You don’t have to rough Instagram alone. It’s a platform full of people who are using it for personal or business purposes, or both. Why not partner with someone who has similar goals? You wouldn’t partner with a direct competitor, of course, but whether you are a personal brand looking for a business or a business looking for an influencer, an Instagram partnership can help expose your account to more viewers and tap into existing audiences.
There are right and wrong ways to approach a business relationship, though. Regardless of what kind of profile you have, here are a few things to keep in mind for a successful Instagram alliance:
Be someone others want to partner with
If you want a social media partnership, then you need to be someone worth partnering with. Establish your brand: what is your tone and mission? What is your niche? A partnership is meant to bolster your efforts, not save you or be your sole source of engagement.
A social media relationship carries risks, so you need to know what you’re doing if you want someone else to be confident in you. A prospective partner will scrutinize your feed, bio, Stories, aesthetic, post consistency, follower count, engagement rate, and everything else about you. They’ll be able to tell how active you are on the platform and what you do to connect with your followers, as well as what kind of followers you appeal to. If it doesn’t look like you have similar audiences, then they may decide that you’re not someone they want to partner with.
If you need a bit of a boost building your audience before you are ready for collaboration, then free Instagram followers can help you grow your organic audience and leverage the power of social proof.
Tag businesses and brands
Now, how do you go about getting someone else’s attention? One way is to tag them! When you create content, such as Stories or standard posts, tag businesses and influencers that you want to partner with to get them to notice you. You may have to try a few times, but a bit of reasonable persistence can help you stand out.
You should not partner with just anyone, though. First of all, the business or influencer you want to build a relationship with should share a common audience, or at least an audience you know you can provide value to. A skincare business attempting to partner with a wildlife photographer probably isn’t going to work out very well. It’s not that the photographer doesn’t appreciate skincare, it’s just that such products have no place on their profile.
Research what businesses and influencers make strategic sense to partner with. You also probably shouldn’t go straight for the big names. If you’re a small startup, then partner with micro-influencers who have less than 100,000 followers before going for macro-influencers with over a million.
Reach out to people directly
You can also approach businesses and influencers directly. Do you believe that the two of you have a lot in common and much to gain? Then message them directly and give them your pitch. What are your goals, what do you think their goals are, and how do you think you can reach them together? You can also email them instead of using Instagram’s direct messaging feature (which may be swamped with other requests).
Make sure you both benefit
You’re hoping for a partnership because it will benefit you, but be prepared to pitch how a relationship will benefit the other party. They may feel generous and decide to give you a shoutout, but a long-term, consistent relationship will need to have advantages for both of you. What do you have to offer a potential alliance? Be prepared to explain what you have that other brands or businesses don’t.
Know your budget
If you are the one initiating a paid partnership, then know what your budget is in advance. Some influencers charge exorbitant fees just for one post. You don’t want to get your hopes up only to be told that the influencer charges tens of thousands of dollars — that’s probably not worth it to you, so have an idea of how much you are willing to spend (whether for one post or over a period of time).
If you are an influencer who is going to post on behalf of a business, then remember to tag the post with something like #sponsored or #ad. You could be in legal trouble if you don’t. Instagram’s paid partnership feature also makes it easy to confirm a relationship with a brand if you are posting for them and automatically adds the “paid partnership” label. Never lie that you have paid someone or have been paid to do something.
Instagram partnerships can be difficult to foster, but they can be worthwhile if you approach them right. How do you build Instagram relationships?