Instagram takeovers are a powerful way to accomplish several Instagram marketing objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, gaining access to new audiences, and boosting engagement on your platform!
The best part is you don’t even have to do the heavy lifting of creating the content.
That’s because with an Instagram takeover, you’ll bring on a guest host to create specific content for your Instagram account and (sometimes) manage engagement for the day.
Hitting marketing goals while kicking back and letting someone else manage your content for the day? Sounds like a vacation to us! 🏖
However, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into organizing and running a successful Instagram takeover.
Let’s dive into the process, and we’ll give you some tips on how to host an Instagram takeover successfully!
We’ve also included some amazing insight from Jeff Sieh of Manly Pinterest Tips.
He’s also the Instagram Manager for Social Media Examiner, and the three-day annual conference Social Media Marketing World.
Jeff runs multiple Instagram takeovers throughout the year to promote and feature marketing influencers speaking at the conference.
Why Are Instagram Takeovers So Effective?
A successful Instagram takeover benefits everyone involved. Your guest gets access to a new audience, and you get access to your guest’s followers!
Why is this an effective strategy for Social Media Examiner? According to Jeff, the access to a new audience is a huge driver.
“We are able to share the speaker’s audiences. Most all of the speakers share the news on their personal account.
That puts our message and branding in front of people who may not have heard about the conference.”
Plus, your followers get value from your guests’ unique perspective and the content they create for the takeover. This amps up their engagement with your brand!
How Your Guest Host Can Contribute To Your Instagram Account
You might be wondering about the kind of content your guest host can create for your Instagram takeover.
Your guest host can take over your IG account with posts, interviews, tutorials, Q&A sessions on Instagram Live, and behind-the-scenes-access on Instagram Stories.
How To Do an Instagram Takeover From Start to Finish in 6 Steps
The success of your Instagram takeover really comes down to the amount of planning you do beforehand.
This doesn’t just mean scheduling the takeover, coordinating with your guest, and picking the right hashtags.
It also means deciding on your goals, plotting metrics, and creating an Instagram content plan.
Here’s how you do it, step by step!
Step One: Decide on the Goals of Your Instagram Takeover
Although Instagram takeovers can be fun and interactive for your audience, ideally there are some goals behind your choice.
Decide on at least one specific goal for the takeover. This could be:
- boosting brand awareness,
- promoting an event, product, or service,
- or simply getting your existing audience to engage more with your content.
The goals you choose for the takeover will help inform your choice for a guest.
That’s the next step – choosing the right person to help enhance your Instagram marketing strategy and meet your social media goals!
Step Two: Choose Your Instagram Takeover Guest
When you think of your dream guest host for your Instagram Story takeover, do you visualize an industry influencer or celebrity?
Although fame and a high follower count may seem like the first thing you should look for, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Instead, you should carefully choose a collaborator who is in line with your brand image and values and can add value for your audience.
Here are some options to consider:
Step Three: Plan Your Content Approach with Your Guest
In this step, you answer the key questions about content with your guest before the actual day of your Instagram takeover: what, how much, and how often!
Knock this out beforehand so that plenty of prep goes into the content before the big day.
Waiting until the last minute could mean that you or your guest misses posting at peak times when your audience is most engaged.
It also makes room for error!
First decide what kind of content it makes sense for your guest to create. It should be on-brand for both of you!
You wouldn’t choose an insurance expert to run an Instagram Story takeover if you run a wedding photography business, right?
Your chosen guest host should know a lot about your niche and be able to speak to your audience on topics that interest them.
Next, you’ll create a schedule for you and your guest to follow.
This will keep the process streamlined, flowing and allow your guest to maximize their time engaging in comments and video.
Pssst.. Not sure when your audience engagement and attention is at its peak? Tailwind can help!
Our Smart Schedule analyzes the times your followers are on Instagram and most likely to be engaged with your content. Then we make a custom schedule just for you. 🎉
Insider Tip: Figure Out Your Access Plan
You’ll definitely want to decide ahead of time how much access you want to give your guest host.
Why? When you share your password over the world wide web there’s always a chance your profile could be compromised.
If you want your guest host to have full access to your profile (this means giving your password to them before the event) then consider doing the following:
- Create a temporary password for your guest to use a few days before the event
- Change the password immediately after the takeover is complete
If you prefer, you can have your guest host send the content, posts, and videos ahead of time for you to post on their behalf.
That’s what Jeff Sieh does!
“The speakers send us their Stories that they have filmed and downloaded. The tell us the specific order as well as any stickers, hashtags, or links that they would like to include in their Stories.”
You can collect content pieces and videos any way you like from your guest hosts.
Some of the most popular options for Social Media Marketing World are Dropbox, Google Drive, and even Facebook Messenger!
Keep in mind that this is pretty labor-intensive for you, and your influencer may feel more limited by this option.
Plus, your host won’t be able to go live or respond to comments from your profile when you use this method – though they can certainly comment from their own accounts.
That may even be a better option as people see that this is a genuine partnership!
Step Four: Schedule Your Instagram Takeover and Promote Like Crazy
Now it’s time to schedule and promote your takeover!
You want lots of your followers to tune in and interact with your successful Instagram takeover, right?
