Social Media Takeovers 101

Social media takeovers don’t work for every industry but they can be very helpful for some, higher-education included. To clarify, a takeover is when you hand over the keys to one of your social media platforms for the day (or half-day or however long you’d like – you make up the rules). For the college, we let students, faculty, and staff take over our Instagram stories and Snapchat accounts.

Over the course of the past three years, I’ve worked on improving our takeovers. Here is how I recommend you approach them:

  1. Identify what you want to get out of the takeover. More followers? Event promotion? Increased reach? Your primary goal may vary from takeover to takeover.
  2. Once you have identified your objective, find the right person to do the takeover. You may like person A but person B may help you achieve your specific goal better. Don’t default and simply choose someone whose photos you like or who has the most followers.
  3. Create and share a document with official takeover guidelines. Outline what your brand stands for, key messaging, what to post and what not to post, etc. Are you going to share your password (be sure to change it immediately afterwards!) or follow this person around all day? Some influencers are paid based on how well they performed; sometimes there is no payment involved with takeovers. Iron all of this out beforehand. Make sure that person who is taking over your platform is on board with everything before you pick a date.
  4. Relax! It’s never going to go exactly how you planned but that’s ok.
  5. Don’t forget to take down analytics afterwards. Establish if you met your goal and jot down some bullet points that identify why you think you did or you didn’t. If you don’t do this, you aren’t maximizing your takeover. This data will not only help you with future takeovers, but will also help with your social media strategy as a whole.

As with anything else you try, it’s great to do some research and see how other similar brands are handling takeovers. This will help you develop your takeover strategy, even if you opt to do something completely different.


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