An Instagram shoutout is a great way to build a community and to expand your Instagram account. Here is a list of advice on how to effectively ask for a shoutout.
As the administrator of the @comolaketoday Instagram page, I get hundreds of requests for shoutouts, offers for co-promotions and queries for featuring different products, services, and events for free. With the coronavirus situation, the number of requests has doubled. Following a drop in sales, quarantines hustle, and an unclear future is pushing small businesses to look for new “blue oceans”. The majority of people are amiable and constructive, so we effectively create shoutouts and help each other during this tough time. But sometimes the arriving “orders” are doomed to fail.
Search for the right target audience
It seems so easy, but many people ignore it. Try to collaborate with the pages that have the same or a very similar audience as yours. In this way, your content will be harmonious and can represent the value for the other page. At COMO LAKE Today we love Venice, Rome, and Florence, but our account is about Lake Como. Our community and Lake Como fans do not expect pictures of Rome from us. At the same time, we can be interested in the sharing of someone’s quality content regarding Lake Como.
Nobody cancelled the usage of etiquette online
When we are communicating through social media and we are texting from our mobiles we are often very synthetic and go straight to the point, but this doesn’t work for pitching. When you pitch someone your idea and ask for a shoutout, the message needs a minimum presentation about who-you-are and what-you-want. Messages like “repost it on your page asap” – go straight to the trash. People don’t appreciate brash perseverance, but they value the desire of someone following their dreams. Be respectful, present yourself, describe your vision and why you need to get a shoutout. In this case, your chances of getting a reply will grow incredibly!
Reciprocity makes a difference
Before asking for a shoutout follow the page first, interact, like, comment, start a discussion and try to build a relationship. It will increase your chances for a shoutout. Requests sent from people who do not follow the page nor have ever liked or commented on it have less chances for positive feedback.
Offer something. Negotiating is more accessible than asking
Everyone can do something helpful for another person. Your page is small, you have no budget and are hopelessly searching for unpaid promotions? Fine, but be creative! Offer something in exchange. You can give your product or service for free or you can offer a discount. You can make a post or a story about the other page on your social media, write an article on your blog or website, send a link of the other Instagram page to your friends and invite them to do the same. The options are countless. Everyone can do something for other people. Even if it is not of the same value, your effort and generosity will be appreciated.
Concentrate on real connections and build relationships
In many cases, offline or out-Instagram communications (email, phone calls) can bring much better results and create long-time online partnerships. Do you like a page, do you believe it’s essential in your area and for your business? Nice, try to meet the owner offline, write an email, invite them for a cup of coffee, discuss how you see the cooperation and what you can do together for mutual benefit. With many local accounts, I created an Instagram community that helps me in growing and promoting my page. We like each other’s posts; we comment and share the content, we do it regularly, free of charge, and in this way, we are leveraging on the performance of our pages. How did we achieve this? We were building relationships with mutual benefit and not just asking for a one-time shoutout. Links are not created by impulses; they are done by small steps brought together.
It’s not about you
Sometimes you might be disappointed because you did everything right: you were interacting with an account, wrote a touching pitch, offered something from your side, but as an answer, you got a refusal. You should not be upset. There can be many reasons for this refusal. Maybe the category of services you offer is not what the owner of the account personally likes. Or there are some other advertising campaigns running at the moment and there is no more space for extra promotion posts right now. The reasons can be various, you should not take it personally. Don’t get easily offended. Your unfollow or negative reaction can close the door forever. Instead, accept the rejection politely, thank and leave room for new opportunities. Some great partnerships start after an initial refusal.
About the author:
Elena Markova is a Digital Marketing professional experienced in PR & Brand Communications with working experience in Travel, Real Estate & Luxury industries. Elena is a founder of COMO LAKE Today, a niche lifestyle online magazine dedicated to the region of Lake Como.