Followers and engagement

Your Complete Guide to Using the Instagram Collab Feature

  • 10 Minutes
Collaaaaaaboration time, cmon!

Want to maximize your engagement, boost your reach and get your profile in front of a whole new audience? Your answer is Instagram Collabs.

All within the Instagram app, you can collaborate with other users and instantly double the reach of your content. How? By harnessing the Instagram Collab feature, you can share Reels and feed posts that appear in both users’ profile grids, helping you tap into another user’s network and potentially increase your Instagram followers.

From paid partnerships, influencer collaboration posts, shoutouts, and giveaways, Instagram collaborations have never been this easy thanks to this handy new feature!

We’re diving into all the things you need to know about collaborating on Instagram, how to tag people and how to accept a collab tag. Plus, we’ve even given you some tips and tricks to start using the Instagram collab feature right now!

What are Instagram Collabs?

In 2021, Instagram launched its new feature Instagram Collabs, giving users the ability to co-author content with other accounts.

The original creator (with a public account) can tag another account (public or private) as a collaborator. The collaborating account can accept or deny the request, and if accepted the post will show up on their profile.

The Instagram Collab feature also distributes the post to both collaborator’s followers in the Instagram feed, meaning you will share views, likes, and comments. The original creator (a.k.a. the author of the post) can also add or remove their collaborator at any point in time.

As you can tell, this is a game-changing feature for any business, brand or creator looking to skyrocket their reach on Instagram (without pouring thousands of dollars in paid advertising). By tapping into this collab feature, you can maximize the impact of every new post you share and increase the visibility of your Instagram account with new, high-value followers.

Why you should be using Instagram Collabs?

So you know you can already tag people in your Instagram posts, so how is Instagram Collabs any different? Well, when you’re tagging a person in a post your content isn’t actually being distributed to both your feeds – it only sits on yours.

The Instagram Collab feature basically allows you to create a partnership with another creator or brand to get your content out to both sets of audiences. Let’s run through some of the benefits of using the Collab feature.

Reach a new audience

By using Instagram collabs you’re essentially getting your post out there to two sets of audiences; yours and your collaborator. This can massively boost your audience engagement and maximize your visibility meaning new people can discover your profile – say hello to some new followers!

The best part? You’re not going to need to invest in paid social advertising either. As you’re collaborating with other accounts on organic content, you’ll be able to see serious ROI from your collab content (without blowing your marketing budgets either).

Boost your engagement

When your post is pushed out to two sets of audiences, you’re more likely to amass more likes, comments, saves, and shares – all the good stuff that maximizes content interactions and increases engagement.

When Instagram recognizes more engagement on your profile, the algorithm is more likely to reward you by making your other posts and profile more visible to users.

Essentially, tapping into the collab Instagram feature is a proven way to increase your engagements, boost the visibility of your content and gain the attention of potential customers on the platform.

Avoid making duplicate posts

If you’re collaborating with a partner (such as an influencer or other content creator) Collabs helps reduce the number of duplicate posts you would both be making. When you both post the exact same photos or Reels, you’re essentially competing with yourself for higher engagement.

With Instagram Collabs, both parties are receiving all the engagement with likes, comments, shares and saves all in one post.

This streamlines things from a reporting standpoint, meaning you can easily see exactly how your posts are tracking without having to request analytics from your collaborators. You’ll also stay in the good books with the Instagram gods (as your content won’t be flagged as a duplicate by the Instagram algorithm).

Increases brand transparency

Your audience wants to know when you’re engaging in a partnership, particularly when a brand or influencer is engaging in influencer marketing, sponsored posts, and paid ads.

Instagram Collab posts easily let Instagram users know the accounts you’re in partnership with. This transparency is key to building trust with your audience, especially if you or your collaborating partner is being paid to create this collab post.

With a clearly labelled partnership post, you can keep your audience in the loop of how you’re producing content (even before they tap into your post to see who is tagged and whether this is a sponsored piece of content).

How to create an Instagram Collab Post for Feed Posts

Instagram Collabs are pretty easy to use and can offer powerful results for your brand. Ready to try out this feature for yourself? Get started by following these simple steps:

  1. Start by choosing the photo or multiple photos you want to make your Collab post.
  2. When you’ve selected them select next to see your post settings.
  3. Tap ‘Tag People’ and click ‘Invite Collaborator’.
  4. Next, search for the user you want to collab with.
  5. Once you’ve selected them tap the checkmark to confirm.

