5 Tips to Get a Shoutout on Instagram

Expand your reach on Instagram with shoutouts

Want to know how top Instagram users are attracting thousands of followers? Then you'll want to know all about how Instagram shoutouts work.

You could have a notable account in a few weeks or months if you're willing to learn how to perfect this intensive follower-building trend.

What Are Instagram Shoutouts?

Person getting a shoutout on Instagram
Lifewire / Maddy Price

An Instagram shoutout is just what it sounds like: a public plug or endorsement from a user.

Here's how shoutouts work: Consider two different Instagram users who are trying to build their followers. The two users will agree to give each other a shoutout by posting a photo or a video and instructing their followers to follow the other account.

Shoutout posts often involve photos or videos from the account they're shouting out. This technique is one of the fastest and most effective ways to build followers on Instagram.

Unfortunately, getting a great shoutout is not as easy as it sounds. It requires networking and a willingness to feature different users' content on your account as part of the shoutout or s4s agreement.

If you want to get a shoutout that gets the best results (a.k.a. lots more followers), there are a few things you should know first. Use the following five tips to guide you in your first quest to getting a great Instagram shoutout.

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Find Instagram Users With Content Similar to Yours

If you post a lot of photos of food and recipes on Instagram, chances are you won't have much luck if you target a user for a shoutout partnership who mainly posts about sports. Even if that user did agree to a shoutout, you probably wouldn't get many followers out of it, because that user's followers want to see sports content — not food content.

Your best bet is to find users who share similar interests with you based on their content because their followers are the ones who will notice your stuff and decide to follow you. One way to find like-minded users is by searching for Instagram tags that match your interests.

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Find Instagram Users Who Have a Similar Number of Followers As You

Some users include short blurbs in their Instagram bios to inform followers that they're open to doing shoutouts. But if that user has 100K+ followers and you've only got 50, don't even bother contacting them.

Most of the time, users will only agree to a shoutout if you have a similar number of followers. It's only fair. Once you work your way up to at least one thousand followers, it gets a lot easier to do shoutouts with fellow users who are interested in growing their followers.

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Instagram Like
Photo © exdez / Getty Images

Manners go a long away on social media — especially on a platform like Instagram, where everyone wants instant gratification.

It's only polite to engage with the users you want to ask for a shoutout, and it shows that you're interested in their content. Try giving their photos or videos a few likes, comment on them, and even follow them to let them know you're serious.

Remember that social media—including Instagram—is all about engagement. A little social media interaction can go a long way, and it's the simplest way to network online.

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Avoid Spamming Instagram Users with Comments on Their Posts

Some users are too eager about asking for a shoutout, so they end up spamming tons of accounts without even looking at the full Instagram profile or engaging with them first. Don't comment "s4s" or something generic. That's not the way to do it.

Don't spam users just to get noticed. You should always find targeted users with similar content and followers and start by engaging a little with them first.

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So, you've done your homework by looking for Instagram users who post content similar to what you post and have around the same amount of followers as you. You've resisted the temptation to ask for an "s4s" by leaving a random comment on a post, and instead took the time to engage and interact—leaving genuine non-spammy comments.

Now you can directly contact the user to ask them if they'd be interested in a shoutout. First, look for an email button (if their profile is a business account), or an email address typed in their bio. If none is listed, try reaching them through an Instagram Direct private message.

When you message another user, make it personable. Commenting on something specific about their profile or content will let them know that you're not a spammer.

Reminder: Focus on Making Real Connections

Who you know can be very powerful. There are tons of accounts on Instagram with hundreds of thousands of followers promoting each other with shoutouts several times a week.

And remember that even though high numbers look great, real engagement from active followers is what matters. Be mindful of providing excellent content to your Instagram community, and you'll have no problem with keeping them interested in following you.

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