Social Media Takeovers: How to get them right from the start

10th June 2021

Social media takeovers are one of the most innovative and valuable ways businesses can collaborate through social channels. As is the case with many social media marketing strategies, Instagram takeovers in particular need comprehensive planning and execution.

We’ve put together six steps that will help you get the most out of your next social media takeover:

  • Set the goals of your social media takeovers

At a fundamental level, social media is designed to be extremely easy to download, sign up and start posting content. So theoretically, anyone could take a few videos, write a few captions and call themselves a social media marketer. The difference for effective social media marketing is the objectives you set before you get to anything else. With this in mind, planning is essential in putting together an effective Instagram takeover

Your goals might be different depending on your business, your target audience or the business you’re collaborating with. It’s important to sit down (or stand up, whatever gets you focused) and clearly identify what you want to achieve with your takeover. Some potential objectives could include:

  • Raising brand awareness
  • Engaging with new audiences
  • Promoting your brand, product, event or service
  • Create lasting relationships with partner businesses

Whatever you decide your goals are for your social media takeover, make sure they are clearly defined and achievable before anything else.

  • Pick your social media collaborator

Now that you know what your goals are for your Instagram takeover, the next step is to identify the business or person that can help you get there. This means finding a business that would mutually benefit from a collaboration and would effectively help to achieve your goals. 

There are some collaborations that wouldn’t work, for example; a pizza chain isn’t an ideal collaborator for a boutique jeweller. But, there are also nuances that should be considered even when you think you’ve found a good match.

  • Do they have an authentic following including genuine engagement on their posts? 
  • Is their follower count at a similar level to your own, making the takeover mutually beneficial?
  • Do the values of the potential collaborator align with those of your business?

A good example of a well-aligned collaboration is Metigy’s recent Instagram takeover of marketing hub and networking group Cat Johnson Co. Both Metigy and Cat Johnson Co have a focus in assisting small businesses (SMEs or small-medium enterprises) and share a similar amount of Instagram followers. The result was a takeover that mutually benefited each of our business and our audiences.

  • Decide on your Instagram takeover type

There are multiple approaches you can take to posting content for your Instagram takeover. Options include Instagram posts, Instagram stories, Instagram live or a combination of all three. To help influence your content strategy, see if you can access your collaborators analytics to see which posts perform well at the time of day your takeover will take place.

  • Promote your social media takeover

The effective promotion of an Instagram takeover can dramatically improve its results. It’s perfectly fine to promote your takeover any way that works for your business, but here are some ideas that can be particularly effective:

  • Make a post encouraging followers to mark their calendars two weeks from the takeover
  • Announce the takeover on your Instagram story around a week beforehand
  • Make an additional Instagram post the day before the takeover
  • Regularly update your story on the day of the takeover up until it begins

It’s important to be informative and cover different aspects of the takeover where possible. Don’t just mention the takeover, elaborate on why the two businesses are collaborating and what followers stand to gain by tuning in. It’s also worth promoting your takeover through different channels and asking your collaborators to help out with promotion.

  • Make it happen

Now that you’ve put all that time and dedication into the preparation process, it’s time to put everything into action. By now you will have decided the type of content you’re going to be posting, however a decision needs to be made as to how you’re going to post it.

Full social account takeover vs. semi-account takeover

A full account takeover means either you or the guest hosting your Instagram takeover will have full access to the respective Instagram account. Though it’s worth being mindful of you and your company’s privacy, there are many benefits to a full account takeover. During Metigy’s Instagram takeover of Cat Johnson Co, I did a full account takeover. This allowed me to go live, post stories in real-time and quickly respond to any questions from Cat Johnson Co followers.

If you’re apprehensive about giving out your account password, or perhaps want to structure the takeover ahead of time, a semi-account takeover is a viable option. This gives you more control over the takeover as a whole, as any content to be posted would be scheduled ahead of time. Additionally, whichever business is posting the content will have the content sent to them by the collaborator, meaning no passwords need to be shared in the process.

Social media takeovers: In summary

Phew! Take a breath, take a bow and get ready to put the finishing touches on all your hard work. At the end of your takeover, no matter what kind of content you’re posting, it’s crucial to let followers know about your business once more. Let them know where they can find you, both online and offline (if applicable), and talk about anything exciting coming up in your business’ pipeline.

When you’ve called it a day and the takeover has finished, it’s time to go back to step one and assess how things performed. Did you achieve the goal you set? Were there hurdles that you could avoid next time? Now that you’ve ticked off this goal, what will your next Instagram takeover aim to achieve?

Remember, that Instagram takeovers do take a substantial amount of planning and execution, but if you do your homework and put in the effort you can produce some great results. Now all that’s left to do is give it a go. Good luck!

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