Instagram is a public place. So is every other social media, really. So, good manners on Instagram are a must. While some may be very obvious, you may have done some of these unconsciously. So, let’s dive into what good manners on Instagram are and how to avoid yucky behavior.

5 ways to have good manners on Instagram

Why are good manners on Instagram important?

Well, if you want to be respected on social media (especially as a business), there are definitely things you should avoid. The first rule is:

Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you.”

What does that mean? Firstly, if you’re not sure if something is okay, just don’t do it. However, if you really want to do it, ask yourself: “Would I be okay with someone else doing that?” If the answer is no, let’s just not go there. Yucky behavior on Instagram will make you and your business look bad, and we don’t want that.

Let’s take a look at some of the unacceptable behaviors.


Think back to your beginnings on Instagram. Or, if you’re still at the beginning, think about now, haha! You are at 100 (or even less) followers. You see a new follow. How excited are you? And it’s not even your aunt! You immediately follow this person back, because WOW, they liked you. As soon as you follow them, they unfollow you. How do you feel? Pretty bad. Revengeful, even. You immediately unfollow them as well. Their content is pretty cool, but they unfollowed you (how dare they?!).

Think about this feeling whenever you want to follow someone just to get a follow back and to unfollow them after. This is definitely not good manners on Instagram. It’s not something that will help your reputation in a good way. It is, however, going to ruin it, once the word gets out.

Cold messaging

How much do you hate TV commercials which shove products into your face (I’m not talking about the fun ones, with great stories and effects)? And how much do you hate people selling on the street, pulling you by your sleeves.

Yup, that’s you with cold messaging. Think about it this way. Have you ever bought anything when someone just sent you a message on Instagram (no prior communication or interaction of any kind)? I am pretty sure you haven’t. And won’t. You may want what they are offering. But you have no idea who they are. You know someone else you already eyed for a while, they seem like they know what they are talking about. You will go with their offer.

So, stop cold DMing people. This is FOR SURE not good manners on Instagram. Build trust by sharing content, sharing value and making yourself stand out in your field. That’s when people will slide into your DMs without you even asking them to do that.

Good manners on Instagram

Asking for favors without following someone

So there you are, just scrolling on Instagram, when, suddenly, you get a message in your DMs. “Could you please vote for me on this content?” Or, “could you please like and share my newest post?” Or even “Could you give me a discount for your product/service?” You go to the person’s profile, and they don’t even follow you. Why would you do that? Yes, you might be kind-hearted, but still… Why?

This is not good manners on Instagram. If you plan to ask for favors from someone, the least you can do is follow them. If you do, they are way more likely to do the favor you asked from them.

Giving unsolicited advice

Now think about this. You post something on Instagram. This is something you’ve tried, tested, and you firmly believe in it. However, here comes someone, who may not even be in your industry, saying you should do/say/think differently. How do you feel? You feel undermined, you probably feel sad, you probably question your authority.

Why should someone be able to tell you you’re wrong? Is that something that made them feel better about themselves? Probably not. So, even if you think something someone else is saying is wrong, just keep it to yourself. Of course, if someone is harming themselves or others, you should definitely speak out. Also, if you really are an expert, you can give them a slight nudge in their DMs, but definitely don’t embarrass them in the comments, where everyone can see this.

Rude comments are definitely not good manners on Instagram

Why would you bring someone down with your comment? Why would you call someone ugly, stupid, uneducated, if you can just go on with your life. Your comments are visible. Everyone can see your rudeness.

Let’s keep this one simple: If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.

Good manners on Instagram conclusion

I’m going back to that quote from the beginning of this post. Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you. If you don’t like to be treated a certain way, it’s very likely others won’t like it either. Think about your actions on social media in general and you will become better, more proficient and more successful.

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I share a bunch of tips related to content and Instagram in general on my Instagram profile.