Looking to save Instagram photos and add user-generated content (UGC) into your Instagram strategy?
Start by saving photos on Instagram and sharing them on your feed and stories. While UGC is a great way to grow and engage your community — it comes with its own set of rules.
In this blog post, we’re outlining how to save Instagram photos, credit the original creator, and best practices on how to reshare (legally) on both your feed and Stories.
How to Save Instagram Photos
With Instagram testing removing likes in certain countries, there’s been a lot of talk about Instagram Saves and what it means for the Instagram algorithm.
What we do know is: the more saves a post gets, the higher the quality content is, the more likely it’ll show up in people’s feed.
For tips on how to get more Instagram Saves on your Instagram posts, read our blog post where we go deep into Instagram Saves.
So, how can you use Instagram Saves to elevate your content strategy? One way to do this is by searching for branded content (or on-brand content) on Instagram and saving it to a Collection for future use.
Collections are an awesome way to keep your saved content organized — think of it as a Pinterest board, just on Instagram.
Step #1: Select the post you want to save.
Step #2: Tap the bookmark icon on the bottom right corner.
Step #3: To see your Saved posts, go to your profile and press the 3 lines in the top right corner.
Step #4: Press “Saved”
Step #5: To create a collection, tap the ‘+’ button in the corner, and name your collection. Press “Next” to save.
Step #6: Now, select the photos you want to add to the collection.
Step #7: Press “Done”.
While the feature is there to keep your favorite posts together in one place, there is currently no way to save pictures directly to your camera roll from Instagram.
If you want to save images to your camera roll for future use, it’s best practice is to reach out to the original creator for permission. This is a crucial step — It’s very important to correctly credit the original creator.
Another way to do this is by using Later’s UGC Tool. With the UGC tool, you can search branded hashtags, posts you’re mentioned in and/or tagged in.
Ready to start using UGC in your Instagram marketing strategy? Later makes it easy for you to find, plan, and schedule your user-generated content.
Save Instagram Photos & Reshare to Instagram Stories
When you see a post on the News Feed from another profile that you’d like to share, or are tagged in a post, Instagram makes it easy to share it on your Instagram Stories.
When you find the post you want to share, tap the paper airplane below the post.
You’ll notice the “Add post to your Story” option — tap to see the feed post as a sticker on your Instagram Stories.
Here is where you can creatively edit your Stories. Tap to drag it to a new position, add in GIFs or text, and pinch the screen to change the size. The creative options don’t stop there — check out some of our design hacks.
Seeing as 55% of consumers trust UGC over other forms of marketing, now is a great time to consider UGC in your marketing strategy.
Cosmetics company, Lush Cosmetics, makes UGC a huge part of their marketing strategy.
One benefit of sharing users’ Instagram posts to your stories is that it’s quick and easy. Plus, it gives credit and links to the original post — avoiding any confusion on who the original creator is.
A downside of reposting other users’ posts is that the design options can be quite limited. Since you’re resharing in the app, it’s not possible to take the image itself and design it in an external app, like Storyluxe.
Start scheduling Instagram Stories with Later, available on all paid plans.
Save Instagram Photos & Share Them On Your Feed
Now that you know how to repost to your Instagram Stories, let’s get into one of the most popular forms of UGC — sharing others’ Instagram photos on your Feed.
Why go this route?
To begin, UGC is a super effective form of marketing — 85% of consumers actually find UGC more influential than brand photos or videos.
Why? Because it’s coming from a trusted source — an authentic customer voice and not from the brand.
Curating your feed with user-generated content means you can spend less time creating the perfect post and share something that’s already out there. Plus, it’ll help you engage with your current followers and attract new ones.
Reposting UGC to your feed has a few more steps than sharing to your Stories does. But, no need to worry because if you follow the steps below, you’ll be ready to start sharing right away.
When choosing to repost UGC on your feed, there are two ways to go about it.
Option #1: Ask for Permission
Posting UGC is all about asking for permission and giving credit where credit is due. It’s not enough to simply screenshot a photo off Instagram and share it on your feed with the original creator tagged in the photo.
Send the creator a DM.
Whether you’re sharing something a customer posted about your company or content created by someone in your community — you always have to ask for permission.
You can search for posts by checking your tags and mentions, searching relevant hashtags or by scrolling through your News Feed. Once you find the image you want to share, you should send the creator a DM asking for permission.
TIP: When asking for permission, ask the creator to email you the original file. If you take a screenshot, you risk the image being blurry or poor quality.
Alternatively, you can ask permission by leaving a comment on the post, like FabFitFun did below.
It’s always good to go the extra mile and shoot over a quick DM. Plus, 65% of people will grant permission to use their photos within 24 hours — so the chances are you won’t even lose any time by sliding into their DMs.
Option #2: Use Later’s UGC Tool
One way to start (and keep up with) using UGC in your marketing strategy is by using our UGC features. Later’s UGC Tool helps you collect, organize, and of course, repost content on Instagram.
When you open Later on a desktop, press “Collect Media” on the sidebar. Here is where you will find all the tools you can incorporate in your social plan.
Here are four ways you can find and share UGC with Later.
Instagram Mentions and Tags
When you’re tagged or mentioned in an Instagram post, it’ll show up here. Select the posts you want to re-share and add them to your media library.
This is an easy hack to keep track of what your followers are saying about you while also giving them a cheeky shoutout!
Search by Instagram Hashtag
If you have a branded hashtag, like Mejuri’s #TheFineCrew, this feature is a way to keep track of everyone using your hashtag.
You can save branded hashtag searches on Later — it’ll display the last 7 days of posts using that hashtag across Instagram.
When you find posts you like, you can add them to your media library.
If you don’t use a branded hashtag, no need to worry. You can still find trending content within your community. Keeping with Mejuri as an example, you can search #FineJewelry or something similar to see what kind of content people are sharing.
Search by hashtag is available for free to all Later users with an Instagram business profile.
Collaborate with Contributors
Lastly, if you work with partners — like influencers, brand ambassadors, photographers, or agencies — you can add them as contributors to make sure their content is sent straight to your Later account.
From here, you can approve or deny the content — your approved content is added to your media library.
Collaborate with Contributors is available on all Later Business Plans.
There you have it! Now you have all the tools you need to start finding, saving, and *legally* sharing UGC on your News Feed and Stories.