Platform (Ease of Use)
Shoutcart is a self-serve social media shoutout platform that allows marketers to buy Instagram and Twitter shoutouts from influencers. The platform is well-designed, but has some major flaws. Read this review to find out more.
What is Shoutcart?
Shoutcart is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell social media shoutouts. If you’re an influencer, you can sell shoutouts on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re a marketer, you can buy shoutouts through the self-serve platform. There is a minimum $50 to fund, which shouldn’t be a roadblock for any serious marketer. All payments are processed through Shoutcart, giving buyers and sellers and added layer of protection (vs. paying influencers directly).
This review is written from the perspective of a marketer looking to buy shoutouts.
Let’s dive into some of the features.
Shoutcart is a well-designed platform with an intuitive user interface. You can search for influencers by keyword or use the following filters:
- Channel (i.e. Twitter/Instagram)
- Type (i.e. Page/Personal)
- Category (i.e. Fitness or Cars)
- Activity Time (i.e. Active at Night vs. Active During the Day)
- # of Followers
- Score (A Shoutcart metric for ranking users)
The main search page is where most of the research is done. If you want more details on an influencer, you can click on their username.
An influencers page will show:
- A Description
- Audience Demographics
You can choose from a variety of pricing options that vary by promotion length and whether or not you want to include a link.
Overall, the platform is straightforward and easy to use. Simply browse through the influencers and find ones that may be relevant to your project. If there’s a good fit, choose your pricing, and submit your promotion.
If you want to buy a shoutout, add it to your cart and checkout. At checkout, you will be able to submit your image/video, a caption, and a preferred shoutout time. You can include your instagram username, as well as any relevant hashtags you want to add to the post. If you pay for a promotion with a bio link, you will submit that is well (goo.gl or bit.ly is recommended for tracking).
If the shoutout is approved by the influencer, you’ll have the ability to review the stats later.
Is Shoutcart Worth It?
I’ve used the Shoutcart platform for over a year. During that time, I’ve purchased a few shoutouts from influencers in a variety of different niches. Was it worth it?
Let’s Start With the Postitive
Shoutcart provides a valuable service for marketers looking for a self-serve outreach platform. Many competing platforms organize the influencers but require marketers to “reach out for pricing.” Basically, you need to start a conversation with influencers and come to an agreement. Shoutcart simplifies the process with their “shopping cart” model. It also saves you the time of manually contacting influencers on Instagram and hoping they deliver after you send them a PayPal payment.
The platform itself is easy to navigate and provides almost all of the features you would want. There are only a couple of things I would like to see changed/added.
First, the “score” metric is an internal metric provided by Shoutcart. They don’t really explain how it works and, at the time of writing this, there is only one influencer with a score above 100 (the next highest is 60). It should also be noted that there are 68 pages of influencers and every influencer after the first page has a score below 17 (we’ll get back to this).
The second thing I’d like to see is an influencer rating. Currently, influencers have a “success rate” but that only measures how many promotions they accept (vs. those they declined). It would be helpful if marketers could rate influencers based on the effectiveness of the campaign, whether through a review or a simple star rating. You could make the argument that marketers wouldn’t want other people to find out about their best influencers, but I still think the system would work. It’s proven to be effective for sites like Fiverr and solo ads marketplaces.
Now, let’s move on to the negative.
The Downsides of Shoutcart
The main downside of Shoutcart is the quality of the influencers.
This is a HUGE problem and the reason why I will no longer be using the platform.
Even Shoutcart’s own rating system (“Score” metric) shows that over 90% of the influencers are low quality.
Many of these accounts are not “real” influencers. They are pages grown by marketers for the sole purpose of selling shoutouts. Many of them have fake followers and fake engagement.
Even after doing some manual research and vetting a few influencers, I was unable to find any success on the platform.
Here’s a recent example of the amount of link clicks I received from a $30 12-hour promotion from one of the highest rated influencers on the site:
There may be quality influencers on the site, but they get lost in a sea of garbage.
I really wish the platform had higher quality users, as I think there is a real need for a service like this. Right now, the low quality and lack of results outweigh convenience of having a self-serve platform.
You’d be better off doing manual influencer outreach or using the budget elsewhere.