I’ve been on Instagram an entire year now, and it’s been a really fun ride. But I’ve built up a few pet peeves that I’d like to caution you against, both for my sanity and for the sake of your account’s level of awesome. Since Instagram is the fastest growing social media network, I’m trying to do my part to make sure the newbies are as dedicated as those of us already loving the platform.
1. Don’t reply properly (or at all)
Instagram is a social network, so why wouldn’t you be social? If someone leaves a comment, answer them. And do so using their handle, so they get a notification that you replied. You can just swipe left to see the reply button: press that and it appears instantly in the comment box.
Don’t get me wrong: if the comment is abusive, you should report it and delete it (also available when you swipe left on a comment).There’s no need to reply to that awful stuff.
2. Don’t flood my feed
Posting the same image taken five different ways is annoying. Plus, I’m not going to like all of them. If you really want to share similar images, space them out over a week or a month. This will ensure that each post gets its own share of likes, and it won’t clog up your friends’ feeds.
Another good piece of advice: make sure they’re good pictures. Nix anything out-of-focus, really grainy, or too dark to see properly.
3. Stop hashtag abuse
You can only add up to 30 hashtags in one comment. Whether that seems excessive or not, only use hashtags that are relevant to the picture. If your picture was taken in Oregon, for example, don’t include the other 49 states in your hashtags. If you’re participating in one of Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Projects, don’t use the hashtag on a picture that has nothing to do with the weekend’s theme.
For the record, I average about 15 – 20, which is a lot. I usually include hashtags for location, editing apps, and maybe a few descriptors.
Also, I make sure to upload the picture description with one or two hashtags at most, and then leave a comment with the rest of the hashtags after publishing. This makes it easy to share my post on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter with being an annoying hashtag mess. It also looks nicer (which should count for something on a social network dedicated to visuals, right?)
4. Don’t share screenshots
Instagram is about photos. If you want to share an inspiring message, you can literally create one using apps like Studio (my personal fave–I used it to create the graphic for this blog), Over, or A Beautiful Mess. If you want to just share an image you like, you can do that on Pinterest, Tumblr, or We Heart It. No need to do it on Instagram.
5. Don’t beg for likes or follows.
Because it’s just sad. If #like4like has gotten you somewhere, think about exactly where that is.
What do you hate seeing on Instagram? Leave a comment below!