The Do’s and Dont’s of Instagram Etiquette

Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Etiquette: The Unwritten Rules of Instagram

How important is it to follow the unwritten rules of Instagram etiquette? The Design Twins share essential do’s and don’ts for IG success.

notebook and desk for Instagram etiquette

Are There Rules of Instagram Etiquette?

On Instagram there is no guidebook, no place we can go where all the rules to the game are carefully laid out. Part of the problem is that if there were a guidebook of Instagram etiquette it would have to be updated almost daily. In this ever-changing landscape, it is sometimes hard to keep up. When you are new it can seem overwhelming. I want to take some of the mystery out of Instagram by answering common questions here.

I want this to be an interactive series. Please comment which questions were helpful and what questions you still have. I’ll be sure to include them in my next post.

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 If I want to share or repost someone’s photo what is the proper Instagram etiquette?

  1. The best etiquette is to begin by asking the person in advance. It is the rare occasion that someone does not want their photo reposted. This has only happened to me once.
  2. When reposting you should not alter the person’s photo in any way without permission. This means changing the size or adding words to the photo. Remember, this is their property. You wouldn’t alter someone’s property without permission.
  3. Also, you must give them full credit in the text of the post. To be more personal, I like to list their name as well as their IG account name. It’s better to give credit early in the post and not as an afterthought. Imagine it is your picture being featured and act accordingly.
  4. It is also essential that you tag the photo with their account name. This is important so they are alerted, and their picture is easily located. If they are off their phones or have a big feed, they may never know you featured them unless they are tagged in the photo itself. If you prefer not to tag in the photo, your other choice is to contact them via direct message.

Instagram etiquette with The Design Twins desk and computer

What is the proper Instagram etiquette if someone features my picture?

  1. If you are the winner of a design challenge and someone is reposting your picture, thank them. They are giving you a shout out and featuring you, so it is like a gift.
  2. When your picture is featured on someone else’s feed you should keep an eye on the post, heading back to check on it several times. The comments on this post will mainly be directed towards you, so you should thank the people who make these kind comments. Most importantly, you should make sure to answer any related questions people pose.
  3. If you are particularly touched by someone’s generosity you might direct message a personal thank you to them as well.

If someone has used my picture and has altered it without my permission or not given me proper credit, what should I do?

You should direct message them and explain how it is your property and ask them to kindly remove. Mistakes are made. Many people don’t know what proper Instagram etiquette is. Often there is no mal intent. Remain polite but know you have rights too. If nothing is done, you have the right to report abuse of your pictures.

Read our related blog posts for more advice on how to best follow the unwritten rules of Instagram Etiquette with the new 2019 algorithm.

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How often should I post?

There are different schools of thought on this. Here are some guidelines:

  1. The key is to not over-post. You risk annoying your followers if you post a series of photos or more than one photo at a time.
  2. One to two photos a day is a good rule of thumb, one in the morning and one at night.
  3. Or if your schedule doesn’t allow for that much activity, once a day is fine.
  4. Generally speaking, don’t post more than three times a day.
  5. Above all, try to be consistent.
  6. With the new algorithm, quality over quantity is the rule.

Instagram etiquette desk pink


While we are on the topic of Instagram etiquette, I just have to conclude with this. Negativity has no place. And I’m sure I don’t need to say this to any of you beautiful followers, but always let kindness prevail. Always. If there is nothing positive to say, don’t say anything, both in life and on Instagram.

Also, if you witness anything rude or unkind my rule of thumb is to delete and report, or report and block. Sadly, there are people looking for attention in any form they can get it. Instagram is a very big place, so while monitoring is on-going, without our help damage can be done before Instagram finds and suspends people. We can help IG stay safe and positive by reporting anything that is unkind and/or inappropriate. It’s like picking up trash in the real world. We all need to do our part to keep our world beautiful.


jodie & julie

Make sure to check out our other posts on the topic of Instagram, as we share our experience and insights into Instagram. See you on IG!

For more tips and tricks to accurately follow Instagram Etiquette, read this blog post, “Instagram Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts.”

Instagram Etiquette The Design Twins pin

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Article Name
The Do's and Dont's of Instagram Etiquette
How important is it to follow the unwritten rules of Instagram etiquette? The Design Twins share essential do's and don'ts for IG success.
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The Design Twins
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  1. Hi ladies!

    I’ve been trying to reach you. Is the e-mail that starts with “info” the right one?

    Please send me an e-mail with the best way to reach you.


    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Monica, We received and read your email, watched the intro video and are so excited to be a part. You are a God-send and we are beyond appreciative of your kindness and generosity. What a joy it was to meet you at the conference. Such an inspiration to us all. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie

  2. Anna says:

    I’d like a one-hour design consultation if I win the Giveaway!❤

  3. Elizma says:

    Now maybe I should ask to win the Instagram account prize! Or the hour consultation. No the Instagram. No the hour. Oh dear! How will I decide? ☺

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      HaHa! You are cracking me up! We have a bunch of people who are struggling to decide as well. Hopefully it will be a problem you have 🙂 We could always do 1/2 and 1/2. Fingers crossed for you, Dear Friend! XO ~ Julie & Jodie

  4. Rebecca Busboom says:

    I just love both you ladies! Gods light just simply radiates through both of you! I find you both to be so inspirational and uplifting You were some of the first ladies I found on IG, When I found this whole decor community on Instagram, I was thinking oh my Goodness…there are other women out there just like me, who decorate for entertainment! I am trying to get my Instagram feed to head in that direction, well….my my photo taking……it’s bad! Ha! Ha! But I really do enjoy you ladies so very much, and adore every picture, every post! My dream is to start a blog! …..someday!
    True story….I have two cousins (sisters, but not twins) Their names are Julie and Jodie…..we always get tongue tied and call them Judy and Jolie! Does that ever happen to you?

