Types of Instagram Shoutouts
You’re here because you want to get on the Instagram gravy train before it leaves the station – and it will leave the station. One sure way of getting a ticket (I promise I’ll get to the end of this silly train analogy very shortly, hold on!) is to utilize Instagram shoutouts. You can read about another way here. I’m sure most of you have heard of Instagram shoutouts, but for those of you that haven’t: they are the promotion of Instagram accounts by other Instagram accounts. These shoutouts may be motivated by a few things, which we’ll discuss.
So enamored by your work they just have to share it. They expect nothing in return so it’s free publicity. However, they often have few followers so I wouldn’t be relying on this as a method for viral growth.
The Fan Page
There are 2 types of Fan Page you’ll encounter but both are looking to monetize long-term:
1. Small to medium sized Fan Pages: these fan pages may forego payment so that they can curate a bunch of high-quality posts from extremely talented creators and get eyeballs on their channel. They generally understand that without the social proof of a large following, they won’t convince many people to pay for shoutouts. The more business savvy larger ones will want some series of engagements made on their page in exchange for a shoutout – ‘follow, like 5 pics, and tag three friends.’
2. Large Fan Pages: these pages have earned their following through consistent posting of highly desirable posts as well as follow/unfollow tactics (for whatever reason, follow/unfollow doesn’t seem to affect the brand image of these pages). They will require payment. But for the levels of exposure, it very well may be worth it. You’ll have to discern this for yourself, but I’ll provide some general rules a little later.
Other accounts within the same niche, or a complementary one, may suggest you promote each other’s content. Often, this is done via stories so as not to taint the focus of one’s page. If it’s a post, it’s likely to be one in which there was some sort of artistic collaboration. Often these channels will have comparable follower size so that the benefit flows both ways.
Many creators will use their channel to advertise products/services/other channels. The frequency with which they do this depends on the size (as a general rule, the larger the channel, the more egocentric the creator becomes, thinking they can fill their wall with a piece of piss after a lump of turd and retain their followers) and the artistic integrity of the creator.
The Perfect Target For Instagram Shoutouts
Next, let’s define a good target for your shoutout needs. Primarily, we want an account that has a high percentage of engagement from their followers. So, if an account has 200,000 followers, seeing 20,000 likes would be a good sign (10%). Don’t be lulled into a false sense of value by follower numbers. Engagement is king. This is all you should be interested in. A small account with 20,000 followers and 10,000 likes is far more valuable than an account with 1M followers and 10,000 likes. Why? Well, first of all, these highly engaged accounts have a highly engaged, active follower base (well duh!) who will consider everything the curator posts to be gold. You’ll be more likely to see these followers make their way over to your account to check out what you’re all about.
The larger account with smaller engagement likely got big through black hat tactics, that is to say, they followed/unfollowed too much (I think any of this is too much, but that’s another story), they buy engagement with bots, etc. They may have also taken the account over from someone with more skill, and now the engagement has taken a huge hit and the follower count will soon follow.
Secondly, smaller accounts will almost always require less financial compensation for a shoutout. It usually takes a while for them to realize the value of their follower count.
So search for high engagement Fan Page accounts in your niche and DM them. If you have money, ask how much a shoutout costs, and throw in a compliment for good luck.
Search for similarly sized accounts in complementary niches with good engagement and DM them saying you’d love to cross-promote. Make a few suggestions. You could do an in-person collaboration, you can do a digital collaboration, or you can just shout each other out – pages or stories.
Developing Relationships With Influencers
You’ll find that shoutouts from certain pages get you far more followers/engagement than others. You’ll want to develop a relationship with these pages. Ask if you can get a discount if you pay for multiple shoutouts. Think of ways in which you can help them out: put them in touch with a page that may be of value to them, show them other accounts they may enjoy.
Make sure these pages are posting one of your best pieces of content otherwise you won’t attract as many people as you want to your page. And make sure your page is filled with high-quality content so that when users land on your page they know they will be receiving consistently good content if they follow.
And, lastly, don’t think of this as a one-time thing. Shoutouts are something that should be used to consistently increase follower count and engagement.
Anyway, that’s the scoop on Instagram shoutouts. I hope to hear that your likes and follows shoot through the roof after employing this tactic. If you want to stay up to date on the latest in Instagram Marketing, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.