Hey everyone! Stressful weekend, but I still managed to get this blog post together for you. Hopefully a March 2017 Reflection will be coming up soon on Friday, one of the new changes to the posting schedule, but I have a somewhat busy week ahead of me, so we'll have to see what happens. (If you missed the details back in mid-March, then be sure to either check out the post here or visit the posting schedule page by clicking the tab above.) For now, though, it’s time to do another installment in the Navigating Bookstagram series, also know as the NBSTFSA series (I’m just kidding; no one says that). Today I will be covering shoutout-for-shoutouts. Ah: sfs’s, as they’re sometimes called. What are they? They’re exactly what they sound like: When one account shouts out another account in exchange for a shoutout from them. But what I specifically want to talk about today is entering shoutout-for-shoutout contests.
First of all, what is a shoutout-for-shoutout contest? (Warning: This is arguably biased and unfair.) A shoutout-for-shoutout contest is when an account (usually a larger one with several thousand followers) or accounts (whose total number of followers adds up to a few thousand) offers to give a shoutout to several accounts in return for a shoutout from everyone who enters.
Therefore, entering these contests is risky. You may get a shoutout, or you may not. While it would probably be more fair to pick the lucky few randomly, the hosts select the accounts by feed. (All the more reason to make sure you have better pictures, as discussed in the last two parts of Navigating Bookstagram.) The idea is that, by giving them a shoutout, you may be rewarded by getting a shoutout from them.
What’s the point, then? Why should you even try? Well, you have to assess the situation. How many followers does the account have? How confident are you of your current feed? (And are you willing to ruin it to post the shoutout-for-shoutout picture?) If the account has a good amount of followers (set your own limits!), you’re happy with your feed, and you think the person/people holding the sfs will like it too, then go ahead!
A little thing that I personally like to do is saying something sweet about the account in the caption. Even if flattery doesn’t woo the person over, it’s still a nice thing to do that’ll brighten someone’s day! (Including yours, for being kind is rewarding.)
Additionally, the traditional sfs, where one posts the shoutout to their feed, is growing more and more uncommon. Ever since the release of Instagram stories, there have been a lot of sfs’s where the shoutouts are done on the story instead, so be sure to look out for these too! (I've also noticed that more accounts are selected during these.)
And still, there are shoutout-for-shoutouts where everyone gets a shoutout in return. While these may seem like the perfect win-win situation, as you know that you’ll definitely get a shoutout back, they have their faults as well. If enough people enter, it means that your shoutout will just be one of many in a whole sea full of them. In other words, it’s easy to be missed in such a large bunch. Part of the benefit of being hand-picked by the host of the sfs is that viewers will know that your account must be good in some way to be selected.
Still, I wish you the best of luck in entering sfs’s. At first, you might find that you won’t get as much attention, but with time things will hopefully even out! If you’re looking to host your own sfs, I’ll be discussing that in the next edition of Navigating Bookstagram. Until then!