Here's What 's4s' Means on Instagram

An intro to the insanely powerful Instagram trend

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Photo © Carl Court / Getty Images

If you follow any popular Instagram accounts that have branded their pages with a specific theme (fitness, food, fashion, makeup, etc.) then chances are you may have noticed that some of them include the 's4s' acronym in their bios, post captions or even in comments left on posts.

Of course, not all Instagram pros know what this means. Let's clear up any confusion you might have about this interesting trend, so you're not left asking, "WYM?"

What 's4s' Stands For

The s4s acronym stands for shoutout for shoutout. Some users will tell you it can also stand for share for share or support for support. Regardless of its exact wording, the meaning behind it is all the same.

An s4s basically involves two users who have agreed to give each other a shoutout on their own profiles. This is done by posting a photo (or video) from the other account to feature them and then encouraging followers to go follow them in the post description. If both users' followers are highly engaged, it can be a very effective technique to get exposure and gain new followers very quickly.

Some Extra s4s Details Worth Knowing About

Sometimes, users will only agree to s4s requests from other users if they already have a similar amount of followers in order to make it fair. So, for example, a very popular account with 50,000+ followers might put 's4s 50k+' in their bio to let others know that they're not even going to consider shouting out accounts that only have a few thousand followers.

Users will often provide an email address so that others interested in doing an s4s can contact them privately and discuss the details of how it will be carried out. Instagram Direct is another option users have for getting in contact with each other, and now that Instagram has rolled out business pages, many users have converted their pages so that they have a Contact button at the top of their profiles.

So, for example, a user may want to send a certain picture to the other user for the s4s or have a specific description included. Depending on what contact information is available, the user could email the other user (if their email is in their bio), click the Contact button if they have a business page or simply send them a private message via Instagram Direct.

Some big and very popular accounts will sometimes agree to only publish your s4s photo and leave it there for a specific amount of time before it's deleted. Others will only give you a shoutout if you buy it from them. In other words, this is serious stuff!

And if a user doesn't have the s4s acronym anywhere on their page or posts, you could always contact them and suggest it as an option. If they like your profile and feel you'd be a good match to promote each other's content to their own followers, then they may just agree to give you a shoutout.

Why the Trend Works

You don't have to have an Instagram account with a large following to use the s4s trend for your own benefit. If you have 500 followers, for example, all you need to do is start engaging with other accounts who post similar content and have around 500 followers as well.

It's really all about being friendly, making connections and showing genuine interest in other users you're interested in networking with.

As your follower count grows by engaging in an s4s partnership or two, you can keep reaching out to more accounts that have a comparable number of followers. Anyone who is serious about Instagram networking and providing great content on a regular basis to their audience should be able to use the s4s trend to grow their follower counts into the tens of thousands (or possibly even hundreds of thousands) with enough consistent work over a period of months to years.

Yes, it does involve work and patience!

Whatever the requirements may be for the s4s work that you decide to pursue, this simple technique is an extremely popular strategy that has been proven to grow follower counts at a very fast rate. For many of the big accounts that have thousands upon thousands of followers, continuously teaming up with similar accounts to give each other shoutouts has been the number one strategy for follower growth.

If you focus mostly on networking and less on the numbers, over time you'll see progress. Here are five great strategies you can use to start improving your chances of getting a shoutout.

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