We've seen a lot of Instagram accounts lately who source their Instagram feeds from other people's photos and decided it was a topic that deserved a serious dose of #RealTalk up on the blog. We might be wading in some controversial social media waters here... But we're all about giving our professional opinions and being honest with our community so we thought it was an important topic to address.
When done correctly, there's definitely a benefit to "re-gramming" or reposting, but when all of your photos come from other accounts, it could actually be damaging to your brand. So here's our 411 on the do's and don'ts of reposts on Instagram.
The right way To repost on Instagram
Capitalize on User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a buzzword that is totally worthy of its buzz right now! Not only does it expose your brand to others' social media communities and show brand loyalty, but it's also a great way to engage with your audience! One of the greatest parts about social media is engaging with your customers and user-generated content allows you to build relationships with your customers sharing about your brand (can you say brand advocates?!), but you can also give them a nice little high-five back by sharing their content on your social media accounts. #DoubleWin!
Here are two awesome ways you can encourage user-generated content with your customers while also gaining their permission to share their posts.
- Using a designated hashtag for your customers: One of the easiest ways to track content being produced by your customers is to create a designated hashtag that you can monitor. Promote your hashtag as a place for customers to share their love and for the chance to be reposted. You can share your hashtag through collateral you send with orders and also by promoting in your Instagram bio.
- Create hashtag for social media contests: Social media contests focused around others submitting theme photos can be a great way to encourage your customers to submit. There's a number of ways to do this, whether on an on-going basis or a shorter duration. Make sure to also include in your terms that photos can be used for reposts.
Curate Your Community
Some of our favorite hashtags are run by accounts that created them to curate photos of their community. This is another way to connect with your followers and also highlight a similar style of shots. Plus, a lot of accounts that create designated hashtags also occasionally pull from their streams to repost content. #FlashesofDelight is one of our favorite hashtags by Glitter Guide to look through and one time we were even lucky enough to have them repost one of our pics! Eeee! So curated hashtags? A total do in the world of reposting in our books.
Ask for Permission
If you aren't using a designated hashtag or running a contest, where your audience has already agreed to having their images reposted, then we think asking for permission is a MUST! Having your photo reposted can be a really awesome feeling, I mean, they totally thought your pic was awesome enough to be re-posted, right? Well yes, it can be a compliment, but it can also feel like you're getting a little ripped off in some cases (more on that later). That's why we think it's essential and the most polite thing to do by shooting a user a message to see if they're okay with their photo being reposted before posting it. When we repost for clients we try and give as much credit back to the account as possible too by tagging the user in the photo, tagging the user in the caption and also using a hashtag if they have one affiliated with their account.
The Oh, No, Nos!
Now that you know the do's, let's get down to the nitty gritty of why reposting can actually hurt your brand if you don't follow best practices.
It's not authentic
This one is especially important for business accounts that are made up of a majority of other people's photos. When you source all of your photos from other peoples' newsfeeds, you're using their work to represent your brand, which doesn't give others a clear representation of your brand. We're not talking about your feed being made up of a majority of user-generated content for your brand either.. We're talking about accounts that screenshot your photos, repost your image but use their own caption relevant to their own brand. Not only does this cheat your community out of a chance to actually get to know your business, but you're using other people's work to represent yours which is a no-no when it comes to building strong branding.
Respect for Other's Creativity
Going off of not being totally authentic, it's also a respect thing. If you aren't asking for permission, but instead are just curating a pretty Instagram feed for your business.. #RealTalk you're totally ripping off someone's work in some way. While there are certainly ways Instagram tries to deal with copyright issues, it can be tricky if a user doesn't tag you in the post to even track down and Instagram likes for you first to reach out to a user before submitting a claim. Long story short, if you want to repost someone else's photo do the right thing and ask for permission first.
But I'm Not a Photographer
We totally get it, not everyone is a photographer... And that's okay! While Instagram has become a platform with gorgeous, professional looking shots, you can still create beautiful photos on both the fly or that have been styled. We're definitely not photographers (leave that to the pros!) at Bold & Pop, but we understand the social media world and with a little styling and a little bit of editing in Instagram, we've figured out images that resonate with our audience. Spoiler, 95% of our shots on our Instagram are taken from our phones.. No fancy lens here! And while there are a lot of people who do use fancy cameras or are legit photographers, you don't have to be!
At the end of the day, there are many perks to reposting photos on your Instagram account. The issue becomes when you source photos without permission, or without proper credit. Respect your fellow girl and guy bosses and gram on! To help our non-photography friends get going on creating your own photos we've put together a guide on how to make your Instagram shots a little bit prettier. Enter your email below, click submit and poof! you'll receive a link to your download as well as a password for the page.