The Instagram “Takeover” is an interesting social media phenomenon that brands created specifically to increase their audiences while partnering with other businesses or people. Basically, you allow someone to take over your Instagram feed for a specific period of time and post their own photos on your feed. Both audiences get exposure to another Instagrammer, which leads to more social interaction and a boost in follower numbers. Plus, it’s a fun little way to take a look at the business or industry through someone else’s eyes. Here’s the process to set up one of these Takeovers for your Instagram!
Your first step is to choose a worthy partner for a takeover, and reach out to them about it. This can be another brand you know well, a guest blogger, a customer, or nearly anyone else – but they should have an Instagram account with an audience that is similar to yours (but not with too much overlap), and skills at taking great, engaging photos.
In most circumstances, a larger brand “invites” someone to take over their Instagram feed for a day. Invitations are a good place to start since you are the one raising the subject. If you want to take over someone else’s feed, then make sure you pick an Instagrammer that you are already on good terms with so the request doesn’t get awkward.
When you pop the question and get a “yes” in return, it’s time to think about where to hold the wedding – or in this case, what goals you want to set for the takeover. Do you want to grow your audience by getting the partner’s followers interested in your brand? Do you want to increase engagement numbers? Are you trying to sell more of a particular product or service? Set these goals early so that you know what steps to take for future decisions.
Set a date! Make sure that the guest being invited is free that day to work on Instagram. If the takeover is tied to any particular event, scheduling is even easier – just make sure the time works for everyone.
When you agree to a takeover, you need to set some guidelines. For example, how long will the takeover last? Most last a day, some last for only one post, some last for the length of a corresponding event – any length can work as long as you cap it after a day or two so that people don’t get confused. You should also set guidelines for what kind of content can be used – photos, videos, temporary Stories and slideshows. If you don’t know your takeover guest very well (not advised), you may also want to set guidelines about subjects and language.
It’s also a good idea to include a note about content in your guidelines. You don’t want to spend too much time on this, but it’s important to provide a sentence or two about the type of content you really like on the guest’s feed, and what sort of things/emotions/topics you are hoping they can add to your own Instagram. Set rules for captions, too: A longer caption is often necessary to allow the guest to introduce themselves and do a bit of self promotion, but you don’t want captions that run on for long paragraphs – just like you don’t want a bunch of cheap hashtags cluttering up the feed.
However, remember to listen to their perspective too! You’re setting the table, but leave the final menu choices up to them if possible.
With the takeover set, start advertising it. Both sides should make their own announcements to their separate audiences. Remember to let everyone know the day beforehand what the takeover is, who is taking over, and why you are so excited about it.
Usually, takeovers progress when guests send their content to a brand, and the brand publishes the content (this also allows one last check on everything). You can pick your own process, but this tends to work best for most Instagram takeover arrangements.
Gather data during the takeover (and for a few days afterward), and compare it to both your usual Instagram numbers and your stated goals. If the metrics look promising, you may want to plan another takeover!