How to create an Instagram Takeover

Thinking of hosting an Instagram Takeover but don’t know where to start, then read this guide first.

Instagram Takeover Tips

If you’ve been following our social feed for our client Remi Cachet, you will have seen a new weekly feature. The #SSTakeover on the Instagram feed was offered out to their Super Stylists to take part and being in lockdown meant it was the ideal time for them to create content for this.  So if you’ve ever wondered why you should think about hosting a takeover, and just how to go about it, then take a moment to read this guide beforehand.

Why hold a Takeover?

Here are the key reasons we like a social media takeover and would recommend it for others too.

  • The authenticity of working with a user, dedicated to the brand, who can talk to your audience directly and easily.  The different perspective gives a greater impact for the audience.
  • To offer the guest a platform on the brand’s channel to promote themselves, leveraging the brand’s platform that has a stronger following and engagement than their own profiles. This not only elevates their profile within the industry but also within their location, as location settings were included on all posts.   This allows Remi Cachet to support their stylists more and offer them a valued input into the brand.
  • To create fresh new content in various formats.   It was actually very poignant to engage with an audience at a time without a “sales” push during the COVID pandemic. Wanting to share a love of hair and keep the mood uplifted was the focus during these uncertain times. The Super Stylists were well placed to help carry out this vibe and relatable for other stylists.
What you need to know first

This is by no means a definitive list but to get you going in the right direction in planning a takeover read these tips:

  • Identifying who you could invite.  If you don’t have a group of brand ambassadors, maybe you could invite an industry expert, supplier, loyal client or up-and-coming industry star. As an example, Jamie Oliver’s son Buddy often takes control to show his skills and relate to the brands family values.   It could work really well to use your team, to identify people from behind the scenes who don’t normally get a chance to shine, explain their role and boost their morale. Key team members can host Q&A sessions or cover their FAQs. This is always great content you might even be able to re-use later.
  • Review the functionality of how this will work and if you will completely hand over the reins, your passwords and access to your insights and DMs. For the case of Remi Cachet, we had the content pre-planned and loaded the day before or live, depending on the content.
  • Consider the tone and visuals to still reflect your brand. To be authentic, the copy needs to in their words, but it is good to set ground rules. For example, not to promote competitors or services not aligned with yours. If filming, you might need to remind them of key terminology and product names. Always have a professional manner with no swearing.  It might be worth checking how they like to sign off their posts. For example, @Victoria Beckham always goes with “kisses VB x.” Similarly, check for their favourite emojis to also help show their personality.
  • Depending on how many people you have lined up for this, you might need to think about the frequency of your takeover. As well as changing the format to keep the audience’s interest.
  • Create a unique hashtag like #SSTakeover to use on every post and to be able to monitor activity. This also then clearly labelling each post as not your voice, but that of another.
  • Content-wise it is good to have a mix of formats – main feed posts, Reels, Stories, IGTV and IGLive. You may need to provide details of the specifications you need if filming such as portrait if for IGTV.
  • Create a promotional post before the event to drum up interest and support. Ask your guest to share and promote the Instagram takeover, along with their posts on the day, staying tuned to the comments coming in on the posts to reply to those.
  • Write out your communication plan for this takeover in advance. Include the format used, copy and any tags and # to be used. Share this with the guest to check over.
  • Review your home feed layout when planning the order of your posts so that either the story you are telling flows or the imagery is not too repetitive.
  • Check your best timings for posts on that day to help make the most of them.
  • On the day itself, ensure you stay engaged with those who comment and ask questions. They may well think that the brand replying is the guest takeover artist. If you have not handed over control then the only access, they have is to reply to the comment from their own feed which should drive the audience to them.
  • You could consider collating your stories into a Highlight to get more longevity from the content. Be aware this maxes out at 100 stories!

On a final note, planning is key to make the most from this and work with unique content that adds value to your feed. Working with someone to get all the content just right, potentially re-filming etc. and refining content can take considerable time. Remember, to always look at the analytics from your posts and your guest’s insights too, to make future takeovers more successful.

Has this made you think if you can use this on your channels too?  Completely workable on other social media channels we just take Instagram as our main channel and with so much great functionality to be creative with these takeovers.    We hope you have been inspired, and if you want to know more, then just get in touch.

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