How to Host an Instagram Takeover
Instagram takeovers are a great way for brands and influencers to collaborate and grow their audience by cross-promoting content.
A great example of an Instagram takeover is when Emily Schuman took over Estee Lauder’s Instagram. Emily is a well-known fashion and beauty blogger who posted content to Estee Lauder’s Instagram to promote the launch of a new product.
The first step in planning your Instagram takeover is to define what you want to achieve during the takeover and how you’re going to use this experience to foster a community, expand your content reach, or in some cases, market a new product or idea.
Your Guide to Hosting an Instagram Takeover
Define the purpose or the why
Defining the value and overall goal for your takeover will help you select a host and also generate greater results. When you align your brand with a host who contributes to your desired goal it fosters authenticity and connects you to the followers that you want to engage with your brand, thus broadening your network.
Goals for your takeover:
- Grow your Instagram audience
- Boost community engagement
- Promote an idea, product, or event
- Foster authenticity and define your niche
- Reward fans and employees
- Show behind-the-scenes insight into your community
- Promote content creators on Instagram
Choose the right host for your takeover
An Instagram takeover is an online event hosted by an Instagram user on an account that is not their own.
This can be achieved in two ways:
- A digital influencer such as a blogger, social media buff, or photographer with a large audience in a niche subject or industry, who takes over a brand account.
- A community ambassador, fan, or employee who takes over a brand account.
The goals for each takeover are vastly different. In the first instance, the influencers audience is leveraged to promote the brand and monetary compensation or product is provided in exchange. Many large brands and businesses have capitalized on this type of takeover including Lululemon, Madewell, Birchbox, Sephora, and Marie Claire.
During a company takeover, the end goal is usually to show appreciation for the community or share the culture of the company. A good example of a company takeover is Yelp’s (@yelp) #TuesdayTakover. Each Tuesday a member of Yelp’s internal staff takes over the Yelp Instagram to highlight the team culture and offices around the world.
Establish the timeline
Takeovers can last one day or multiple days depending on the purpose of your takeover. In most cases, a takeover lasts a day or two, but the promotion leading up to the takeover could be weeks in advance. Creating a branded hashtag and content on the influencers blog or brand website may help promote the takeover and let your followers join the conversation.
A good example of branded takeover is when Jillian Harris hosted a week-long takeover for Robson Street. Those following the takeover with the hashtag and Jillian’s social channels could enter to win $250 shopping spree on Robson Street, $250 to Joe Fortes, and a one night stay at the Blue Horizon Hotel.
Promoting your takeover and gathering the photos to create more branded content after the takeover is just as important as the takeover itself. So if your takeover lasts one day, like Jillian Harris’s takeover with Like to Know it, and if you manage the content with a branded hashtag you’ll have the ability to continue to promote and share your takeover content afterward.
Create a branded hashtag
A branded hashtag for your Instagram takeover is hugely beneficial and helps to:
- Collect content
- Track user engagement
- Monitor the success of the campaign
- Preserves the life of the content forever on the web
- Shareable across multiple social networks
One of the most successful branded hashtags during a takeover campaign to-date is Madewell’s #denimmadewell / #flashtagram campaign. On a Friday at noon, over 500 Madewell employees, bloggers, and editors from various fashion magazines, shared photos with the hashtags to promote Madewell denim.
With over 10,000k images shared, Instagram fashion-followers still use the hashtags on their own photos even though the campaign ended well over a year ago.
Control the channel(s) where you share content
The most traditional method of hosting a takeover allows the influencer or ambassador to submit content to the brand Instagram account. The photos shared with a branded hashtag are then shared on the influencers account as well as the brand Instagram account for the duration of the takeover.
Another method to host a takeover is to create a unique Instagram account specifically for takeovers, such as The Huffington Post (@canadagram). The project was created to feature a new Instagrammer each week. The influencer then provides six photos for the @canadagram account that share their story via visual media.
Creating an account specifically for takeovers is a great way to collaborate with the Instagram community and build an audience. It also allows brands to keep their company account separate from brands that may or may not contribute to their overall goals or vision.
Schedule the content for your takeover
The most common method to collect content for your Instagram takeover is via email, Dropbox, or text message. Latergramme provides a way to seamlessly collect content from your community that is added directly to your Latergramme account to be posted to Instagram.
Latergramme’s contributors feature lets your brand ambassadors and influencers submit content to your Latergramme account through the email address: [company name]@submit.media. The photos are delivered to your Latergramme inbox, where you can select to schedule or post at the selected times.
This process helps to streamline managing content and collecting the photos for your takeover.
Instagram Takeover Checklist:
- Define the purpose for your takeover and what you hope to achieve
- Choose your influencer or ambassador based on your goals and audience(s)
- Establish the timeline for the takeover
- Create a branded hashtag for your audience(s) to follow and to collect content
- Manage the channels where the content is shared
- Schedule the content for your takeover
Have you hosted an Instagram takeover? What tools would you recommend?
Share your story in the comment section!
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Header image by Kaboompics via StockSnap.