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Rebecca, Oh my goodness, Girlie! You are entirely too cute and too sweet and adorable! Thank you for you gorgeous reply! Wow! So full of love and grace! As long as you keep plugging away and keep growing you will reach your dreams. If you do your dreams are not only possibly they are probable. I’m laughing over here…our names may as well have been Jolie and Judy for the number of times we were called that! haha, too funny. I just sent you some DM advice for your pictures. Hopefully those pointers will start you in the right direction. Remember, many of our first photos were not good (let’s just leave it at that!) We sincerely treasure you and hope you will become a regular visitor on our blog….like meeting for coffee every day, we’ll just meet on the blog! We wish you great success in all your beautiful endeavors. With love and gratitude, Julie & Jodie

  5. Angel says:

    March madness!!! This is a great post. IG should make this list in there terms and agreements when people sign up!!! You gals are so sweet. I signed up for emails. How often do you email? Looking forward to more from ya!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Angel,

      Yeah! We are so glad you are here! Hahah! We’re glad you enjoyed the article.

      We are now sending out an email every day that we post a new blog post–and that depends on the week. I think we are usually posting between 2-4 posts per week.

      Thanks for all your support. We appreciate it more than you know!

      Jodie & Julie

  6. Cathy says:

    These were questions I have had for a long time. Thank you so very much for answering them. My pictures need a lot improving but I am working on that. Live you both. Thanks for all of this great advice
    March Madness

  7. Stephanie Hall says:

    I really like the rules about how often you should post. I see this etiquette rule broken a lot! March madness.

  8. Lauren says:

    These are wonderful things to remember! Thank you! March madness

  9. Jill Stephenson says:

    Hello Julie and Jodie,

    Thank you for all the interesting tips on IG etiquette. It is always important to respectful and considerate of others. We all need gentle reminders. Wishing you both a blessed week!!

    Happy March Madness,


  10. Corey says:

    These are great reminders for all of us in the IG world. I loved that you two wrote this post together. You two always brighten my day! Thank you! March Madness is in full force! ????????

  11. Pat Howe says:

    Wow this was so great what a wonderful reminder to all of us….thanks for sharing…..March Madness.

  12. Piper says:

    Love all your series on IG. Your positivity in all your posts comes shining through! March Madness!

  13. Kim says:

    Be kind. That’s the best etiquette there is. There is so much anger and hate in the world, IG is my one place to come where people are treated with respect and dignity. We may not always agree with everything and that’s OK. That’s what makes us unique.

  14. Patti says:

    This post was helpful, even though I’ve been on Instagram for a while now there is still so much to learn, I feel terrible when I miss a comment. I’m still not sure what to do when tagged or how to tag someone else to play hashtags. ????????‍♀️
    March Maddness Patti

  15. Rhonda Comus says:

    Julie and Jodie-
    You girls are awesome!!! You need to start writing books with all this knowledge that is combined between the two of you. God bless you twinies. ????????

  16. I’m a fairly new blogger and always hear that IG is so important to grow your blog. It’s definitely a slooooow process but I’m so grateful for your help and fantastic advice! Thank you both!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Aw Cindy, it makes our day to know our work here is helping you. As a blogger you know how much it means to hear this, so thank you ever so kindly for letting us know you are reading and learning from what we are sharing. We wish you all the best on your blogging and Instagram journey. Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  17. […] menurut The Design Twins, menggunakan hashtag secara berlebihan merupakan bentuk spam dalam feed […]

  18. […] menurut The Design Twins, menggunakan hashtag secara berlebihan merupakan bentuk spam dalam feed […]

  19. […] The best etiquette is to begin by asking the person in advance. It is the rare occasion that someone does not want their photo reposted. When reposting you should not alter the person’s photo in any way without permission. This means changing the size or adding words to the photo. via […]

  20. Michael says:

    Hi! I recently was impressed by a giveaway of a person I follow. I went to their links page, screen shot, put her name and a “This is an awesome resource!” on it and put it in my story.

    She responded in her story with a screen shot of my story and a “Thank You” sticker. I thanked her again in the DM. However, it says, “Share to your Story” under her recent thank you post of my post.

    Should I share her thank you story? Or is the DM polite enough? It seems that reshares of the story could go on ad infinitum!


    • jjdesigntwins says:

      It’s totally up to you of course, but since you asked, we don’t think it’s interesting content for your followers to reshare a thank you share. As you said, it could go on and on. We put our followers first as much as possible in making decisions about what to post. Hope that helps, Julie

  21. SNK Creation says:

    Good article and knowledge for me! I found a lot of information here! This article is really good for all newbie here.

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