I’ve spent a lot of time at home during the last few years. However, I doubt you were bored enough to read the Instagram guidelines. Have you ever read Instagram’s terms of service?
Instagram has some rigorous guidelines, and if you violate them, your page, ad account, or both may be suspended.
Let’s take a look at the Instagram rules you should be aware of.
1. Only use a reputable third-party app for posting.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals. If you’re going to use a third-party program to upload to Instagram, be sure it’s one you can trust. And by trusted, I mean a tool or app from an approved Instagram partner.
You may manage your buy instagram likes cheap business profile and schedule, queue, and publish directly using an official Instagram partner like Agorapulse. While you can now publish directly to company profiles using these techniques, Instagram’s terms and conditions still have certain limitations.
Is that all there is to it? That’s not the case. Other apps that you may be using without realizing it are in violation of Instagram’s regulations. Remember that if you’re detected, your company could face a ban.
Use apps that provide likes and follows sparingly. Instagram is not linked with or supported by any of these services, and you should not use them or provide anyone else access to your Instagram account. Using an app that generates fake activity (likes, comments, and shares) can result in the removal of such comments and likes at best. It could result in a ban in the worst-case scenario.
Keep your Instagram profile safe by only using an authorized Instagram partner like Agorapulse.
After all, you don’t want to be kicked off Instagram for having a partner who breaks the rules. (It’s far better to get the help of a reputable accredited Instagram partner while putting together a picture-perfect Instagram strategy.)
Not all hashtags are the same. Using a forbidden hashtag on Instagram can get you in trouble, and ignorance is not an excuse.
Instagram has a list of restricted hashtags that users are not allowed to use on the network. If you include such hashtags in the caption of a post, Instagram will hide that post from your followers’ feeds. They aren’t searchable either, even if you believe they are!
Hashtags are usually on the banned list because they are linked to offensive content. Drugs, pornography, and trophy hunting are just a few examples. They’re notorious for breaking the Instagram Community Guidelines. However, you might be surprised by some of the hashtags that have been prohibited. #besties #bikinibody #kissing #singlelife #teens #parties #petite #pornfood #prettygirl #pushups are among the hashtags that have been prohibited.
Searching for a hashtag to determine if it’s banned is a simple method to find out. For example, the hashtag #curvygirls does not appear in the list below. (Other doubtful variants, on the other hand, do!)
Avoid being shadowbanned.
Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant for your audience and don’t have any hidden, urban dictionary, or emoji meanings. You risk being shadowbanned if you use them frequently.
Shadowbanning is the practice of blocking accounts, posts, or hashtags without the user’s awareness. Users who are shadowbanned have their posts and accounts hidden from others who do not follow them. Even their followers don’t always notice their posts.
Tip: Instagram does not publish a list of prohibited hashtags, and they change frequently. Whether you’ve built a hashtag bank for your business, check to see if any of them have been prohibited. Remove them from your list if they’ve been banned.
Additionally, having distinct sets of hashtags to fit different postings is a fantastic idea. Using the same 20 hashtags all the time could signal to Instagram that you’re a bot or a fraudulent account.
3. Don’t Act as if You’re a Bot
Instagram prefers genuine people to post, and it can spot bot activity on the network. Even if you aren’t employing bots, you could be acting like one!
These kind of actions can lead to problems with your account:
- Over 60 persons are followed and unfollowed every hour.
- More than 300 posts are liked per hour.
- I’m averaging over 60 comments every hour.
- Commenting on numerous posts with the same remark
- Using photographs that are infringing on other people’s copyright
- tagging people who shouldn’t be tagged in your posts on a regular basis
- Non-fans receiving unsolicited sales messages
- Uploading distorted, low-quality photos or videos
If you’re a new Instagram user, you’re limited to 500 actions every day. This covers actions such as liking, commenting, following, and unfollowing. You can also send up to 50 direct messages every day.
Basically, be a good member of the community. These guidelines apply to all major social media platforms, so if you’re engaging in any of these behaviors, it’s time to stop. (Really, put a stop to it!)
4. Be Wary of Disseminating False Information
This is a hard one, and it’s a contentious topic right now. Is it the fact-checkers or the thought police who are in charge? Why are you unable to express your true feelings?
The truth is, Instagram isn’t the best platform for heated disputes. And if it is, don’t do it on your brand page. Alternatives for true and honest debates include less regulated networks like Telegram.
When it comes to distributing false information, Instagram says:
You may be restricted in one of the following ways if you fall victim to misinformation:
Instagram users may be unable to tag or mention an account that has provided fraudulent information on multiple occasions.
If someone attempts to follow one of your marked accounts, they will receive a notice that the account has previously posted incorrect information.
Instagram can also make it more difficult to identify posts from accounts that consistently distribute fake information.
Finally, there’s the ultimate social media slayer. Instagram will deactivate accounts that violate the Community Guidelines.
The bottom line is that they will take action if they believe you are disseminating false information. This, too, is similar to the other major social media profiles. For users who spread false information, Twitter will impose a seven-day ban.
5. Follow Instagram’s Content Guidelines
Running an Instagram promotion or contest is a fantastic way to gain new followers, engage with your current ones, and promote your brand. But, before you dive in, double-check that you’re following the regulations.
You are solely responsible for the contest’s conduct and for adhering to any applicable government restrictions in your area, as well as any requirements governing any prizes you give away.
So, if you create craft beer and conduct an exclusive contest, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all competitors are of legal drinking age and that the contest follows all rules. Instagram places all of the blame directly on your shoulders.
According to Instagram’s Promotion Guidelines, you must not tag content incorrectly or encourage users to tag content incorrectly. (Don’t encourage people to tag themselves in images if they aren’t in the picture, for example.)
