Instagram has emerged as a mainstream marketing platform over the years, with over 1 billion average monthly users.
Any brand that wants to increase their online presence cannot ignore Instagram in their digital marketing initiatives. Especially for a new brand trying to get some exposure, it is a platform that can help you reach a relevant audience without spending anything. Instagram shoutouts are one of the best ways to do that.
Shoutout Pages: How to Get Followers on Instagram Without Spending a Dime
What is an Instagram Shoutout?
A shoutout is when someone mentions you or your brand on their Instagram and asks their followers to check out your page. They usually do it by posting a picture of your Instagram profile page and tagging your brand.
They can also showcase some of your products or one of your Instagram pictures and tag your brand. Check out this post where a shoutout page has posted a picture by the photographer, Manan, and tagged him in the description.
You can simply reach out to relevant accounts and ask them to give you a shoutout in exchange for a shoutout from you. It’s a co-promotion technique that benefits both parties involved.
How to Find Relevant Shoutout Pages
Find Instagram Pages That Post Similar Content as Your Page
When looking for pages that you can reach to get a shoutout, always check for relevant pages from within your niche. This is because they will have an audience base that is relevant to you and that you can target for your own page.
Getting a shoutout from random pages which are not even from your industry won’t do you any good. For example, if you have a cosmetics company, you would benefit from getting shoutouts from beauty bloggers and influencers. If you get a shoutout from a popular travel blogger, it might help you reach a broad audience, but those people might not be as interested in your brand.
Here are some ways in which you can find such pages in your niche:
- Search Using Industry-Specific Hashtags
If you’re looking for accounts in your niche, one of the best ways to do so is to see who else is using similar hashtags as you do. A simple hashtag search on Instagram will give you a list of posts that use the same hashtag.
For instance, if you have a food business in a particular area, you can look for local food-related hashtags to search for local food influencers or pages. Let’s say you have a restaurant in Manhattan and want to search for relevant, local shoutout pages. If you start typing hashtags like #manhattanfood or #manhattanfoodie in the Instagram search box. Instagram will automatically show you the most popular hashtags, as shown below.
Open these pages to find relevant shoutout pages for your business. For example, let’s say you chose #manhattanfoodie. Then you will get a list of posts that used that hashtag (as shown below).
Next, you check out the top posts until you find something relevant, like the example shown below. The @girlswhocrave page gives regular shoutouts to local restaurants, and it is a relevant shoutout page that you could reach out to.
- Search for Influencers in Your Niche Using Influencer Tools
This is a slightly easier way to find influencers in your niche. All you need to do is use an influencer finding tool like BuzzStream or BuzzSumo. You need to enter some industry-related keywords and add relevant filters, and you will get a list of influencers.
Here is an example of the type of result that you can expect from such platforms.
Select Pages With a Similar Follower Count As Yours
If you are looking for free shoutouts in exchange for shoutouts, you need to be fair and contact only those accounts that are similar in size as yours. If you have 500 followers and you ask a page with 100k followers to give a shoutout for a shoutout, it will not benefit them.
So, you need to think of it as a mutually-beneficial arrangement and reach out only to similar-sized accounts.
How to Do Your Outreach
Start by Liking and Commenting on Their Posts
Before you reach out to any Instagram page asking for a shoutout, it’s always better to get them to notice you first. You can start your outreach by following them and engaging with their content. You can like or comment on their posts and build a rapport with them. If they already know you when you reach out to them for a shoutout request, they are more likely to respond to your request.
Then Reach Out Directly
The next step in your outreach process is to reach out to these pages either using a direct message or email. Don’t just ask them for a shoutout in your first message. First, start a conversation with them and then share your proposal.
You can do this by praising them for their recent posts or telling them how much you like their feed or content. Once they reply to your message, then you can propose a shoutout for shoutout kind of a deal. Make sure that the account that you are reaching out to will also benefit from a shoutout from you.
For example, check out the following hypothetical conversation between a brand trying to reach out to a shoutout page. You can follow a similar template for your outreach.
Target Page: Hey, thanks for the appreciation.
Brand: I have a similar page to yours on which I post about “PAGE DESCRIPTION.” I was wondering if you might be interested in giving us a shoutout in exchange for a shoutout from us. Since we target the same type of audience, it will be mutually beneficial for both of us.
Target Page: That sounds like a wonderful idea. Let’s get in touch to discuss this in more detail.
The same logic applies to emails as well. You should warm them up by complimenting them on their work and then pitch a win-win proposal.
Here is an example of such an email template:
I am [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR COMPANY NAME]. I recently saw your post [LINK] and was really impressed with it.
I’m reaching out to you because I have a page that your audiences might love. It’s an [PAGE DESCRIPTION] page which is quite similar to the kind of content that you post.
Would you be interested in getting a shoutout from us and giving us a shoutout in return?
I think this will be helpful for both of us and our audiences will get to engage with more content that they like.
If this interests you, please reply with a suitable time for a quick discussion.
Look forward to hearing from you.
[NAME and CONTACT]
Using this approach, you can effectively reach out to shoutout pages and get a free shoutout from relevant Instagram pages.
Different Ways to Get Free Shoutouts
While the concept of getting a shoutout is straightforward, it is not always easy to get free shoutouts. But fret not, we are here to help you.
Here are a few ways in which you can get a free shoutout for your Instagram page:
Shoutouts for Shoutouts
This is the most commonly used way of getting a free shoutout where two similar types of Instagram accounts give a shoutout to each other.
Take this post from photographer, Bejan Sergiu Vasile, in which he tagged the shoutout page, Holiday Leave, in order to get a shoutout back from them.
Holiday Leave responded by giving a shoutout to Bejan Sergiu Vasile. The post got more than 1000 likes.
Free Shoutouts From Brands for Their Users
A lot of brands use user-generated content for their Instagram feeds and tag the people whose content they share. This is also an excellent way to get a shoutout for free.
This can be useful for people/pages who want to increase their follower count. For example, a food-related page or influencer getting a shoutout from a restaurant’s Instagram page could help them get more followers. Or a travel influencer getting a shoutout from a hotel brand can help them reach a relevant audience.
Take the example of camera brand Canon. Canon USA’s Instagram page is filled with pictures taken by people using a Canon camera. They ask people to share their posts using the hashtag #mycanonstory, and the best pictures get featured on Canon’s Instagram page.
The brand gives a shoutout to the photographer while sharing their post on Instagram. This helps those photographers increase their reach and get more followers.
Free Shoutouts by Entering Shoutout Contests
A lot of Instagram pages and influencers run shoutout contests where they ask people to follow their page or follow some instructions to get a free shoutout. These are usually pages with a large follower base who are trying to further improve their reach.
Smaller pages can participate in such contests to get a free shoutout from a much bigger Instagram page.
Check out the following shoutout contest, for example. This page is trying to gain some active followers by giving free shoutouts.
Instagram shoutouts are an easy and effective way to increase your Instagram followers. They can help you reach a relevant audience and get more followers and engagement for your Instagram page.
And now you know exactly how to get Instagram shoutouts without spending any money.