4 Tips for Hosting Your First Instagram Takeover

When a brand reaches out to an Instagram influencer to collaborate together, it can be a huge honor, and a gesture that means the influencer is on their radar. Both parties have a similar sense of style, but the influencer has their own quirks that speak to their fans. The brand sees this, picks up on it, and likes it, thinking it will speak to their audience too.

However, to paraphrase Spider-Man, with great posting power comes great responsibility.

If you’re hosting your first takeover on an account with thousands of followers, all eyes will be on your every move. This includes the audience, who’ll want to engage with you and expect to see aesthetically pleasing content, and the brand that’ll be keeping a close eye on the takeover’s metrics and outcome.

No pressure, right?

Keep calm and post on with these tips that will ensure your first takeover is a success from start to finish.

1. Define the hosting groundwork beforehand

Pop quiz – a brand wants you to host their account for a few days. How do you reply?

A) Say yes and relax. They’ll handle everything from here on out.

B) Agree and give them your contact information so you can discuss takeover expectations together.

The correct answer, of course, is B.

Instagram takeovers are an important part of a brand’s, and influencer’s, social media strategy, and there’s give and take in this partnership, with the brand getting a valuable host and the influencer getting a wider audience to share their content with.

Before the takeover begins, get both parties on the same page by answering these questions:

  • Goals – What does the brand hope to achieve with this takeover? Is it to boost the brand’s engagement? Increase their following? Highlight new products?
  • Metrics – How will the brand measure the takeover’s success? Two examples of metrics may include the number of likes per post or new followers
  • Hosting dates – Figure out a timeline for hosting, whether it’s two days, a week or even longer
  • Content – The influencer will likely be trusted with their aesthetic, but if they feel unsure of what to post, it’s a good idea to ask if the brand is looking for anything specific
  • Frequency – Is there a minimum/maximum amount per day an influencer can post?
  • Hashtags – Encourage using branded hashtags created specifically for the takeover to monitor user engagement and overall success. If there are hashtags you don’t want the influencer to include in posts (i.e. those that belong to a competitor), let them know
  • Login information – Decide if you’d like the influencer to directly access your brand’s Instagram account or if you’d rather post content on their behalf

2. Switch up your posting style

There’s the classic way to post – strictly photos – or you can perk up the takeover utilizing IG’s many posting formats.

  • Photo carousels – Instagram’s recent photo update now makes it possible to share up to 10 photos in a single post, giving fans the chance to get their swipe on and see more
  • Live videos – Going live can be unpredictable, but video lends an authentic feeling to the takeover capturing the moment as it unfolds (just be sure to monitor you content)
  • Boomerangs – Make the moment come alive for a few seconds with these looping mini-videos that only take seconds to watch
  • Instagram Stories – If you’re theming one of your takeover days around attending an event or holding a how-to demonstration, Stories enables you to store the moments separate from your feed

3. Engage with the brand’s audience

Pro tip to engage with fans from the minute your takeover begins? Make your first post an introduction to who you are, where you’re from, and what brought you here. End with a call to action (CTA) that encourages fans to share more information about who they are too and respond back as much as you can.

If possible, try to include a call to action that ends every piece of content posted during your takeover, whether it’s asking a question or checking out the branded hashtag to follow other users and get to know them.

4. Promote the takeover on your social handles

This may be last on our list, but it’s likely one of the first things you started doing once you had the takeover details in place – promote the takeover on your social handles and via an e-newsletter (if you have one), tagging the brand and including the branded hashtag to give followers a heads up about where you’ll be. Encourage them to follow along by using the hashtag and visiting the brand’s account.

Now that you’ve got the blueprint you know what to do – on your mark, get set, takeover.

Article Written by Deborah Sweeney of Social Media Today