Getting someone to do a double-take—let alone a double tap—when scrolling their Instagram feed is no easy feat. In order to stand out in a sea of social media content, and actually grab people’s attention, you might have to try something drastic.
Enter the Instagram takeover: a great way to spruce up your account without having to reinvent the wheel. (Or break your budget.) Aside from being a fun way for brands to collaborate, takeovers hold serious value when it comes to effective restaurant marketing strategies as well.
So how do you use them to your advantage? How do they help your brand? And how do you organize one? We'll get to all that. But first, let's start with the very basic question...
It's less hostile than it sounds: Someone else’s Instagram account temporarily takes control of yours to share content with your audience. Thanks to Instagram’s new features, takeovers are no longer limited to single posts. They can include live video and Stories that can be saved to “Highlights” for future viewing (more on those options later).
Two words: Cross. Promotion. They let brands and individuals share content across a wider, typically resulting in more engagement and more followers for both parties. Plus your followers get to see new, cool stuff. As a veteran social media guru and entrepreneur explains, it's a true "50/50 value exchange." You know it better as a win-win.
So! Have we convinced you enough to get started? Good. Here are five steps to pull one off yourself:
1. Set clear goals
First things first. What do you want to accomplish? Some example goals include:
Your goal will determine your strategy. This includes who to pick for said takeover as well as how to measure success afterward.
2. Choose a takeover host
Ok! You know what you want. Now it’s time to figure out who can help you achieve it. The “guest star” should be someone who helps hit your objectives and aligns with your brand. When you bring in another “character” (so to speak), that person still needs to feel authentic and a complement to what you do. Consider some parameters.
Need more help? Check out these tips for finding the right influencer.
3. Determine your style and format
Once you‘ve decided on the host, lay the groundwork the takeover. While they don't need a formal contract, all parties should have clear expectations.
Some key items include:
Pro tip: clearly lay out the must-haves along with any off-limits topics, and make sure they understand the overall tone and style of your brand. This is still your account, after all, so having clear parameters helps put everyone at ease.
4. Create a specific hashtag
While you don’t have to do this, using a branded hashtag for the takeover is fun and useful. As a promotional tool, it can help drive awareness to the takeover itself. Because before this thing gets rolling, you should absolutely be generating buzz for it. This can be especially beneficial if this is part of a large-scale takeover with a big brand, as countless others will likely post about it as well.
A specific takeover hashtag later will allow you to find all the content related to your takeover (and subsequently engage with all of it).
5. Promote, promote, promote
You've locked in a takeover host, a topic, and a date. Now get both audiences hyped! You and your guest star should post about the takeover to alert your respective followings of the details: the what, the when, and the why they should be excited about it. And reach out beyond Insta! Alert all your social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.) to make a true splash.
Make sure you and the takeover host tag each other in each other’s respective posts so you can share and engage with each one—as well as remind people that you are, in fact, doing this thing.
Last: Don't forget to have some actual fun. It'll leave your audience wanting more.