Success Travel Agent

How To Use Social Media Takeovers To Increase Followers

Do you have a friend that’s an entrepreneur with a similar target market as you do?

Ask them about doing social media swaps and takeovers!

This is a great way to get your name out there and earn new clients of theirs as your own.  I suggest a week-long social media takeover and post swap per quarter for a year. It’s a great way to promote both of your businesses. If you’re not ready to commit to a week-long of micromanaging a whole takeover, start with just one day per week for a month. That’s a little more manageable.

You can utilize any social media, but some of the most successful social media takeovers have been on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.  Joint ventures are a great way to utilize another entrepreneur to reach a common goal or provide mutual benefits.  Check out more information on other types of joint ventures on my blog post about joint ventures!

Benefits experienced in a social media takeover that are super successful:

  • Low expenses.
  • Shared resources.
  • Access to new regions and markets.
  • Reduced financial risk in reaching your target audience.

You will be able to offer a more attractive itinerary by combining your resources and expertise, instead of trying to build it all yourself.  You need to adequately analyze your business partner(s) before jumping into a social media takeover.  Everyone involved needs to be on the same page for this type of joint venture to work!

Do a background check and ask yourself:

  • Are we working towards similar goals?
  • Have they been in a JV before? If so, did it work out?
  • Is there an immediate opportunity to be extremely profitable? Is it worth my time?
  • What is the long term strategy? Will it hold up in 3-5 years?
  • Do they have a positive reputation in their dealings with customers, employees, and associates?

Like any relationship, its success requires a consistent investment of your time and effort. Some items that should be on your checklist:

  • Scheduled face to face meetings – if you can’t meet in person, at least schedule a face-to-face meeting on Zoom!
  • Have lunch or coffee.
  • Regular email and phone communication.
  • Lots of planning!

Show your commitment to the success of your joint venture of a social media takeover by making your partners feel important.

 Getting A Meeting – when you’re having a little trouble connecting.

  • Call Ahead and talk to an employee.
  • Ask when the business owner or manager will be in.
  • Ask what the business owner or manager’s favorite snack or drink is.
  • Show up at the time when the business owner or manager will be in with their favorite snack or drink.  They’ll at least talk to you long enough to enjoy their snack or drink you bought and hear out your idea.
  • If they had to run out when you stop by.  Leave their snack or drink with a note.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

 What’s a Social Media Takeover?

Instagram takeovers have been around for a few years. In a takeover, you arrange for someone to take over your Instagram account for regular Instagram posts. The takeover might happen for a day or during a special event, and can help grow your Instagram community and build brand awareness.

These can be done on any form of social media!  You can utilize all social media accounts or just one.  Stories have to be posted the day of, but posts can be pre-scheduled!  You can do these ahead of time and check that off the to-do list on the takeover day!

An Instagram story takeover is a little bit different. Remember that Instagram stories don’t appear in your grid or feed. They appear in the Story bar at the top of the screen, and your followers need to tap your Story bubble to see those posts. Your story is like a second stream of content. Because the content disappears after 24 hours, a story takeover is especially time-sensitive.  Some people may miss it, but a lot of people view stories and miss things in their social media’s feed because there’s so much content there.  It gives them a place to follow what’s going on right now with their top people.

Your business might partner with an Instagram influencer to preview a new product to create buzz for the launch, infusing their creativity and style into the posts. Or you might have an expert do a Q&A session that would interest your followers.

In the example below, actress and model Jaime King takes over the Harper’s Bazaar Instagram account to share her day getting ready for and attending the Dior Cruise show.


#1: Find Someone Whose Stories Align With Your Brand

An Instagram story takeover means partnering with another person or brand. They create the content and post it to your account or share it with you for execution. The type of person you choose will impact the type of content that appears in the story.

For example, an employee is ideal for showing a day in the life at your company. A happy customer can share a story about your product or service. Content creators and artists can tell a unique story that reflects their voice and aesthetic.

Check the Instagram bio and website of the person you’d like to connect with. They may state their preferred method of contact. If they don’t provide contact information, you can contact them via direct message (or DM). You might want to let them know in an page post comment that you sent them a direct message to make sure they see it.

When you contact potential influencers, have a budget in mind for your project. You don’t work for free, and they won’t either. Be respectful of their time when you make a request to connect for a social media takeover and request a meeting.