How to use Instagram Collab posts for Reels

Collaborating on Reels is similar to feed posts except your posting from the Reels tab instead of the normal post tab.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to using the Instagram Collab feature for Reels:

  1. Record and edit your Reel as you usually would.
  2. Select preview and make sure you’re happy with your Reel.
  3. Click Next to access the sharing options and tap ‘Tag People’.
  4. Hit ‘Invite Collaborator’ and choose who you want to tag.
  5. Click the checkmark to confirm your collaborator and post your Reel!

How to Accept an Instagram Collab Request

Have you been asked to collab on a recent Instagram post? Here’s a simple guide to how to accept this invitation and share this post to your own channel:

  1. Tap on the invite notification on your Activity page.
  2. Click on the blue ‘Review’ button which sends you to a pop-up window to accept or decline the collaboration invitation.
  3. Select ‘Accept’ and you’re ready to go!

What to keep in mind when using Instagram Collabs

Instagram has laid out some specifications users need to be aware of when using the collaboration feature.

By understanding these recommendations, you can ensure every collab post you share aligns with Instagram’s specifications and performs at its best.

Let’s dive into the four things you need to know about Instagram Collabs, direct from Instagram HQ:

  • The original poster is the post’s main author: since the original poster is the primary creator of the post, they have the ability to add or remove collaborators at any time. If the original author blocks the collaborator and vice versa, the collaboration ends. Additionally, the collaborator can leave the Collab post at any time.
  • The original creator determines the collab post’s settings: if the original creator decides to turn their profile from public to private, only their followers will be able to view the post.
  • The Collab post is owned by the primary creator: if the primary creator decides to delete the post it will also be removed from the collaborator’s profile.
  • The post is maintained by the original creator: this means if the original creator deactivates their account, the post will be removed from both profiles. If their account is reactivated, the post is restored on both profiles.

Best practice tips and tricks for collabing on Instagram

Ready to kick start your collab posting journey on Instagram? We’ve rounded up three powerful ways to get the most out of this collab posting feature (and say goodbye to reposting content for good).

1. Collaborate with influencers

We all know influencer marketing on Instagram is pretty powerful, particularly if you’re a smaller brand that wants to get yourself out there to more eyes.

Collab posts are a great way to achieve growth, boost engagement and maximize visibility and reach by leveraging off a macro or micro-influencers audience.

Our tip? Make sure to be strategic about which influencers you’re working with. Remember: a high follower count doesn’t guarantee high engagement. So, here are a few ways to pick the right influencers for your next collab post:

  • Ask for their engagement rate: this shows you what percentage of their follower count is actually interacting with their content. The higher this figure, the more engaged their follower base is, and the more likely you’re going to see good results from your partnership.
  • Find out about their audience demographics: the best partnerships happen with influencers that align with your ideal customers. By asking for details about your influencers’ followers upfront, you can understand if this partnership will help you get in front of high-value followers.
  • Make sure the influencer is the right fit for your brand: be sure to scroll through their recent posts and ensure the style of their content is aligned with the way you want to position your brand.

2. Maximize your user-generated content

User-generated content is becoming increasingly popular. Audiences are desiring an authentic sneak peek into how people like themselves are using and engaging with a brand’s product.

User-generated content can increase trust amongst your audience, which is essential for long-term success. On top of that, you want to always credit your followers when they are making content for your brand and Instagram Collabs are a great way to do it.

When you see a great piece of UGC shared by a happy customer, contact them via DMs and ask if you can be a collaborator on their post. This will allow you to reshare their original post, rather than reposting and tagging them in the comments.

3. Partnerships with other brands for giveaways

Giveaways on Instagram are pretty popular because they are a great tool to gain followers, boost engagement and build brand awareness. Teaming up with other brands for a giveaway is a great way to leverage each other’s followers and boost your profile to new audiences. They also give the brand’s a way to split the costs of the competition.

Using the Collab feature gives both sets of audiences an easy way to follow the steps to enter the giveaway without audiences having to go to multiple profiles to get what they need.

Collaaaaaboration time, cmon!

And that’s a wrap! When it comes to the Instagram Collab feature, this is the perfect tool to help maximize the reach and visibility of your brand on Instagram. Whether you’re sharing Instagram Reels or feed posts, using the collab tool can help you double your reach and boost your engagement on Instagram with ease.

Start scheduling your Instagram Collab posts with Sked Social, your all-in-one social media scheduling, analytics, and monitoring tool. Try our 7-day free trial and take your social media marketing game to the next level!

Photo of Photo of Kyra Goodman

Kyra is a Junior Marketing Manager and "Spicy Meme Master" at Sked Social who loves to create content. Born and raised in Hawaii, her favorite things are traveling, yoga, beaching, coffee and baseball. Connect with her on twitter at @kyra_n_goodman.

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