The Do's + Don'ts for Sponsored Posts on Instagram

We’ve all seen it. That tiny little hashtag casually thrown into Instagram posts that you would have to glance twice at to see: #ad. Often times, you don’t need to see the hashtag to know that the post has been sponsored because it is painfully obvious when a post + product does not align with a gram. Does this mean sponsored posts should be off-limits on Instagram? Absolutely not! The real question is, what is the appropriate way to work them into your posting?

If you've been seeing sponsored instagram posts and considering joining up with a brand to become an ambassador, that's awesome! Just make sure you're following the golden rules of #ad sponsored posts so it doesn't affect your following or your engagement rate. Click through to read more about the do's and don'ts for sponsored posts on Instagram!

When you’ve been blogging for a while, brands of all kinds will likely begin reaching out to you to promote their product. This is g r e a t! It shows that you have established yourself as a credible blogger or influencer with a significant reach. However, there is fine line to walk between supporting brands and products you believe in with your audience and selling out to pocket some extra cash.

Here are our do’s and don’ts to creating a boss post that stays true to you:

#sponsoredpost do’s

  • Promote products you actually use (you may be thinking “duh”, but believe it or not this is not always the case)

  • Include a disclosure in the post (here’s where the #ad comes in, but to take it to another level, make the disclosure more personal and explain to your audience why you are promoting the given product + why you you love it

    Examples we l o v e:

Image via @brittfullwood

Image via @realandvibrant

  • Get creative! Hands-down one of the most important tips to remember. You don’t want to have a pre-written copy that hundreds of others have used to promote the same product. Add in personal touches that scream y o u and make the post something unique that your audience will enjoy.

Examples we l o v e:

Image via @designlovefest

Image via @agirlastyle

  • Tell a story with your post. Give your audience a look into how you use the product in your day to day life or share an emotion-evoking blurb that allows them to connect to the post

  • Use a “nofollow” link if linking to the company’s page (you can read more about nofollow links here:

#sponsoredpost don’ts

  • Promote a product you would not buy or use on your own accord

  • Leave out the disclosure in your post

  • Write a novel. Keep you post short and sweet, if your followers want more, they can scooch on over to the company’s website.

Not sure if your Instagram has the right balance of sponsored to original content? We offer virtual Instagram reviews that could be just what you need to refresh your social game!

gina topley