A guide to tagging brands on Instagram for interior designers

Well hello there. It’s been a while since I shared a blog post with you all here. I was wondering what I should write about and decided to take my own advice which also happens to be one of the first insights I share in my guide for interior designers on blog writing in my ebook – 365 Blog Post Ideas for Interior Designers.

Q. What should I write about in my blog?

A. Write something which you get asked about all the time

So here is a question that interior designers ask me all the time…


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When I post a project I’ve designed on Instagram should I share the suppliers that I have used by tagging them in the post?

It is a straight forward yes or no question… or so you might think, however this one splits opinion between interior designers.

One of the major objections that interior designers have about this is they feel that if they tell everyone where they sourced everything the clients will just go out and buy the items themselves, and not use their interior design services.

This really doesn’t matter at all and here’s why. If the reader is a DIYer who’s looking for inspiration for furniture shopping then they are simply not your ideal client or target audience. There is probably no way on earth you could persuade them to use your interior design services. In this case listing the suppliers actually stops those time consuming comments like, “Please could you tell me where you bought…”

On the other hand the client you’re looking for is someone who appreciates your taste and experience and your ability to design, source and curate the perfect look for their home. Alongside this you’re also taking on the time-consuming logistics of doing all that.

You’ve probably heard of the phrase cash-rich, time-poor, add to this a love of beautiful décor and an appreciation of skilled professional advice to get the right result… and you’ve found your ideal client, and relevant audience … and they’re not looking for furniture, instead they’re looking for an interior designer to find them the perfect furniture to create beautiful interiors.

As well as this depending on who your perfect client is, your suppliers may be trade only furniture retailers who don’t sell to the public at large. You may be tagging an artist, craftsperson or designer maker who has created something bespoke especially for your client. This shows that your business goes the extra mile in finding innovative and original solutions for clients. A step beyond what they may find in high street showrooms which homeowners may just as easily do themselves.

So in summary my answer is yes, tag your suppliers on your Instagram posts. There are some very positive reasons why, there’s also some pitfalls you should be aware of, read on to discover more.

One of the main reasons I believe you should tag your suppliers is that it can be an excellent way to grow your account and increase engagement. To understand more about this you need to understand how tagging works so let’s look deeper in to that.

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How can you tag an Instagram post with a brand account?

You can tag a brand Instagram account in any post format by tapping on Tag People and then typing in the account name of the brand you wish to tag. In a still image you can tap on the picture in the place where you want the tag to appear so it is in line with a particular product

What happens when you tag a brand in your Instagram post, reel or story?

Once the post is live several things happen. Each of which gives your account more visibility on Instagram in various ways

  •  The brand will receive a notification in their activity feed that you have tagged them in a post, reel or story
  • Your post will appear in the Tagged feed of the brand – as long as this is switched on, some brands switch this off to an approval mode to avoid showing pictures that don’t fit their brand aesthetic
  • The brand will get a request to add your image to their Instagram shop to showcase the products featured in the post
  • If you have tagged them in a story they will have the option to share the story on their own story feed

How does this help my interior design Instagram account to grow?

Home décor brands rely on content marketing to showcase their products to potential buyers across social media and marketing material. Photography is expensive and social media moves so quickly these days, with multiple platforms to provide content for it requires a fairly constant feed of new material for brands to keep their portfolios looking fresh and interesting. It is a common social media strategy for interior design brands to reach out to to the design community who have tagged them in a post, or even shared their brand hashtags and ask if they may share your image to their social platform.

When a brand shares your Instagram photos it instantly shows your business to thousands of people that you wouldn’t have been able to access through your account alone. This has happened to several accounts I’ve worked on and the result has been an almost instant influx of hundreds of followers to the designer’s account over the following 48hrs.

What you need to know about brands sharing your images as an interior designer

When a brand wants to share your image you’ll usually get a comment in your feed that looks like this one from one of my client’s posts…

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I can’t stress enough the importance of going to that link and reading those T&Cs before replying with that hashtag. Whilst this is a great opportunity there are a few things you should be aware of. With the rise of social media and content marketing it’s more important than ever to invest in quality photography to showcase your work. If the image is one that you took on your iPhone then you needn’t worry too much however I expect your portfolio images will have been taken by a professional photographer and here’s where things can get tricky.

At first glance you may assume that the brand just wants to share your images on their Instagram. However they will only do so if you add the hashtag or specific phrase they request in the comment. The reason for this is that often if you read the T&Cs that placing that hashtag or phrase in the comments allows them to share your content across social media channels, online platforms, print assets and third-party platforms.

 What does this mean in plain English?

Essentially that you allow them to use your image not only on Instagram but on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, their website and printed catalogues they produce. In addition third party platforms could see your image on a retailer’s website or in a magazine advert, newspaper or online article… pretty much anywhere really.

 Why is this a problem for my interior design business?

As I mentioned earlier if you took the photo on your iPhone then it’s unlikely to be a problem. However if you’re using professionally shot images before agreeing to anything you’ll need to check your agreement with your photographer.

Photographers will often license the images for online use on your website and social media however these agreements may not include use on other social media or printed materials. Always check with your photographer and give the brand the option to contact them to license the pictures if necessary otherwise both you and the brand could find yourself in hot water.

Overall I recommend tagging your posts on Instagram where possible. It can raise your profile, bring you more followers and create more engagement almost instantly, but just before you agree to that hashtag please do make sure you check with your photographer!

Has a brand Instagram account ever shared one of your interior design images on Instagram? I’d love to hear about it. Did it bring you any more followers? Did you get some enquiries? Leave me a comment below.

Learn more about how to reach your ideal clients through social media marketing strategies, click here to get in touch with our team …


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1 reply
  1. Emma Painter Interiors
    Emma Painter Interiors says:

    Brilliant article thank you! I didn’t tag suppliers originally for all the reasons you mention. But now I do because of all the reasons you mention!! And my followers are going up because every time I tag it’s shared by the brands I’ve tagged thereby increasing my profile visibility! Win-win!

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