Instagram is a great network for connecting with your audience, and if your business is just getting started, it can be a bit overwhelming to learn the ropes. Sometimes, it can be difficult to have your own original content when you’re a brand new account, so that’s why it’s a good idea to learn the etiquette associated with regramming.
One of the most common reasons to regram a photo on Instagram is because an influencer or customer has created and shared content about your brand.
Whether it’s because of a collaboration you started, a sponsored post you paid for, or an organic mention, there aren’t too many issues with using someone else’s image, as long as you remember to follow these rules, and consider that you don’t own the content – even in cases when you brand is mentioned or featured.
1. Always Give Credit
There’s a fine line between sharing someone else’s content and stealing it. Instagram doesn’t have a native sharing feature like you see on Facebook and Twitter. It’s not because they don’t want you to do it – but it’s because they want everything to be shared in “this instant” and re-sharing others content takes away from that.
That said, there are a few different ways you can do it, but you should always give credit back to the original poster, because it is their content – not yours.
You can do this by tagging the original account in the caption of your regram. It can be as simple as “Credit: @username” or, you can work into a sentence like, “We love this photo by @username.”
2. Ask for Permission
While most people won’t mind that you regrammed their content with credit back to them, it’s still a good idea to ask them for permission. This way, you’re completely covered legally.
When you come across a photo you want to regram on your own account, comment and simply ask. All you have to say is, “We love this photo! Can we repost it?” or, “Thanks for sharing our brand/product/service. Can we regram your photo?” Ask however you want, as long as you remain kind.
Wait for the account to respond with yes before you add the photo to your queue for regramming. If the person says no, respect that and move on.
3. Make it Clear It’s a Regram
Attribution should be enough to let your audience know your photo is a regram of someone else’s, but it’s always best to make sure your followers know this content did not originate with you. Use hashtags like #regram and #repost, too.
That way it is very clear you are not stealing other people’s work. When they see that you’re crediting another person with their work, they will be more apt to submit user-generated content for you to share.
You can even use it as a chance to invite people to submit content to you for that purpose. You can say something like, “Want your photo featured on our Instagram? Tag it with #brandhashtag for a chance to be included.” Then, monitor the hashtag for photos, and reach out to ask permission for the ones you want to use. You could make it a weekly feature if you get enough interest.
4. Don’t Edit from the Original
If possible, avoid making any edits to the original, because it’s not your work and you don’t want to change it in anyway. You can make minor edits like cropping the photo slightly, but too much and it becomes a different work – one that you’re stealing, since it’s not really something you can give credit back to the original poster for because it’s so different from the original.
If you feel the need to edit something before you regram it, then you probably should just skip regramming it in the first place.
5. Don’t Only Regram Other People’s Content
While it’s okay to regram other people’s content from time to time, it’s not acceptable to create your entire Instagram feed with curated content from other people. In fact, the time it takes you to ask and get permission from other people could mean that you’re left with nothing to post anyway, so you may as well spend time creating original content to share on your own.
You never know when someone might find something you share worth regramming. It’s always a good way to get exposure to other audiences’ and increase your overall following.
How to Save an Instagram Photo to Regram
Because there’s no built-in sharing option, you’ll have to go through some extra steps to get photos ready to regram to your account. You’ll need to save the photo to your phone and add it from your camera roll, or use a third-party Instagram tool like Repost for Instagram or Iconosquare. These will make it easy for you to give credit to the original poster, too.
Regramming quality photos that are related to your company or brand, or feature your company or brand, is a great way to engage your audience without having to constantly come up with your own unique and original content. But if you rely on it too much, or don’t take the right steps to get permission, you could land your brand in a lot of trouble.