BlogDagmar 18.11.2023

Do you master Instagram repost etiquette? 

Customer experience development Expertise growth Digital marketing Marketing communications Content marketing Social media

A friend was surprised when she found her own face showing off on the Instagram account of a foreign company. The caption urged people to buy jackets that were available at a 10% discount on the company’s online store. After numerous hashtags, there was a mention of #repost and my friend’s Instagram nickname. In practice, the friend’s photo looked like the company’s own publication, as hardly anyone waded to the bottom of the hashtag list. Not good! 

Image activations, taking copyright into account 

Image activations, taking copyright into account 

Instagram has a strong culture of reposting. The entire Instagram presence of some brands relies on images from the brand community, a successful example being watch brand Daniel Wellington. DW has launched a hashtag #DWPickoftheDay through which users share their images for reposting. In the best-case scenario, there will be competition for access to your favorite brand’s IG feed. 

Of the Finnish brands, travel magazine Mondo has for years managed to activate enthusiastic photographers and tourists with the #mondolöytö hashtag. Mondo reposts these images on its own account. What better way to crowdsource travel tips than to ask users to share their most fascinating and secret discoveries about travel destinations. 

Kuva: Mondon Instagram

The reposting culture can easily blur perceptions of copyright. Many people are happy to give permission for their photo to be republished and secretly even wish for it. Still, in principle, an individual owns the right to their images, even if they share them under the brand’s predetermined hashtag. 

If you want to repost, keep in mind: 

  1. Always ask permission to publish a photo. 
    Even if you tell us on your Instagram profile, for example, that by posting a photo with a certain hashtag, your photo can be republished to the company’s account, it’s still appropriate to ask permission in person. This can be done, for example, by commenting on the photo. At the same time, you can also circle the picture and tell why it is particularly great. 
  2. In the caption, clearly state whose photo it is. 
    Do this preferably in the very first sentence. On a case-by-case basis, you should also consider including the original caption in your own post – removing the image and caption may change the interpretation of the image. 
  3. Use the app to repost. 
    Consider using the app, especially if a) you rarely post photos or b) you don’t have a specific hashtag to ask you to share photos with. Through the app, a “watermark” appears on the image, showing who originally posted the photo. This way, it is already clear to the viewer from the image that it is a repost. For example, the Repost for Instagram app is a good option: you can get the watermark in black or white, and you can choose a place in any corner. 

When choosing photos to publish, use common sense. For example, direct facial images should be avoided, as few people want to be the advertising face of a company. Photos that don’t make the person easily identifiable will certainly work better – and won’t cause unnecessary annoyance. 

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