The Regram Rule book: The Do's and Don'ts
In today’s media saturated world, creating original content that is both representative of your brand's story and visually enticing to the customer-eye can be pretty hard to come by.
That’s why, many brands and marketers (whilst building up a library of their own content) have begun collating and sharing complementary images from external sources.
Today, reposting and repurposing content from other people has become so widespread that it's now popularly referred to as “regramming”. On the surface, this now hugely common practice seems pretty harmful. But believe it or not, while a lot of people are more than happy for brands and corporations to share their content, many are not.
That’s why, if you’re considering sharing content that isn't your own- we highly recommend familiarising yourself with how to do it in a safe, legal and respectful way.
COME TO TERMS WITH THE TERMS.
Did you know that those big long terms of service agreements on Instagram are actually there for a reason? Weird hey!
Before you go and madly scan through them all, let us break down the one all-important rule.
If you share content you didn't create, you’re responsible for ensuring you have the appropriate permission to use that content on your profile.
In this case, simply crediting the original source (i.e @glpr.social) when posting content isn’t really sufficient. So, ensuring you get prior consent from both the creator and anyone featured in the image is a must if you’re looking to share content from an external source.
According to Instagrams Copyright FAQ outlines, using someone else's work without permission will still violate the platforms terms, even if you.
See that other people are also sharing the same content
Give credit to the copyright owner
Modify the work/add your original material to it
State that it is fair use
Did not intend to benefit from it
Include a disclaimer that you do not intend to infringe on copyright
Find such content available on the internet
Record that content into your recording device
HOW TO OBTAIN PERMISSION
All of this means, that if you want to share content (that has not been created by you), before you go ahead and post it from your account, you’ll need to find the person who created or owns the rights to it. And while tracing back to the last person who posted that image might seem like enough, it isn’t- you’ll need to hunt down the original source. This can feel like a fairly petty and time-consuming job, but ensuring you trace the piece of content back to the creator is your only real way of guaranteeing safeguard from copyright infringements and the security of your account.
Once you’ve tracked the contents creator down, you then need to ask the poster for their permission to share their image. This can simply be done by either leaving a comment or sending them a direct message through the Instagram app. To clear up any potential confusion between yourself and the creator, make sure to include the piece of content you are interested in posting in the message, just so they know exactly what piece of content it is you’re referring too.
Hopefully you’ll get the OK from the creator, which then means you’re free to regram it from your account- mission complete!
It is important to note however, that not all accounts will have their notifications switched on. If this is the case, you might need to do things the old-fashioned way and contact them via email.
By this stage you’ve done the hard-yards, so make sure you don’t let something as simple as credditing the original creator get in your way. To properly credit where the image has come from you should:
Credit the original source within the caption, i.e @glpr.social
Tag the account in the image
You could also mention in your post that the image is a regram, by simply hashtagging #regram in the post.
USING USER-GENERATED CONTENT
The same protocol applies when sharing user-generated content. Even if people use your branded hashtag, check in at your venue, or tag your account in their own post, it still doesn't give your brand direct permission to repurpose their content. Fundamentally, this content (according to Instagram TOS) is still copyrighted by the owner or creator of that content, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and ask for their permission. Better that, than someone taking serious legal action later down the track.
If you’re struggling to monitor or obtain the proper permission from your customers, there are a tonne of companies that help effectively source and manage this all for you. UGC programs like Pixlee are especially effective, as well as platforms like Crowdriff who have found that 65% of people who use their service, give consent for re-use of their photos within just 24 hours.
There's also the option of using Unsplash, another great service for tapping into a huge pool of quality content created by photographers who have already provided consent for the repurposing of their images.
CLEAR UP THE CONTRACTS
If you’re working alongside influencers, bloggers or brand ambassadors you’ll know the issues surrounding who owns what and who can post what all to well.
To clear up the confusion, make sure you specifically outline your licensing and copyright terms in your contract. While regramming their content for commercial purposes may be implied, you really need to have this clearly outlined in a copyright waiver to ensure that there is no chance of violating any of Instagrams TOC’s. This should probably also include the potential reuse of their content on your website, and other marketing materials just so you avoid any further licensing fees later down the track. At the end of the day, no uncertainty amongst parties should be left once this step has been completed. THE OUTCOMES (good and bad)
The risks of regramming are pretty serious, especially if you’re jeopardising the reputation and success of your brand online.
One of the more taxing consequences of infringing on Instagrams copyright laws is the possibility of your account being disabled. Users can easily report your account for sharing their content without permission, and Instagram can very quickly go and shut your account down.
Depending on the circumstance, your brand may also run the risk of infringing on copyright law. While there are certain situations which may allow businesses to repurpose other users images (i.e criticism, research), there are obviously many opportunities for you brand to overstep the mark. If you want more information regarding what constitutes a copyright infringement, we recommend heading to the Copyright section of Instagram’s Help Centre.
On the other hand, many positives can come from regramming other people's content when executed properly. From expanding your brands reach to encouraging a more authentic brand story and relationship with your customers, repurposing other users content can really build your businesses overall performance online.
SUMMING IT UP
Generally speaking, Instagram doesn't really have a problem with you posting other users content, IF you take the necessary steps. On the whole, as long as you have permission from the original content creator and credit their image appropriately, Instagram has no real concern with what you’re posting.
Do remember though that at the end of the day, regramming isn't always the way to go, and investing more time into creating your own content is often a much better option if you’re wanting to stand out.
Interested in working together? Get in touch with us today to find out more.