21 Do’s & Don’ts of Instagram

by Tamara on July 23, 2012

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[UPDATE! Check out the follow-up post - 10 More Don'ts of Instagram.]

I've mentioned before how much I love Instagram (it's the main reason why I switched to the iPhone), but I get frustrated sometimes when I'm looking at my photo stream.  Just like with Facebook (stop sending me application requests) and Twitter, I've developed some pet peeves when it comes to Instagram.  So, before I go unfollowing people, I thought that I would offer my do's and don'ts of Instagram:


  • Do take interesting photos.
  • Don't take boring photos (no one liking or commenting is a sign). 
  • Do participate in Photo-A-Day challenges. 

  • Don't take each day's challenge so literally (if the day's challenge is "Cup" don't post a photo of a red Solo cup sitting on a table.  Boring!  I'm not following you for that).
  • Do be creative with each day's challenge.
  • Don't feel the pressure to actually post everyday of the challenge (it's ok if you aren't inspired that day).
  • Do post photos (you would think this would be obvious, but there are some people who are following hundreds of people, but have not posted 1 of their own photos. #lurking).
  • Don't post 100 photos a day (you can't possibly be seeing that many post-worthy things in one day. You're just cluttering up people's photo streams). 
  • Do take photos of yourself (especially if you're having a great hair or makeup day.  Plus it's a way for people to get a glimpse into your life – like your very own reality show). 
  • Don't make every photo a picture of your face. 

  • Do have fun with filters.
  • Don't post blurry photos (throwing a filter on a blurry photo is not what Instagram is about).
  • Do be social (comment on and like other people's photos.  It's a social network.  It's not all about you). 
  • Don't be an Instagram groupie and like EVERY photo someone posts (your "likes" will mean nothing after a while.  "Like" a photo when you really do like it.). 
  • Do use hash tags so people who aren't already following you can find your photos (#ootd, outfit of the day, is one of my favs).
  • Don't use hash tags that have absolutely nothing to do with the photo you posted just so it will come up in popular searches (unless you're wearing that red Solo cup, don't use the #ootd hash tag). 
  • Do regram or repost interesting photos (be sure to give the person credit if you're reposting someone's original photo). 
  • Don't forget to mention a user if you're replying to one of their comments on your own photo or someone else's photo to make sure that they actually see your comment (press on their name by their comment until the box pops up asking if your want to mention the user or go to the user.  It isn't necessary to mention the person whose photo you're commenting on.  They will automatically receive notification that you commented on their photo.).
  • Do add captions to your photos.
  • Don't make your account private (I like to preview your photos before deciding if I want to follow you, especially if I don't know you).
  • Do follow me on Instagram – BlitzAndGlam (you didn't think I would write this post and not self-promote, did you?). 

What are some of your Instagram tips and pet peeves?

(Images 1 and 2)

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 YourBoyfriendsBestGirlfriend.com July 23, 2012

I still need to get up on my instagraming 

2 Eat.Style.Play July 25, 2012

I want to do one of these photo challenges! I love all of your Do's and Don'ts some of those don't have been the reason why I've unfollowed folks before.  My favorite is all those self portaits and they are like "good morning"……half of their instagram is the same expression and everything.

3 Bobbie July 25, 2012

Great Do's and Dont's. I'm still learning Instagram

4 Miss Foodie Fash July 25, 2012

Great post. I know some people that need to read this. Escpecially, "Don't post 100 photos a day"

5 Lynn July 25, 2012

Alright, Alright, Alright… I think I do PRETTY DARN GOOD! *Flips Wig* lol
I can't STAND those PRIVATE accounts… Uggh!!!!! I'm headed over to follow you now on Instagram…
*GREAT POST, thanks for sharing*

6 Teems July 25, 2012

I am guilty of private photos but its because I was putting a lot of pictures of the baby for my friends. I have since cut back and may open it again. I hate when I have one person dominating my feeds. It's definitely about quality not quantity. 
One of my biggest pet peves is when people only instagram "reference" photos (making fun of others and such) I know many people that dont show anything about themselves through their photos. Its all about someone else.

7 Soo Soo Tasty July 25, 2012

I have to agree. This will help me when I start using Instagram. I am starting to loveeeee Blog World:) Tastefully SoSo

8 Alicia July 25, 2012

lol this was funny yet so true. I agree with all of them.


9 Buy Instagram Likes July 29, 2012

Thanks for the adivices Tamara! All of the tips are funny yet make sense to me. Just followed you on Instagram  ;)

10 Shanda August 12, 2012

Hi Tamara,
Just read this post, (saw your blog link on the ::BLM:: facebook group). I love it.  I'm sort of new to Instagram and it was good to get your take on the "Do's and Don'ts" of Instagram…and it makes sense! Love your blog, I too am huge football fan. Not many football chicks like us exist… so I will be following!