Promotion leading up to the event also clues your followers in to keep an eye out for special posts throughout the day.
At least one week prior to the event, promote the takeover on your Instagram account and other social media.
Encourage your guest to do the same!
Maybe it’s the alliteration, or maybe it’s all of the Instagram takeover hashtags that already exist! #TakeoverTuesday
Step Five: Time For The Big Instagram Takeover
It’s the big day! Prepping for the day of the takeover may be a little or a lot of work depending on the plans you’ve made.
If you’ve decided on a limited access Instagram takeover, you’ll need to gather the content pieces and post them at the planned time.
Schedule those images and videos, but don’t forget important puzzle pieces like captions and hashtags!
Ahem… stressed about organizing your guest hosts’ content, posting at the right time and picking the right hashtags?
Tailwind can help! Upload a draft of your post, then use Hashtag Finder to find the best hashtags for your content. You can even click a button to hide your hashtags in the first comment – it’s super easy!
Try it out with a free trial of Tailwind for Instagram! #TailwindTakesOnTakeovers
Even if you’ve given your guest host complete access to your IG account, you’ll want to stick around on your personal account for a few reasons.
One, you can make sure that things go off without a hitch and your guest is able to get content up on-time with no issues!
Secondly, you’ll want to kick off interactions on posts, videos and Live to break the ice and get the conversation going.
Step Six: Check Out Your Metrics
After your Instagram takeover, it could be tempting to rest on your laurels and call it a job well done.
However, you should take a moment to check your metrics after the takeover. This will help you figure out if you need to adjust your approach next time.
The goals you chose in step one inform the metrics that determine the takeovers ultimate success.
For example, if your goal for the Instagram takeover was to reach a wider audience, then you should consider new followers gained from the start of the takeover to the end (or a few days after for followers to play catch up).
Tailwind’s Profile Performance Dashboard is a great resource for tracking this!
You can measure your daily follower growth in an easy-to-read graph and see exactly how many followers you gained… as well as any you lost. 🙁
If you geared your IG takeover more towards driving interaction and engagement, then likes and comments are a great indicator of how well the event accomplished this goal.
Rather than hand counting comments and heading to the post on your app to see likes (snore! 😴) use Tailwind’s Post Inspector to sort recent posts by date, likes and comments!
You can even filter by type to get a better idea of how one piece of content performs versus another.
Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Instagram!
- Schedule photos and videos directly to your Instagram feed with Auto Post.
- Optimize every post for more engagement with SmartSchedule and Hashtag Finder.
- Automatically hide your post’s hashtags in the first comment to keep your caption clean & clutter-free.
- Make your posts more discoverable with user tagging & location tagging.
- Analyze what's working across every post and profile with smart analytics.
“We frequently look at the impressions of each content piece, as well as exit rates, next story rates and how often someone goes back to watch the story again to see how well a particular Story performs.”
Successful Instagram Takeover Examples
Want to see an Instagram takeover in action? Check out some of the examples below for inspiration!
Instagram Takeover Example #1: @belletrist
If you’re trying to figure out how to do an Instagram takeover, head on over to Belletrist‘s feed!
Belletrist frequently hosts an IG takeover session called Stacked.
Featured guests and authors like Phoebe Robinson show followers their bookshelves at home.
They also and talk about the who’s, hows and whys of their personal book curation!
Super cool, right?
Instagram Takeover Example #2: @mayeshwholesale
Veteran wholesale florist @mayeshfloral recently hosted an amazing takeover with the floral designers at @rosesandmint to take their followers behind the scenes of a styled shoot!
Followers watched the vision come to life in real time with behind-the-scenes footage of installations, shooting, and the finished photos!
Nab this Instagram story takeover idea for your next collaboration or project. Your followers will love seeing a vision come to life throughout the day, and will have the chance to ask questions!
Instagram Story Takeover Example #3: @modernism_week
Did you know you can crowdsource your Instagram Story takeover?
@modernism_week gives the perfect example! Twice a year, this account arranges a celebration of mid-century architecture and design.
In this example, the #PSModSquad takes over the account for the weekend.
Over twelve contributors share home tours, photos and commentary on some of Palm Springs finest examples of mid-century modern design.
If your account is themed after one specific topic, this might be the Instagram story takeover for you!
Collecting feed posts and stories from multiple content creators is a great way to celebrate a particular theme or topic.
You get the benefit of multiple perspectives for the price of one, all united around a common interest your followers share.
Final Thoughts: Ready to Launch Your Instagram Takeover?
By now, you’re feeling ready to take over the world… or at least run an amazing Instagram takeover!
Running an Instagram takeover is a powerful way to meet your social media marketing strategy goals. Whether your goal is to connect with industry influencers to find new potential followers or boost engagement with the followers you already have, Instagram takeovers are a fun, fresh strategy to keep in your toolbox.
Make sure to measure your growth and engagement through Tailwind’s Instagram Analytics and Reporting dashboard. This will give you valuable insight into how your existing audience interacted with your takeover content as well as what worked and what didn’t work.
All of these details will help make your next takeover even more amazing!
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Kristen Dahlin is the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool. Kristen lives in rural Oklahoma with her husband Kyle, daughter Sophie, boxer Lila, and a very temperamental flower garden.