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Instaquette: The Dos and Don’ts of Instagram

Let’s face it – Instagram is popular. It’s fun to share a photo, pick the right filter, and have it post to all your networks at once. What’s not to love? It turns an amateur photographer into a pro (well, maybe) and it’s only getting better.

But don’t dilute the fun with bad filters, poor quality of photos, and other Instagram dos and don’ts that can cost you followers and perhaps make for a bad experience on an otherwise fun social media platform. Ultimately, it’s up to you how you use Instagram, but if you’re here to stay, follow these tips for an awesome experience.

DO: Match your Twitter and Instagram usernames. Some people like to be cute and attach “Insta” to their first name and make that their username. That’s cool if you don’t have any other social accounts and it’s purely just photo sharing on the Instagram platform alone; however, a majority of you have a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc and most likely all with the same username so why deviate? Instagram allows you to tag users so don’t make them remember another username. Keep it simple and fun.

DON’T ask people to follow you. Just don’t. It’s tacky. Don’t tag your photos with #followme, #followback, etc. It’s just wrong and not the right way to make friends. You want real followers that interact with your cool photos, not just a number, right?

DO Be social: Like all other social networks, Instagram is a social network and if you’re not social, you’re excluding yourself from the network. Follow your friends, your favorite brands, celebrities, and other people you might like to follow. Generate good will by leaving a comment and liking the photo.

DON’T like every photo: It’s good to like photos but don’t like every photo. Liking every photo on someone’s feed won’t necessarily win you any points. Instead, it’ll just devalue your like and leave the person wondering if you’re an “instagroupie” looking for followers.

DO Take Interesting Photos: I’m selective with Instagram. I don’t use it for every day things like a leaf, the sky, a sunset, etc. I try to make it fun and something that people get some value from but hey, to each their own. Judge the quality of your photo. If it’s blurry, please don’t post it. Take the time to focus your subject, get some good lighting, and find a filter that really works. Instagram won’t “instantly” make your photos look better, you have to put some effort into it too.

DON’T #latergram: The point Instagram is to be “instant.” People want to see what you’re doing that moment in a live feed, not what you did last night. Unfortunately, #latergrams have become popular and now feeds are flooded with useless content that took places days, weeks, and months ago.

DO #hashtag: But wait! Don’t go hashtag crazy in your original photo caption. Save the hashtags for your comments. Your original photo should only have two hashtags, the most relevant hashtags. Then hashtag that sunset up with the location, colors, etc etc. You get it.

DON’T Screencap: Instagram is all about good looking photos, not a screencap of your iMessages between you and your bestie about an inside joke that only you and a handful people understand. Nobody has time for that. Save that for Facebook or Twitter. You can’t throw a filter on screencaps so just please don’t.

What are your Instagram dos and don’ts and what would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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