Your Photos Are Amazing!

Well they will be if you took them on your SLR and did a #latergram. The point of Instagram is to share your phone photos instantly – and while we totally understand doing #latergram’s from a safety point of view (we know some parent bloggers who do this to protect where their kids are located right this second – seems sensible!), if you’re doing it to spread out content over time, then it’s a little pointless for your followers

Avoid The Screenshots

Many users don’t really like the screenshots posted on Instagram – they’re not really adding anything to the conversation. Try to avoid doing it too often – if you’re using Instagram to promote a new blog post, then use an actual image from your post – which, yes, does go against the #latergram and SLR rule above – but what would you rather see (and what would make you click through to the blog? A tiny screenshot of someones blog, or a bigger photo of the outfit they just posted?

What drives you crazy about Instagram? Don’t be afraid to share!


  1. Sophie

    I do like screenshots if it’s something exciting and blog-related! It kinda visually reminds me to check out their blog :)
    Wow I had no idea you could tag someone’s twitter handle on an instagram shot!! cool! x

  2. Angela @Little Apple Tree

    Ooooh! I had no idea that twitter had any kind of link to instagram! I must try this out! Thanks, Hayley :)

  3. Pearl Sanguine

    The tagging! Oh my god the incessant tagging! It’s just so intrusive.. I hate when people put text in collage photos as well. I am viewing it on my phone screen, which is not that large, it makes it like a bad sight test. I just scroll right past.

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