Last week I had the pleasure to takeover the Ontdek Amersfoort Instagram account. The person running the account is actually a fellow girl boss and friend from Amersfoort who runs Social Media Interactie. The idea behind the account is to show Amersfoort through the eyes of locals. So every now and then an Amersfoorter takes over the account and show his or her vision of Amersfoort. Last week it was my turn to take over the account and it got me thinking about how it’s an interesting marketing tool for brands and companies to use.
That’s why today I’m sharing my Instagram takeover tips not just from the takeovers point of view but also what brands and companies need to do in order to have a successful Instagram takeover. I’ll touch on what an Instagram takeover is, Instagram takeover tips & the Instagram takeover benefits.
THE BASICS: WHAT IS AN INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER
An Instagram takeover is basically giving someone your Instagram account and letting them post content to it. It’s an element of social media marketing that can help your brand or company gain exposure but also drive conversion (depending on your goal). Most Instagram takeovers are with people whom have an audience similar to yours and are content creators, influencers, bloggers or even employees. In the case of Ontdek Amersfoort the takeover is always done by an Amersfoorter.
Whether your the person taking over the account or the account owner, there are three important elements to an Instagram takeover that are important to both parties:
• The goal — Before you even start, there needs to be a clear goal. This can range from brand awareness to conversion. The goal will determinate in which direction the content will go. In my case, the Instagram takeover goal was to show people Amersfoort through the eyes of a local (me).
• Beneficial for both — Beneficial can be different things to different people. For the person who is taking over the account it can be a pay day but it can also mean more exposure. From the brand of companies point of view it can be new content but also tapping into a new audience. For the Ontdek Amersfoort takeover it meant new ways to look at Amersfoort for them and a way to get a exposure in Amersfoort for me.
• Open communication — I think this is important in any partnership, to be able to openly communicate but when someone takes over your Instagram account it’s even more important. I mean our Instagram account are pretty sacred to most and attached to a (personal) brand. Communicating what can and can’t be posted is important for the takeover to be a success.
FROM THE POSTERS POINT OF VIEW
There are usually two parties involved in an Instagram takeover: the person doing the Instagram takeover & the account owner — mostly a brand or company. Because I’ve only been on the takeover side of things, I want to start there. Here are my Instagram takeover tips based on my own experiences from last week:
Plan your takeover
One of my best Instagram takeover tips is to plan your content. It’s the best way to ensure you have content ready to go. During my takeover I had almost everything planned beforehand because I knew I was going to have a busy week so planning was vital for me. However, I had one day where I wanted to share a photo from the day before. But in true Fiona fashion I forgot. And I. Was. So. Stressed! So please, save yourself the stress and plan beforehand. If you do end up having other content to share, you can always switch it up but make sure that all your days are filled.
Another planning tip for your Instagram takeover: make sure you or the owner do an Instagram Takeover introduction and announcement. Share that you’re doing a takeover on all your relevant channels to get people excited to tune in.
A planning you can follow for your Instagram takeover, is:
• Two weeks before — do an Instagram takeover announcement to hype people up and get them excited. Make sure you give out all the important information: when the Instagram takeover is taking place, on which account & a little sneak preview of what’s to come.
• Week before — remind people that the Instagram takeover is almost happening and that they should keep an eye on the account or, even better, follow the account.
• During the takeover — make sure you have all your content ready to go. I used Mosaico to plan the feed & Planoly to plan in Instagram Stories. Share some of the content via your Stories from your own account(s) to remind people it’s still going on. Start with an Instagram takeover introduction — mine was done by Evelyne — so that people kind of know who is taking over. One of the mistakes I made was to dive right into what I do instead of letting people get to know me. You have to realize that a lot of the followers probably don’t know you (yet!). Also adapt during your takeover. Is some content doing poorly or very good? Adapt and switch it up.
• After the takeover — Have some content planned to thank the account owner & a call to action to follow your own account(s) if they liked the content you shared.
• Throwback — Do a throwback to your Instagram takeover to remind people how fun it was & that you’re willing to do another one (if you want to!).
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
One of my biggest learnings is that you have to really be aware of why people are following the account you’re taking over. I made the mistake that giving branding tips would be a fun way to introduce what I do. And boy did that go wrong. Nothing wrong with the content itself — it looked amazing, they were basic tips everyone could use and understand but they were also very static, impersonal and not really about Amersfoort other than that my business is located there. And that didn’t go over well with the followers of the account.
I ended up getting great feedback — to use video in-between — and incorporated that into the content I already had planned. By doing that I ended up getting really great responses to it and my first failure was non exciting. In other words, I adapted the content to content that resonated much more with the audience.