To find customers and fans who want to do Instagram story takeovers, inspirational retailer Walk in Love uses an online application that clarifies what they’re looking for and what the applicant will do. This is a great way to build an audience, highlight your products, and appreciate your Instagram fans.


#2: Clarify the Parameters for the Takeover

The beauty of a social media takeover is that it brings new voices and style to your social media account(s). Give the person who does the takeover freedom to express themselves. However, if you have any parameters for the story, state your requirements up front. For example, you might ask the influencer to avoid certain language or dress, and state that you reserve the right to make the judgment call for posting.

You’ll want to have an agreement on the quantity of posts. Does the person have free rein to post all day? Five times? Being clear will help your Instagram story takeover run smoothly.

In most cases, you’ll be arranging the takeover of your account. If you arrange a takeover exchange, you could swap accounts so that each of you posts on the other person’s account.

This can work very well on multiple platforms.  You can share the same story on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat and reach different users on each platform.  There will probably be some overlap on followers, but most people don’t use all platforms all the time.  Most users have a favorite based on their comfort level with the app or their liking for certain content.


#3: Find a Tool for Planning and Exchanging Content

When you find a partner and work out the parameters, you need to decide how to execute the takeover. Instagram stories are uploaded to the Instagram app and have to be added within the past 24 hours to your camera roll.

As a safety precaution, I don’t recommend giving out your account password. Instead, share content using a tool like Trello, which allows you to organize content for your story on a board. I’m a BIG user of Trello and highly recommend it for all kinds of organization.  Another option to share files is to ask your partner to upload files directly into Trello, Google Dive or Dropbox.  

Another option is Instagram management tool Planoly, which has a new Instagram Story Planner feature. Planoly enables you to plan your stories within the 24-hour time frame with tools to help you order and schedule the posts.

Planoly allows you to coordinate posts with team members. You could add your partner to your Planoly account, and they could upload the story content to your Instagram account. This will allow you to plan content for before and after the takeover. For example, you can have a post that announces your guest and one that answers questions afterward.


#4: Develop a Plan for Co-Promotion and Engagement

Chances are you picked a savvy partner who knows how to boost an event, but it’s good to make suggestions and create a plan together so things go off as planned. Drive social traffic to your Instagram story and ask your guest to post on their social media accounts as well. For example, Anna Sachs announced her takeover of the Ward Village Instagram story the day before the event.

To point your followers to your story, create an Instagram post that lets people know you have a special guest on your Instagram stories. You can also promote your takeover on your other social media accounts.  Take a screenshot of a Zoom Meeting you had with your new takeover partner or a boomerang if you had an in person meeting!

On the day of your social media takeover, make sure you’re prepared to respond to messages or have the person completing the takeover respond to messages. Hopefully, your activities will garner great engagement that your responses will enhance.

Tagging each other’s accounts before, during and after the takeover can be very beneficial as well. 

Story Takeovers on Other Social Media Platforms

The Internet is sprouting influential travelers, mostly as Millennials, and everyone else spends more time looking at their smartphones than television. These stars are popping up on social media channels like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat.

Visual story takeovers gained traction on Snapchat when brands worked with creative artists like Shaun McBride, better known as Shonduras, who has collaborated with Samsung, Google, Taco Bell, and others.

Here’s an example of a Snapchat takeover that visual artist and storyteller Shaun Ayala did for the L.A. Chargers. He’s super-creative and devised a fun training camp game. Working with a professional helped the Chargers build buzz for their team. Shaun designed an interactive game that encouraged fans to draw selfies and tag with a hashtag. Amazing!

Story takeovers are a winning combination of great content, fun interaction, and a new way to grow your Instagram account. Delight your loyal followers with a surprise guest. You can stay safe by using Dropbox, Trello, or Planoly to exchange files to execute your takeover.

Allow your guest to use their talents and creativity but give parameters that are important to your brand if needed. Be open to creating a new experience for your Instagram fans.

Check out my sample Content Calendar in Trello

Trello Tutorial
Check Out this little tutorial on Trello basics.

What Do You Think?

Which ideas will help you find a partner for your stories takeovers? 

What tools might you use to collaborate on a social media takeover? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


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