October 11, 2016

Instagram Shoutouts Made Easy

instagram shoutouts
So, you’re looking to get Instagram shoutouts. In this article, we’ll discuss all you need to know about shoutouts on Instagram, and all the different ways you can go about getting them. But first, let’s explain what Instagram shoutouts are and why you should even bother.

Instagram Shoutouts – Why bother?

Any online content platform has shoutouts as an integral part of their community. This includes YouTube, which we usually cover, as well as Instagram. For those unfamiliar with the term, a ‘shoutout’ typically refers to one creator mentioning/linking to another. On Instagram, this often means inserting a person’s username into a post so that their followers go to visit the other one. Getting Instagram shoutouts is one of the quickest ways to grow your audience. It only gets more effective on a larger scale, too. If the person doing the shoutout has only a couple hundred followers, only a hundred or so people will actually visit your profile. With hugely popular figures, though, your profile can end up in the hands of anywhere from thousands to millions of that person’s dedicated followers. It’s not guaranteed for them to follow you, of course, but if you make good Instagram content, they will stay. In short, shoutouts on Instagram are one of the best ways to grow on Instagram, regardless of the size of a person’s following. The question is, why should you want to grow to begin with?

Why should I want to grow on Instagram?

Two words: influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that focus on the power of particular celebrities or notable figures, called influencers. Your favorite stars on YouTube and Instagram could both be considered influencers, but so too could be celebrities you see in everyday life, or even people in your friend circle. Influencers are common in any given social circle- they are people who set the trends that everyone else follows, with clothes, gaming systems, choice of phone, and even thoughts/opinions. In a way, influencer marketing on Instagram is basically a form of Instagram shoutouts- just for a business instead of another creator. To qualify as an influencer on Instagram, you need a large enough following on Instagram to justify the label of “influencer”. This is often considered to be in the high thousands. Influencer marketing on Instagram works through brands hiring creators to show off their products or services in their Instagram posts, usually in a more subtle manner than overt advertisements. This is where the money on Instagram comes from, and if this is where you want to be, you’ll have to start by growing your following.

How can I get shoutouts on Instagram from other creators?

One way to approach this growth is by approaching other content creators on Instagram. Many Instagram shoutouts happen as a result of people simply meeting one another, but what you need to get results will vary on the person and the size of both of your followings.

Shoutout for Shoutout (S4S)

Shoutout for Shoutout, or s4s, is a common term on Instagram. Many posts and profiles are often emblazoned with this motto, but what does it mean, exactly? Well, if you’ve been paying attention, you probably already get the idea. People looking for shoutout for shoutout on Instagram are looking for people who will scratch their backs in return for their scratching yours. It’s a classic trade economy- you both have something the other wants, but in this case, what you both want is the same thing: a shoutout, and the growth that comes with it. So it’s cut and dry, right? All you have to do is shoutout people with shoutout for shoutout (s4s) in their profiles, right? Not…necessarily. Before you ask someone for a shoutout for shoutout, you need to know all of the important rules of engagement that there are when it comes to dealing with other Instagram creators.

Approaching Relationships With Other Creators

If you’re going to start approaching other people for Instagram shoutouts, you’re going to need to start by networking. Here’s our guide to finding Instagram creators that you can work with.
    1. Start looking in the right places. What do you post on Instagram? Nature photos, fashion-focused selfies, funny pictures, cute animals? Whatever it is you’re posting, you need to start searching for people who post similar things. This is because an Instagram shoutout from, say, a food Instagram won’t help you very much if you’re running a fashion Instagram.
    2. Mind your own follower count. If you’re going to ask someone for shoutouts on Instagram, understand that they typically expect a shoutout for shoutout affair. You’re usually fine asking for Instagram shoutouts from someone that’s only a few hundred followers off from you (once you’re in the thousands, that is), but if you go to someone with literally twice your following you’re unlikely to have much luck.
    3. Interact with their posts before DMing. This is important. You know how there’s first date etiquette? Well, there’s also etiquette with Instagram shoutouts. Even if you’re both only going to use each other to get some shoutout for shoutout, you need to approach your relationship the right way. On Instagram, that translates to liking, following and commenting on some of their posts before messaging them directly. Sometimes, this even means doing this for a longer period of time, so your motive isn’t immediately apparent. People love getting engagement and feeling like they’re important: show that you’re genuinely interested in them and their content, and then approach them for the shoutout.
    4. Approach them appropriately. If they don’t have contact info on their profile, your best bet is typically to hit them in the DM, so to speak. However, many people will have their email address or IM app contact information in their bio. If that information is there, try that lane of contact first, since that’s likely what they use the most!

