How to Host an IG Takeover

How to Host an IG Takeover

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What started as a nice little addition to the Instagram feed of big brands, is now an essential part of any Instagram marketing strategy for businesses big and small.

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An Instagram takeover is a popular IG scenario where a brand lets another outside (or inside) host run their IG account for a period of time. The hosts can either post to their feed, create IG Stories, or go live.

Meg Lagerwey taking over the Soaring Free Superfoods IG account for a day:

The why

Whichever way you decide to execute them; IG takeovers are a sure way to get a ton of benefits to both parties.

A brand gets a surge of new followers, spices up their content calendar, increases brand awareness, engagement, builds more genuine relationships within their community and encourages user-generated content.

The influencer or the community member hosting the takeover gets to enjoy the same amount of benefits as well. By managing the brand’s IG account for a period of time, they get to be exposed to a new audience and have their following increased. It’s basically a win-win.

Let’s look at the perfect example of the win-win IG takeover scenario.

Shreya from @codewithshreya who was taking over Coding Vibes’ IG Stories, perfectly blended within the Coding Vibes’ following. By answering their audience’s questions, she 1) generated a ton of engagement on the brand’s profile, and 2) got a lot of exposure for herself with a perfectly targeted audience: 

coding.vibes

Of course, the benefits you would get largely depend on which route you decide to take.

And this brings us to the who part.

The host of the takeover

The most popular types of takeovers are run by one of the three following hosts:

  • Influencers – The most popular hosts that can introduce a brand to their specific, niche audience and drive a ton of targeted engagement. Of course, a detailed investigation into an influencer’s credibility, overall style and community engagement should be performed to make sure you’re the right fit.
  • Employees or Team Members – Company employees takeover the account to show behind the scenes and company culture. Not a great deal of new followers, but a fun way to raise brand awareness, entice engagement and gain credibility. Also, a nice way to show a new product launch or preparation.
  • Members of community or regular customers – An amazing way for companies to show credibility, generosity and relatability. And also to drive engagement via user-generated content.

Define a goal

Of course, defining the specific goal is always the first step in any action. In order to pick the right guest for your IG takeover and decide on which metrics to follow and define a game plan, you need to have the end goal in place.

Choose a format

The amazing IG environment allows for various types of takeover formats. It’s up to you to decide which type makes the most sense to your brand and your goal.

The IG takeovers usually run in these three categories:

  • IG posts – Takeover guests post videos and photos directly to a brand’s IG feed
  • IG Stories – For brands that want their aesthetic to remain unchanged by different styles, they would instruct their guests to use IG Stories for these purposes.
  • IG live – An interactive, short form of a takeover that lets guests interact with followers in real-time.

Again, deciding on a type of format largely depends on the goals of the takeover campaign and the level of trust a brand and guest have between them. Even though any type of format would bring results, a product launch event would get more attention if done in a live setting, and posts by an influencer having a dark and gloomy aesthetic would not look authentic and natural on a feed of a brand that has light and cheerful colors and filters.

That being said, let’s go a little bit into detail of each of the IG takeover formats to get a clearer picture of each approach.

Instagram posts

This approach is great for longer takeovers (around a week). An influencer or a team or a community member posts directly to a brand’s IG gallery. The posts usually include “a-day-in-the-life” or “a-week-in-the-life” type of posts in case of an influencer where they show how the brand is involved in their daily work or life routine. 

For instance, the work of Lee Nowell-Wilson blends perfectly within the grid of the contemporary gallery IA&A at Hillyer when the artist took over their IG for a #takeovertuesday:

Employee takeover is a great way to show company culture and let the audience in on what’s going on behind the scenes for a week, for example. Or, in the case of community member takeover, a lot of UGC posts can be posted to show how a brand’s audience use their product or service.

IG posts are a great format if you don’t want to let your guests have full access to your account. They can create the posts, and send it over to you for approval and posting. This way, you’re allowed more control. However, in terms of your style and aesthetic, this can get tricky sometimes, as the content style may not always blend in nicely with your grid tone.

IG Stories

A fun and interactive format that allows for a lot of creativity and a chance to have multiple guests and do a whole series of IG Stories for a specific campaign, for example. You can mix it up, and have a different influencer do a takeover each day for a week. Another great benefit, your gallery remains intact while you still get all the perks in terms of engagement boost and a ton of following.

IG Live

Letting your guests go live on your IG for an hour provides a great environment for interactivity, promotion, and brand awareness building. Here, you’d have to provide full access to your account, so make sure it’s someone you completely trust to have your business best interest at heart. IG live takeover is an awesome format to let your guests’ audience in on your major events, milestones, or simple Q&A sessions that can help get your brand top of their mind and direct some of the following your way.

laurenkvickers

Don’t forget the hashtags

As you can tell, a lot of work and joint effort goes into organising and executing an IG takeover. Don’t miss the opportunity of getting it the spotlight it deserves. Come up with a killer hashtag strategy to gain visibility in the searches and secure the long-lasting effect of your results. 

If the IG takeover is part of your pre-designed campaign, make sure to include the pre-planned hashtags. 

In other cases, explore the popular ones like #takeovertuesday, #takeover, but also the less competitive ones like #livetakeover or #takeoverlive. It’s all about finding the balance between the general and the more specific ones. Going all general comes with a risk of not getting noticed among the millions of posts, whereas the combo of the general and specific ones gets you enough traffic and creates the best chance of getting discovered by the target audience. 

Or, leave the heavy lifting to us, and let our hashtag generator create a bespoke set of hashtags for each of your campaigns.

Promote, promote, promote

Now that you’ve decided on the right guest and format, you would think it’s go time. In a second. You still need to make sure your and your guest’s team effort doesn’t get unnoticed. 

To secure the best results, make sure to promote the takeover session at least a day in advance. And we’re not only talking posting an IG post about it. Nooo. Utilise each and every channel to get all of your interested audience to mark their calendars. Use the same event promotion image to invite you and your guest’s audience. Cross-promote on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other social media you and your guest are on.

Execute

Finally, it’s game time.

Whether you decided on a full account takeover where the guest goes live and has full control or a curated approach where you’ll be doing the posting, your job is not done. Make sure to be present, in case anything goes off-script. Even if everything runs smoothly be sure to monitor the comments, take part in the conversation and use this opportunity to show character and credibility.

Analyse, optimize

No, still not done. 😄 

IG takeovers are a powerful marketing tactic and as such, it takes some analysis to truly understand its impact and learn what to optimise in the future. Sounds fun, right? 🙃

It can actually be if you’ve got the right set of tools to help you out. We’ve got just the perfect solution. Manage and track your IG takeover results from a single super intuitive dashboard with FlockSocial. Schedule your posts, get the perfect hashtags for your campaign, track engagement, follower growth and much more. Try it free today.

Takeaway

Now that you’ve got all the points in check, it’s time to run your first successful IG takeover. Remember, even if your metrics don’t skyrocket after your first attempt, there’s still plenty of room to learn and improve. And, more importantly, remember that genuine interactions, sharing, and relationship building opportunities are not necessarily measured by numbers. Use the feedback in the comment section to understand your audience’s needs and generate a genuine connection. 

Let us know your experience and lessons learned from hosting an IG takeover in the comments.

And don’t forget to subscribe for more insights on how to skyrocket your IG presence.

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