Instagram Etiquette

Instagram Etiquette Today, we share with you our list of Instagram Etiquettes; the do's and don't's on Instagram. Beyond personal experiences, we speak from a magazine standpoint, as well as a witness to many funny activities on this social media platform.

1. Pitches: As an outlet, we receive numerous pitches a day whether by phone, email, or even snail mail. Sometimes, it's inundating. And what's worse is receiving endless comments from businesses who attempt to pitch their product or business to us. We understand how small businesses work, and how we all need a boost. But take a second to get on your desktop, search for our website, and contact us formally through our email. While informality is all the rave, we're old souls who love a good personal letter (that's actually and correctly addressed to the magazine!).

2. Repetitive Comments: We have witnessed the endless (and sometimes pointless) comments made by self-promoters. Sometimes they are bloggers, and other times they are online businesses. We love being interactive with our readers, and we know they love who we follow. Yet, the comments become ingenuine as time goes on... And we begin to acknowledge they're meant for simple self-promotion. And of course, there are those who tend to comment on every photo (not just our own photos, but on others' feeds too!). Try and make comments matter. If the photo does not pertain to you, you don't have to comment on it, especially if it's just one emoticon (let's put a pause on excessive emoticon plugging!). But the more you are honest about your comments, and the more you prove you actually read the users' captions, the more they'll care what you have to say too!

3. Read the Captions: Simply put, read the captions before you respond! For example, the user may say: "Eating at Bottega today!" And we've seen people comment below, "Where did you get those macarons?" As insignificant that may sound, your Instagram persona will be deeply more appreciated if people knew you took the time to read a few seconds worthy of captions.

4. Limiting Hashtags: There's no need to hashtag every verb and noun you use. We love to read about people's days. Treat your Instagram like a microblog! Tell us what's happening the photo! If it's a photo of your baby playing with his or her food, you don't have to write: #mybaby #baby #little #child #food #mess. Make something out of it, and make it worth your followers' time! Tip: Just use hashtags in a comment, so by the time you get a few third-party comments in, your hashtags won't be seen.

5. Selfies: There might need to be a limit on selfies. Take a peek at this video, and let us know how you feel after.

6. Please Follow Me, Please!: Somehow, users think this comment works. Most of the time, we believe they're just kids (whose parents should be monitoring their Internet usage!).

7. Food Photos: Remember the Martha Stewart issue that was going viral? It's a good reminder that everyone is watching... Of course, social media should serve as platforms of self-expression, but it's hard to attract your friends, families, or followers with bad photos of food - no matter how delicious it actually was! Think twice before your upload.

8. Excessive Liking: And never following. We love that you want to promote your account, but it's obvious where this is all leading to. We consider this spam.

9. Credit where Credit is Due: Reposting photos is easy as 1-2-3. And so is crediting the creator, but it doesn't happen so often.

10. Parents who Reveal Everything: We don't mean special events like your child's first haircut, we're referring to the parents who announce where their children go to school... Where they take ballet lessons... And where they eat and at what times. It's dangerous and within seconds, we know how to locate you when you turn on your location option. Example: Moving into a new home, and turning on your location with the title 'New Casa!' where it tells us exactly where your house is (cross streets and all!).

These are simply thoughts about how you should treat your social media presence, and much effect one photo, caption, or comment can have. In this day and age, people take social media very seriously... And while we don't like to, it's almost a necessity. Whether you're a small business, blogger, or just an Instagram-user, make your interactions matter. You never know who's watching, and you'll never know the beautiful relationships you can make that might just end up as lasting friendships. We, here at Zooey, have found so many of our staff members just through Instagram; just within a touch of a button. Isn't that incredible?

While these are just 10 lessons to note and acknowledge, we are sure you have a dozen more. What are we missing? Let us know in the comments!

Illustration // Kendra Dandy