11 Rhonda August 29, 2012

What a great post! I needed some of these tips myself and do many others need many more!!! 

12 tiffany December 15, 2012

follow me on instagram please you wont regret @shedoped

13 semral January 6, 2013

Hi,how can I regram my own photos easily?
Also how can you post a photo to someone who is not following you yet?
Great site,thanks

14 Tamara January 6, 2013

Thank you!  What do you mean when you say that you want to regram your own photos?  You want to repost photos that you’ve already posted on Instagram?  Or you want to regram someone else’s photos?  When I regram a photo, I just take a screen shot of the photo and then crop it and post it on my Instagram and in the caption put that I reposted it from that person.  If you want someone who is not following you to see the photo, just @ them in the caption.  I hope this helps!

15 semral January 6, 2013

Thank-you,brilliant idea !!

16 semral January 6, 2013

Also,sorry,how can i delete my own photos ,thanks

17 Tamara January 6, 2013

Go to your profile and click on the photo that you want to delete.  At the bottom right you’ll see 3 dots.  Click on that and you’ll see an option to delete the photo. 

18 semral January 6, 2013

Thanks once again!!

19 kate January 16, 2013

I have a little over 3k, and I have to say the most annoying thing about instagram is when people who have never liked, commented or followed all of the sudden comment and say “oh my gosh! Ur so pretty!” (Or something of the sort) and when I thank them, immediately say “Can I have a shoutout?” When I clearly say that I don’t give shoutouts :P haha That’s just a pet peeve of mine :)

Great tips! ^,^

20 OddGirl February 21, 2013

…half of your “do’s” are the things that end up getting people unfollowed by me. I follow artistically creative accounts, not accounts where people post all kinds of random stuff, like their nails. Oh, and switching to the iPhone for Instagram? Dude, it’s just as good on Android…

21 __Froot__Loops__ April 1, 2013

Yeah why would u switch phones just because of an app that is already on your phone

it makes NO sense at all.  But I already have an iPhone  so idk how it is on other phones 


22 Kissy May 18, 2013

good points but I have to disagree about setting your profile to private…I had mine wide open for all to see and was getting a TON of spam. at least now I can control the spam before it comes in. 

23 jessica May 18, 2013

On instagram if you do the 30 day challenge on day 3 what does happiness mean??????  i really need someones help!!!

24 Tamara May 18, 2013

You can post a pic of something that makes you happy or a pic of you being happy.  I hope this helps!

25 Silla June 4, 2013

Can't stand those private accounts either. Why would I follow you if I can't even see your photos? Also can't stand those kids that troll other people's pictures of themselves yet these trolls privatize their own account because they have no guts to face any criticism. 

26 Alexander July 19, 2013

Thanks for the tips Tamara. Useful and hilarious. Thought I was the only one that didn't like the private accounts.

27 Denny July 25, 2013

Dear Tamara,

I would like to know why I can't see my own post in explore? for example, I've tagged my post with #food, but when I explore #food tag, I can't find my photo! This annoying stuff happened twice. Please advice. Really need your help !


Much thanks,


28 Daniella August 24, 2013

Follow me on Instagram (: @Daniellathethug <3

29 Suzi August 30, 2013

Are  posting pictures of your nails bad??! … I love posting pics of my nail designs! Someone said you shouldn't post random pics, but rather artistic ones… Ironically, I'm an artist? 

And I am really late to joining Instagram, so I do tend to over compensate with lots of photos (all of myself in one way or another), but I haven't gotten any complaints~

Check it out for yourselves???

my instagram: hellosuchiin

[and new as I am, even I think that begging for shout outs is not classy]

30 Yjane September 3, 2013

Great♥ follow me;) @yjane0910

31 Lauren October 2, 2013

Some people have their account on private cause they don’t want creeps looking at their photos and also people such as young teens or Tweens should have their photos on private. It also annoys me how when somebody likes all their photos people screen shot it and post it, it’s so annoying!! Great article though :)

32 Cottage By The Sea November 30, 2013

I am have a goal this week of having my daughter teach me how to do everything there is to do with Instagram.  She is moving from California to Illinois in a month and I'll be on my Computer saavy own – not a good combo.  Might as well use her knowledge while I have the chance, right?  I love to look at Instagram and follow a bunch a fools, but now I need to reach a few goals on my end, like taking pics, posting them, and linking to my blog.  Found you on SITS – hey!

33 Nope September 20, 2014

I have my set to private because I don't like the idea of strangers lurking about. I, frankly, think that people have forgotten what personal boundaries are, due to the internet, and that there is nothing at *all* wrong with wanting to preserve a little bit of privacy online.

34 Nope September 20, 2014

*mine, rather

35 Tamara September 21, 2014

@Nope – That’s fine.  This was moreso for people who want to grow their followers.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep your account and photos private to only share with family and friends.

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