Guest post by Katja Presnal, the author of “Instagram as your Guide to the World”.
Instagram has changed the way I plan my travels, and in fact Instagram is nowadays my travel guide when I travel to new places. I discovered new ways to search Instagram and use it as a reference after using the travel tips I found on Instagram in my travels the past year or so. 15 countries and 3 continents later I can testify that Instagram works as a travel guide. That’s why I wrote a book about it so others could enjoy the same benefits as I have in my travels. However, today I’d love to go back to basics, because Instagram, after all, is just a tool, and what really is unique about Instagram is the amazing community of people. When you deal with people, there is always a certain etiquette to follow.
Here are my 6 tips for Instagram on Instagram Etiquette:
• Add a profile picture of yourself and write a description of who you are. You don’t have to write your last name or the exact location where you live to protect your privacy, but I recommend adding something personal in your profile description.
• Post photos that you have taken yourself. Your photos tell the story of you. If you want to be seen as a person with whom people want to connect, and trust and they want to share their travel tips with, your photos have to show you are a real person who has genuine interest in learning more. Never-ever steal someone else’s photos.
• Post pictures that you have taken yourself, but limit the pictures you have taken of yourself. You will be more interesting if you show how you see the world, not just post pictures for the world to see you.
• Comment only when you have something nice to say. This should be self-evident, but with so much hate in the world, there is no need to take negativity to Instagram. If someone is posting pictures you don’t approve, you can always block them and unfollow them.
• Comment and ask questions. I recommend asking questions and connecting with people but remember the good manners. You are much more likely to get an answer back if you explain yourself a little better and say things like “Hi, I really enjoy your photos from Italy, and especially this one in Tuscany. I am planning a trip to Italy myself, could you please tell me the town where you took this photo? I would love to visit there.” Your intentions are clear and you show your appreciation to the photos. Don’t be surprised if you will not hear back if you just say “Hey, where’s this?” instead.
• Understand that people use Instagram differently. There are as many ways of using Instagram as there are people, and there isn’t really a right or wrong way, and everyone makes the best out of it for themselves. Don’t get upset if people are not using Instagram as you are. Some people are talkative and easy to get to know and will help you and answer back, and some don’t. Some use a lot of hashtags, some don’t. You can follow who ever you like to.
Guest post by Katja Presnal. Katja Presnal is the owner of the SkimbacoLifestyle.com online magazine with a mission to inspire you to live life to the fullest. She has partnered with TV networks in the past, featured in New York Times, Forbes, Glamour, Woman’s Day and other national and international media and won Addy Awards for her work as a social media strategist. Her first ebook “Instagram as your Guide to the World – How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World” published in May 2013. Currently she holds a temporary residence in Sweden with her husband and three children.