For your contest, you’ll need a functional and mobile-friendly landing page. This should be in line with the ad and should not redirect users elsewhere.
Mention any brands that are sponsoring the contest or prize.
Recognize that your giveaway is unrelated to Instagram.
Include information about the reward, as well as any restrictions or exclusions.
Before you post the winner’s information on your page, get permission.
Include the contest’s start and end dates.
Declare when and how the winners will be chosen.
Declare when the awards will be given out.
Send a private message to all of the winners.
There are also these marketing best practices to consider:
Don’t dismiss feedback. Engage with someone who has taken the time to interact with you! Your Agorapulse dashboard allows you to keep track of comments (even those on adverts).
Make a blogging schedule for yourself. If you want your Instagram account to help you build your business, you’ll need a great posting strategy. You’ll also require some key performance indicators (KPIs). But you already knew that!
Maximize your return on investment. Increase your contest’s return on investment by posting the winner’s photo (with permission) and inviting your audience to recommend your next contest.
6. Recognize Instagram’s Prohibited Content
Let’s review the prohibited content restrictions before moving on to the specific advertising rules. This content should not be used in any of the platform’s posts, advertisements, photos, videos, or anyplace else:
- Purchase and sale of weapons
- Buying and selling alcoholic beverages
- Gambling on the internet
- Content that is sexual in nature
- Speech that is based on hatred
- Tobacco purchases and sales
- Any prescription medicines that are prohibited (even if legal in your region)
- Live animal sales are prohibited.
- Wealth-generating or profit-generating financial products
- Harassment or blackmailing someone
- Physical danger, financial harm, or vandalism threats
- Self-harm is a topic that is frequently discussed.
- Excessive dieting or promotion of eating disorders
- Unrealistic physical appearances are depicted in images or films.
- Violence-related videos or photos
If you do post any of these, you’ll probably wind up with something like this:
Of course, social media managers are well aware that Instagram (and Facebook) frequently make errors when flagging content. Images of real Contentworks Agency employees have been tagged as depicting unrealistic body images (yeah, us!). I’ve also had information taken from my website for discussing financial education without any sales or CTA.
Other things that may influence Instagram’s stance on you include:
- Your Instagram account’s age.
- The amount of people who follow you
- The level of activity on your account
- The activities on your account
It’s best to avoid any potential of your message being marked before it goes live, as arguing your position may be both frustrating and useless. Remember that the content requirements apply to photos as well, so don’t assume you can get away with using unlawful images and clean language to get around the regulations!
7. Understand Instagram’s Advertising Guidelines
So far, we’ve discussed prohibited content. Let’s go a step farther and talk about prohibited advertising techniques.
You shall not discriminate against people based on their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, handicap, or medical or genetic condition.
Ads requesting health information, such as physical or mental health, medical treatments, medical conditions, or limitations, are prohibited.
Advertisers must also obtain prior authorization before using Lead Ads queries to request account numbers, such as frequent flyer numbers, loyalty card numbers, or cable or telephone account numbers.
Without Instagram’s consent, you cannot inquire about criminal or arrest records. Non-compliant lead ad form fields enquiring whether a person has been accused or convicted of a crime.
You may not ask for financial information such as a person’s bank account number, routing number, credit or debit card number, credit ratings, income, net worth, or how much debt they have.
You are not permitted to utilize targeting choices to discriminate against, harass, provoke, or criticize users, or to engage in predatory advertising practices.
This is especially true in the case of elections. When it comes to election advertising, special rights must be requested ahead of time and user identity must be confirmed.
Display your contest regulations clearly, for example, on a landing page or pinned note.
The amount of text in the ad image should not exceed 20%. Grid tools, such as those found on Canva, can assist you.
You may sell your products straight on Instagram using Instagram Checkout.
That’s great news, as long as you follow the content and picture restrictions and your products aren’t banned. Learn more about Checkout and the regulations that govern it.
It’s all thanks to social media. You can, of course, share other people’s work. Right? Well, sort of. Let’s take a look at what you’re allowed to do and what you’re not allowed to do. When you create an original work, you usually have a copyright from the moment you start working on it. As a copyright holder, you have various legal rights. These rights include the ability to prevent others from duplicating or distributing your work, as well as the ability to create new works based on your work. Copyright infringement occurs when someone engages in one of these activities without the authorization of the copyright owner.
Copyright applies to a wide range of works, including:
Videos, movies, TV shows and broadcasts, video games, paintings, and pictures are examples of visual or audiovisual works.
Songs, musical compositions, sound recordings, and spoken word recordings are examples of audio works.
Books, plays, manuscripts, articles, and musical scores are examples of written works.
If someone submits a piece of work or a photograph on Instagram, you are free to remark, like, and share the post. When you do this, it’s a good idea to tag them.
It is not acceptable to:
- Download the image and upload it as your own.
- Without a license, copy photographs from Google.
- Don’t take credit for someone else’s work, whether it’s written or video.
- If the product in the photo isn’t yours, act as if it is.
- Use someone else’s soundtrack without obtaining the necessary permissions.
Before you post anything on Instagram, you should think about the following questions:
- Was all of the content created by me?
- Do you give me permission to use all of the content in my post?
- Is there an exception to copyright infringement for my use of the content?
It’s well worth reading the complaint filed against Volvo over an Instagram story. It emphasizes the need of social media content licensing and rights, particularly when sharing or reposting “public” content. Volvo is accused of copyright violation, unfair competition, false endorsement, and misuse of the model’s likeness in a lawsuit filed by a photographer and the woman he photographed.
It’s important to understand the key rules of the game if you’re posting to Instagram for your own brand or as an agency for several brands. When it comes to blocked ad accounts, prevention is always better than cure!