Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Netiquette Core Principles of Instagram - A Netiquette IQ First!

Netiquette is not just about email and I have from time to time provided Netiquette principles for Twitter, Facebook and a couple of others.Today is my very first on Instagram. Kindly read below.

Remember, Good Netiquette For All!

September 17, 2014 — Vanhishikha Bhargava
From blog.justunfollow.com

Insta – Etiquette : The Do’s and Don’ts Of Instagram
Instagram has become a part of our everyday lives. You need to know someone? Don’t bother googling their names or searching for their Facebook profiles; all you need to do is browse through their Instagram feed. Simple, isn’t it?
The same holds true for businesses that are using the platform to promote their products and services across the world. It’s either the website or the Instagram account of businesses that people seek out to for information or simply a sneak peek.
We don’t say Facebook and other platforms don’t serve as a good source of information for your business; it’s just that Instagram tones down the content to images specifically (just like the chocolate chips out of those chocolate chip cookies) and makes it easier to consume.
Even though most of us feel (and some of us have) we have mastered the art of capturing picture perfect Kodak moments and applying fancy filters, there is a need to lay down some ground rules for using the platform. We aren’t complaining about anyone’s marketing strategy here, but just trying to make sure Instagram remains one of those eye pleasing informative platform for years to come.
After going through almost all kinds of accounts – a foodie, a fashion blogger, a digital marketer and the oh-so-many business profiles; we came up with a few do’s and don’ts for socialising on Instagram.

The DO’S of Instagram:
1.    Keep your Twitter and Instagram usernames in sync.
The audience that follows you on Twitter is more likely to follow you on Instagram. Keep the same username on both platforms so that it makes their search easy and don’t have to go through your various online identities.
2.    Show your social side.
Instagram is another social media platform. Yes, ‘social’. So make sure you don’t sound like a business that is only interested in its sales. Post content that shows your audience that your social side and encourages them to interact with your feed.
3.    Make your feed interesting.
Considering that ‘interesting’ can be different for everyone, it’s a good idea to analyse the type of content that your audience engages with the most and create a strategy around it. Don’t always post the same things, give it some variation by posting videos, sneak peeks or featuring user generated content.
4.    Use popular filters.
There are some filters that active Instagrammers are in love with. Go through the content your audience posts and see which one is their favourite.
5.    Add hashtags wisely.
Yes, hashtags get you traffic but overdoing them is only going to make you look like a fool. Add the hashtags that describe what your business and post is all about in the best way possible.
6.    Type out interesting captions for each post.
A common mistake that most marketers make while using Instagram is skip the step of adding captions. Remember to add captions as they make understanding the post a lot more easier than having to decipher the hashtags you add.
7.    Tag users and locations to explain the posts better.
Another way to make your posts more visible is by adding tags – users and locations. It lets your audience know what your post is on and where it belongs to; making your posts all the more relatable.
The DON’TS of Instagram:
1.    Beg for follows.
We have come across some of the most cliche phrases begging for follows – ‘follow for follow’, ‘please follow back’ and the likes. If you’re running a business page, we suggest you to avoid these completely!
2.    Go on a liking spree.
Just because you’re starting off on Instagram or you have a reputation of being a customer centric business, doesn’t mean you go on a liking spree – appreciating anything and everything that you think is even closely related to you.
3.    Use those DSLR photos.
Instagram is known more for instant clicks from mobile devices. Don’t post pictures clicked with DSLRs – that’s like cheating your audience.
4.    Overdo content on your feed.
We know how big an Instagram enthusiast you are, but don’t clutter your feed with more than regular posts. Fix a number and time for the posts you will be making; creating a content strategy for the platform is a good idea. Posting two images in a day is a good idea as it gives your audience enough time to consume the information.
5.    Take horizontal photos.
There are a lot of businesses out there that click horizontal photos and end up cropping out maximum visual to fit the square dimensions Instagram enforces. It’s a better idea to click vertical photos or those of the same dimensions.
6.    Post only your content.
Don’t always post pictures of your products and services; it’s always a good idea to feature the user generated content once in a while. It gives your audience visual variety and keeps them hooked on to your feed.
7.     Use #latergram frequently. 
One of the most trending hashtags these days is #latergram, but it’s something you shouldn’t use if you know what it really stands for (an app; unless you’re using it) and what Instagram is all about. Instagram is known for capturing moments and posting socially – instantly and not later (well, mostly). Posting pictures using #latergram as something to indicate an old event is something that businesses should avoid using.
 In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:


 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.