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Social Media and UGC

Instagram Shoutout Guide for 2020

If you’re unfamiliar with Instagram shoutouts, don’t worry!. First, it's essential to know why Instagram marketing is important for a growing brand. 95% of adults aged 18-34 follow at least one brand on social media. Additionally, Instagram alone has a huge reach - over 1 billion monthly users.  

And, to top it off, a solid 11% of Instagram users shop through the app. This means you have 100million potential customers already active on the platform. So let’s dive into our guided tour on Instagram shoutouts and how to incorporate them into your social marketing strategy.

What is a Shoutout?

An Instagram shoutout is one method of advertising that lets you narrow down your audience and get a lot of exposure for a comparably small investment. Shoutouts are useful because they present your brand to an already loyal audience. By routing your marketing through a trusted account, you reach a broader customer base without "cold calling" on random feeds. Whether you want to boost followers or increase sales, it’s important to tailor your approach to your goal. After all, Instagram Shoutouts are another form of influencer marketing. With that said, let's cover a few ways to give a shoutout.

Types of Instagram Accounts

There are a lot of different types of Instagram accounts to work with so choosing one to request a shoutout from can be challenging. Luckily, with tools like Pixlee, you can discover new influencers of all sizes and request a shoutout based on engagement rate and other parameters you determine.Most Instagram accounts are personal, belonging to one individual, and highlighting his or her experiences through a gallery of original photos. Generally, people’s posts will either be photos they took or photos of them, all related to their lifestyles.

Usually, this type of account is in a particular niche, or the account owner is inclined to post about a particular field of interest, like sports, lifestyle, food, or travel.

A great starting target, micro-influencers have 5,000 to 50,000 followers, and their fan bases tend to be more loyal to the account. Stick with ones in your industry/niche to make sure your products mesh well for the best results. Accounts with slightly more followers may also be compatible depending on your budget and reach.

500,000+ personal accounts are broader, but more expensive and may not be interested in hosting your brand’s shoutout directly, as they are often represented by professional social media managers. Remember to always check the account’s engagement rates – a high number of followers with low engagement can be a sign of fake followers.

Theme Accounts

Themed Instagram accounts are created around a particular topic or interest, many of which focus on advertisements.


The account creator chooses a topic and posts related content while growing an online audience. When the engagement and audience are on a good level (100k+ followers) the account can start promoting links to some of the profitable niches or wait for the advertisers to request shoutouts.

Types of Instagram Shoutouts

There are two parties involved in an Instagram shoutout. User A creates the post, story, or image and asks user B to promote it. In return, user A provides something of value. In most cases, you will be asked to prepare the ad yourself, so you can dictate how it will look and emanate your brand’s culture.

Paid Shoutouts

Influencer marketing is a prime example of paid shoutouts. While the price range may vary, accounts with up to 100 000 followers may settle for a price within $25-$100. The bigger the account’s influence, the bigger the payment. Accounts with over 1 million followers will typically want a minimum of four figures for the shoutout.


This is an example of a highly-followed influencer promoting Fashion Nova apparel.  

If you click the @fashionnova handle, you will be redirected to their main Instagram page, with products, photos of other influencers, and shoppable links to their website.



S4S, or shoutout-for-shoutout, is a simple exchange of services. If User A publicly promotes User B, then User B will shout back. This is more cost-effective, but you're less likely to attract the interest of larger accounts. Make sure you trust the brand to some extent. The last thing you want is for their end of the deal to fall through or to find out the brand has a bad reputation or product after publicly praising it online.

Voluntary or Fan Shoutouts

Voluntary shoutouts are the best kind of shoutout - and the least reliable form of marketing. But in comparison to the classic “pay for shoutout” approach, in this case  you have very little control over the behavior of your fans and their decision to reshare your content.

While you can’t always predict if a fan shoutout will happen or not, you can encourage it by creating content on your page that caters to reposts.

How to Do a Shoutout on Instagram

There are three basic ways to give a shoutout on Instagram: sharing a photo of the product, sharing media related to the product, and giving a shoutout on an Instagram story.

Product Photo Shoutout

This shoutout works best to promote brands with tangible products. It's also important to mention the brand’s Instagram handle and include trending #hashtags to increase viewership.

Here is an example from the fly fishing account @Flylords.
Accompanied by a short Q and A in the Instagram caption, the grill set being promoted is set to attract Flylord’s existing followers because of its compatibility with fishing and boating.

Shoutout Without a Product Photo

Sometimes it's not possible or effective to include a photo of the product. For example, if you're promoting a sports camera, you may include images from the camera, rather than of it. The description of this kind of shoutout is critical. You still want to @mention and #hashtag your way to a viral post, but you should also include more text to describe the product and why it's effective. Add a CTA (call to action) to encourage your followers to check out the product.

Story Shoutout

Posts aren’t the only effective method for a shoutout. For instance, you can get creative with your story with collages, screenshots, or quotes. Instagram stories only last 24 hours, are up to 15 seconds in length and can include graphics, texts, clickable hashtags, and mentions.

How to Request Shoutouts on Instagram

A direct message is a good way to approach your potential partner, but if you have an influencer marketing tool like Pixlee,  you can discover and contact new influencers easily. With a proper influencer CRM tool, you can manage all influencers and shoutout requests in one place, all while seeing actual engagement rates. Ultimately, how you choose to reach out to other accounts depends on the scale of messages and size of influencers you're working with.Instagram shoutouts are a great and varied way to get your brand noticed by engaged communities. With luck, the right tools, and a thoughtful approach to outreach, you'll build connections and create a wider fanbase for your brand.

Vlad Falin is a founder and blogger at costofincome.com, a blog about digital business, webinar software tools, mp3 converters, and much more!

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Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.

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