How to run a social media takeover in 5 steps

a social media takeover

A social media takeover does not have to be complicated. Follow these steps to ensure your takeover checks all the right boxes.

We have included examples to encourage social media takeover ideas along the way.

How to run a social media takeover in 5 steps

1. Define your goals

When you think a social media takeover is right for your brand, begin by making a plan. What do you hope to accomplish with a takeover? How will you do it? When will you do it? How will you define success?

A savvy method to answer those questions with the SMART rubric:

  • Specific: Clearly state your campaign intentions.
  • Measureable: Describe the metrics you’ll use to track performance.
  • Attainable: Be realistic. Do not set yourself up for failure.
  • Relevant: Be sure the takeover ties back to broader business goals.
  • Timely: Set deadlines that work for your team and social calendar.

By bringing your goals into sharper focus, you will be in a greater position to answer key social media takeover questions, such as:

  • What channels will you utilize for your takeover?
  • Will your takeover have a theme?
  • What type of creators will be a great fit?

2. Find the right creators

With your goals defined, you will need to find people that could assist you to achieve them.

Partnering with an influencer is a prevalent choice since good creators will have massive and loyal audiences.

When you go this route, check to see who they have partnered with in the past. Take a look at the engagement on their campaigns and get familiar with their personality.

Pro tip: Watch for things which may be red flags for your brand, like previous partnerships with a competitor or promoting views that your company does not stand for.

Not all social media takeovers require influencers, though. Think about partnering with people who have a unique and informed perspective.

For instance, every week on Instagram @newyorkerphoto hands over the spotlight to a different photographer. These photographers might not have enormous audiences, however, they make work that’s The New Yorker’s audience will find fascinating.

To promote new shows at The Kennedy Center, the performing arts center gives behind-the-scenes tours with takeovers from its stars.

Over on Snapchat, the Tony Awards tapped Simba from The Lion King to host the event on social media.

Or maybe you would like to show the people behind your brand. An employee takeover could be a good way to show off your in-house expertise, customer service, corporate values, and more.

A little monkey business is a fair game, too. Just ask the gorilla keeper at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust & Jersey Zoo.

3. Set takeover parameters

Here’s where you will delve into the details.

Before going too far, it’s essential to sort out who will be making and posting what content. In many cases, the takeover host is featured in the content, meaning management could be kept within your brand’s social media group.

In case your host is creating the content, decide a schedule for reviewing and posting. You could hand over access to your account, or ask them to provide it and post on their behalf—unless your takeover is on Snapchat, in which case you will have to hand over access.

When you have a brand or social media style guide, make sure you provide it to your host.

Other things you need to discuss include:

  • What platforms will the takeover be held on? (Instagram, Snapchat, Fb, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on.)
  • When and for how long will the takeover run? Factor in metrics such as your influencer’s audience location and the time of day they receive the most engagement.
  • What kind of media will be shared? Photos, Boomerangs, videos, and so on. Is the host responsible for writing copy as well?
  • Will the takeover include posts, stories, IGTV, or YouTube videos?
  • How many posts will the takeover include?
  • Will the takeover promote a hashtag? Should it include another hashtag as well?
  • Should content include other elements like stickers, filters, or polls? Will links be included as well?

Relying on the platform you select, some details will matter more than others. For instance, Irene Kim’s Seoul Fashion Week Snapchat takeover for Vogue required some logistical planning, however, the content was more off-the-cuff than polished.

Meanwhile, The North Face’s hyper-polished, multi-channel takeover campaign, which featured pro skiers, would have required much more planning and discussion.

4. Promote the takeover

When you have planned a takeover, it’s a great idea to let people know about it.

When you have recruited top influencer talent, ask them to promote the takeover on their personal account. Relying on what you have agreed on, they could tease the content before and during the takeover on specified social platforms. Make sure they include your handle and/or hashtag once they do.

Just because the takeover is occurring on Instagram does not mean you need to only promote it there. Take to Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and whatever channels seem related to let your audience know about it.

When you send a newsletter or run a weblog, consider sharing it there as well.

Seattle Mariners social media takeover

When you are teasing the takeover in advance, be sure to include the date and time they need to tune in—particularly in case your takeover is an ephemeral Story or Snap.

If it is not time-sensitive, on Instagram you could highlight the takeover as well. If it’s on Snapchat, make sure you take screen captures and a video that you could post on YouTube or elsewhere.

5. Track your success

No social media takeover is complete without a review of its performance. Different metrics will be more important than others, relying on your takeover goals.

Use the analytics tools at your disposal (most platforms offer metrics for companies) to measure follower development, engagement rates, views, click-through-rates, and more.

In case your host posted content on their accounts, ask them to share their metrics as well.

Make sure to document your success, particularly in terms of content that expires. Learn from what worked and what did not so that your next social media takeover will be even more of a success.

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