What S4S Means on Instagram
The S4S acronym stands for "shoutout for shoutout."
Some users will tell you it can also stand for "share for share" or "support for support." Regardless of its exact wording, the meaning behind it is all the same.
How S4S Works on Instagram
If you follow any popular Instagram accounts that have branded their pages with a specific theme (fitness, food, fashion, makeup, etc.) then chances are you may have noticed that some of them include the S4S acronym in their bios, post captions or even in comments left on posts.
A S4S basically involves two users who have agreed to give each other a shoutout on their own profiles. This is done by posting a photo (or video) from the other account to feature them and then encouraging followers to go follow them in the post description. If both users' followers are highly engaged, it can be a very effective technique to get exposure and gain new followers very quickly.
Some Extra S4S Details Worth Knowing About
Sometimes, users will only agree to S4S requests from other users if they already have a similar amount of followers in order to make it fair. So, for example, a very popular account with 50,000+ followers might put 'S4S 50k+' in their bio to let others know that they're not even going to consider shouting out accounts that only have a few thousand followers.
Users will often provide an email address so that others interested in doing a S4S can contact them privately and discuss the details of how it will be carried out. Instagram Direct is another option users have for getting in contact with each other, and now that Instagram has rolled out business pages, many users have converted their pages so that they have a Contact button at the top of their profiles.
An Example of a S4S Scenario
Let's say that an Instagram user who has 2,500 followers and posts fitness content is looking to grow their following. They might come across another account that posts similar fitness content and has a similar following of around 2,700.
This is a good account to consider sending a certain photo or video to the other user for a S4S, with a specific description included. Depending on what contact information the other user has provided in their profile bio, the user could email the other user (if their email is in their bio), click the Contact button if they have a business page or simply send them a private message via Instagram Direct.