Instagram takeover tips to keep in the back of your mind is to look at why people are following the account & when you get feedback — negative or positive — be open to it and adapt.
With that being said, my other tip is to always put your own personal touch on things. During my takeover I used the same filter I always use & used the colors of my brand in all my stories. It’s what I’m known for so I wanted to keep that consistent.
To make my content more engaging I also used the interactive features that Instagram provides. An Instagram Stories takeover example: I used the ask sticker to ask about where they like to go to drink coffee in Amersfoort. It got many answers that I shared and I even got some new coffee places to check out.
Instagram Stories has many different stickers to make your content more engaging:
• Use the poll to see what people think.
• Use the Emoji picker sticker to see how much they agree or like something.
• But also use the username, hashtag or location tag to make your stories pop-up when people search for the username, hashtag or location you used.
But engaging doesn’t stop there. Share the answers and react to them. Social media is still about being social. Also, take it to the feed and always end or begin your post with a call-to-action question.
FROM THE ACCOUNT OWNER POINT OF VIEW
I had the advantage of working together with someone who I know which makes being open with communications much easier. Plus I already knew somewhat about the account. But there will also be instances that you don’t know the person personally. That’s why I think sharing these Instagram takeover tips from the brand or companies point of view is just as important.
SELECTING THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE TAKEOVER
When decide to let someone host an Instagram takeover on your account, do your research on who will be the right fit with your brand or company. Ask yourself:
• Do you have the same values?
• Does their content blend in well with ours?
• Would my audience be interested in their content?
• What can we both gain from this takeover?
You want to select someone that’s in line with your brand, creates content that will not stick out — unless that’s the point — and you target the samen audience.
GET TO KNOW THE PERSON
You’ve spend time on creating your account and building your audience — you don’t want that to be ruined by picking the wrong person to takeover your Instagram account. So before finalizing the deal, have a meeting with them and see if there is a connection. I think that was one of the things that I liked about working on this takeover. Evelyne took the time to meet up & have a conversation about the Instagram takeover.
My Instagram takeover tips are to always set up a meeting beforehand — in real life or via Skype — and see if there is a click. It’s easy to pick the person with the biggest audience but if that person doesn’t align with your brand or company, there is no use in doing the Instagram takeover. Even worse, it could backfire.
GIVE TIPS FOR THE INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER
Another things that I think Evelyne did really well was that she gave valuable tips during our meeting like hashtags to use and to make sure that I used the location tag in the stories. Share what works and doesn’t work. You’ve been handeling your account for a while now so you know what your audience will and will not respond to.
THE PRACTICAL STUFF
Make sure you also talk about the practical stuff during the final stages of finalizing the Instagram takeover. Things to think about:
• Discuss the goal — You want to be on the same page of what you both want to gain from the Instagram takeover.
• Instagram takeover costs — If there is one, you should discuss this together. This can be money but also an affiliate deal, free merchandise or just because you like to help each other out.
• Login to the account — Always use a different login for every Instagram takeover. Also discuss when the person will get the login so that they can start planning in the content.
• When the Instagram takeover is going to take place — Set a date when the takeover starts and when it ends. Also communicate if there are certain times you want them to post on.
• Discuss the account management during the takeover — This was one of my questions to Evelyne during my takeover: do I need to also do account management (engage with other accounts). We discussed that she would do the overall account managing and that I just needed to engage with people who engaged with the content that I posted.
• Important dont’s — If there is something that you don’t want happening on your account, now it’s the time to discuss it and communicate about it.
• Important do’s — Are there Instagram takeover hashtags you want the person to use? Now is the time to communicate which ones and any other important do’s you want them to do.
INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER GUIDELINES
Going to be doing more Instagram takeovers in the future? You might want to create a PDF to share with Instagram takeover guidelines.
Just like a brand book you can write down all the important information like do’s & don’ts, important facts about your audience, what your account is about, information about your brand or company, why you do Instagram takeovers and great examples of previous takeovers.
INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER BENEFITS
Doing a takeover should be fun & not stressful. Especially if you have multiple accounts to run, it’s vital to get yourself ready. But also as the owner of the account you want to feel like your account is in safe hands. That’s why you need to have open communication, a clear goal and know what the Instagram takeover benefits are both parties. That way the takeover will run smoothly & you’ll both end up with the result you desire.
I hope the next time you host a takeover you’ll take these Instagram takeover tips with you and have all the success you set out to have!
Do you need help with your social media strategy?
Look no further because I’m the woman for the job! Go and send me a message so we can talk about how I can help you create a consistent and strategic brand on social media or help you put together a guidelines book you can reuse for all your takeovers.
Photo by Fiona Gobbo & can’t be used without my permission.