Instagram Contests

Another way to get shoutouts and recognition on Instagram is by taking part in one of many Instagram contests run by popular pages. Many big pages on Instagram will run contests, typically requesting that you do something particularly special or creative with the platform. In order to find these contests, use Instagram’s search function to good use- searches like “shoutout contest” should bring you to the posts that you’re looking for. Once you find a post hosting a contest for shoutouts on Instagram, it’s time for you to do some research. Take a close look at both contest rules and other submissions before making your own- typically, they’re looking for high quality pieces, so if you can make one of the best submissions, you’re most likely to win. While unconventional, Instagram contests are a legitimate method to earn shoutouts and recognition on Instagram.

Pay For Shoutouts From Reputable Vendors

BuySell Shoutouts

Looking to buy or sell shoutouts? Well, BuySell Shoutouts might be one of the places you’re looking at, due to its apt name. Using BuySell, users can buy shoutouts on Instagram, as well as other platforms, like Twitter or Snapchat. BuySell Shoutouts enjoys generally favorable reviews online for their services selling shoutouts on Instagram, but unfortunately the service is plagued by people offering robot followers and an outright atrocious sorting system that doesn’t allow users to sort by social media platform.


Let’s face it- many of you are looking at this list because you’re tired of shoutout for shoutout. Shoutcart offers shoutouts on Instagram and Twitter, and has a highly-detailed search filtering system for various profile categories. The sheer variety and pricing on the platform is diverse, too, with shoutouts starting at $1 and going into the $100s. Shoutcart, unfortunately, does have a downside with its Instagram shoutouts: viewing its listing requires you to sign up for their site, and the types of shoutouts you can get will often vary. A lot of the time, shoutouts are priced on an hourly basis, meaning that when you pay for a shoutout it may only be there for a few hours. This means base pricing can look deceptively low for a low amount of time, while having it there for a longer period can double, triple or even quadruple the amount of the base pricing. Keep a careful eye when shopping on Shoutcart- make sure you know what you’re paying for.

IG Shoutouts

Now, there’s IG Shoutouts, or Instagram Shoutouts. Instagram Shoutouts focuses nly on Instagram, hence the name, and is host to a wide variety of Instagram creators giving their Instagram shoutouts to the people who want them. Like on Shoutcart, many of these offers are on an hourly basis, and some will not have a permanent option. In addition, Instagram Shoutouts suffers from a huge issue as a way to buy shoutouts on Instagram, because its searching and filtering is actually quite poor. Tags and categories are still being used, like on other sites, and can be found in a search. However, there’s no actual search page where you can sort by different categories, by pricing, etc. You’re left to use their search function to browse particular tags or simply scroll down their featured list until you find what you’re looking for. Due to its severely-limited search options, we can’t easily recommend you use IG Shoutouts.


Fiverr is perhaps the most well-known of all these sites, most likely because Fiverr actually covers a wide range of different services. On Fiverr, you can pay for various products and services for a “fiver” ($5 USD), as well as other, high-budget options in increments of five each. Fiverr is known for their reliability, clean web UI design and relatively straightforward pricing approach, but the issue that plagues IG Shoutouts is present here, too. In fact, you could say it’s even worse. Fiverr covers shoutouts on Instagram alongside other platforms, like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Unlike other sites, there is no tagging system, and whiel the search function DOES work, there’s no filtering or sorting system that allows you to find exactly what you’re looking for. To get Instagram shoutouts from Fiverr, you’re going to have to dig through many posts that have nothing to do with Instagram. Simplicity is nice, but simplicity isn’t always a good thing, especially not when it comes at the cost of features. When you’re looking to get Instagram shoutouts, you’re probably better off using a site with a proper search function.


And now, here we are. Here at Grin, we’re dedicated to helping content creators on many platforms expand their reach and meet other creators who can help them do that. The Grin Platform will allow you to buy Instagram shoutouts, as well as meet users who will do shoutout for shoutout with you. In addition to services for Instagram, we offer them for YouTube, too, and we’re expanding to more as time goes on! For the best in creator-driven marketplaces, use ours. You can also read our blog, for free, for more informative posts like this one.