Instagram Do's and Don'ts

Instagram Do’s and Don’ts Plus Safety tips for your teens

I decided to write this blog post because I was sitting at my youngest sons baseball game and was talking to a friend of mine about our business Instagram accounts.  I was giving her ideas how to use Instagram to benefit her company.   As we continued to talk, we start talking about our older sons and their Instagram accounts.   Well, this sparked interest with many moms and dads sitting around us and they wanted to know how I was monitoring his account.  They all asked if I could write a blog about it…hence, this post 🙂   So if you have a teen with an account I will go over some tips to make sure you know what is going on with their account plus a few tips to keep them safe.   I will also share a couple of tips for business and personal accounts.

So your teen is on Instagram!   What is Instagram, you asked?   Instagram is a photo-sharing app for your phone.   If you have a teen with a phone my guess is they have Instagram.   The first thing you want to do is talk to them about the World Wide Web.   I know, this may seem stupid but believe it or not most kids do not think about what they put onto the Internet stays on the Internet!  I know a lot of cyber bullying goes on with Facebook and Instagram.   Remind them that once it’s on the web it stays out there!  So think before you upload!

Here are a few tips we use with our son and his instagram account: Teen accounts

  • I follow my son’s account.  Yes, I am one of his followers on Instagram.  If he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t get to keep the account.
  • Never post your location.   This is just for his safety.   Being a teen, he is not with us a lot and we don’t want him posting his whereabouts.
  • Never shoot a picture wearing school names.   Again, I just don’t believe people that I don’t know need to know where my son goes to school.
  • Never be cruel, mean or degrading to anyone.  If you do, you lose the account.
  • He has to hand over his phone anytime we ask and we can take a look around.  If he doesn’t, the phone is gone.
  • I would prefer my son’s account to be private (yes, that’s an option) but all the kids love to get followers and its kind of a game to help everyone get followers.   Hence, the rules above for safety.
  • Make sure you check what your teen’s friends are uploading.  Yes, I will go check to see what his “friends” are posting.  If I don’t like it, you can block a user.   I will give more details later on this.
  • Most importantly, just talk to your teen.   Keep communication open.   As of this blog post, my son had only one picture of himself on Instagram.

Be sure to check out Yoursphere for Parents.   This is a great website all about how to keep our kids safe on the web.

Now the fun stuff!  I have to admit I LOVE Instagram.   I do have both a personal account and a business account.  Instagram to me is a great way to share photos without the extras of Facebook.    I will admit it’s a pain to log in and out of each account.   So some people choose to have just one account.   Remember, if you have a business account, I would keep your account public.   If you are using the same account for both business and personal.  Again, I would keep it public.   If it’s not public, the only people seeing your business related photos are your friends!   That is no way to gain new clients or customers.  Also, if you are #hashtagging your photos and your account is private.  No one but your friends will see them!!  Again, #hashtagging is a great way to gain new followers who will hopefully one day turn into a customer.

Dos and Don’ts for your instagram account(s):

  • Do match your instagram and twitter account username.   Important for business users.
  • Do be social.   Remember instagram is a social media so like and reply to photos.  If you are replying to someone’s comment remember to tag the user with @username so that he or she gets the notification.
  • Do use filters.  Filters are fun and can enhance the photo.
  • Do use hashtags correctly.   Again, if your account is private, no one will see your #hashtag photos.   Using popular hashtags like #instagood #tbt #photooftheday will earn your more likes and comments which is good for business!
  • Do write captions and locations that explain the photo.
  • Do take advantage of add ons.   An example would be PicFrame.  This is where you can combine more than one photo together for a collage of photos.   Love this app!
  • Don’t take horizontal photos.   Instagram automatically squares your photo so it’s best to use your phone camera vertically.
  • Don’t ask people to follow you.
  • Don’t like every photo.
  • Don’t flood the feed.    It’s best to upload one photo a day.  You don’t want to overwhelm your followers.

“ Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt

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