Instagram takeovers are the fastest way to grow your following.
A takeover refers to when someone temporarily “takes over” your Instagram account and shares content with your audience. It’s the best way to build trust with followers, generate product awareness, and connect with influencers who can create new business opportunities for you.
The problem is, Instagram takeovers are challenging to run. They are a collaborative effort that takes significant planning to get it right.
Whether you’re running your first or fifth Instagram takeover, use the following tips to improve your results.
How effective are Instagram takeovers?
Instagram takeovers are beneficial to both parties (you and the collaborator); they are a great 50/50 value exchange. Brands and influencers can tap into each other’s audiences to expand reach and form deeper connections with followers.
Julia Guardiola, founder and CEO of Social Glowup, has run her fair share of Instagram takeovers for her account. She recalls one live event with a renowned dermatologist that included a giveaway at the end.
“One of our most successful collabs was with VI Peel + My Skin Buddy for a Valentine’s Day giveaway,” Julia says. “Because we both cater to the same aesthetic and beauty-focused community, our audience was all for this giveaway!”
Julia’s giveaway post alone garnered record-high likes and comments. She also gained nearly 1,000 new followers just from promoting the takeover. The key to an effective Instagram takeover? Julia recommends working with other brands and influencers that have the same target audience.
7 Instagram takeover tips to maximize your results
Now that you know how effective an Instagram takeover can be, here are seven tips you can follow to maximize your results.
- Host live video broadcasts
- Choose a takeover guest from your audience or team
- Establish guidelines and metrics before takeover day
- Use relevant Instagram hashtags
- Promote the takeover on other platforms
- Work with bigger influencers over time
- End with a valuable takeaway
1. Host live video broadcasts
Hosting Instagram takeovers live gives your audience a chance to interact with the host, making for a more immersive experience—something 80% of customers crave. It also helps keep people engaged.
Moreover, 82% of audiences prefer to watch a livestream over reading a static social media post. While you can opt for Instagram Stories or single post takeovers, an interactive experience will further engage and delight your audience.
2. Choose a takeover host from your audience or team
Your takeover host doesn’t have to be an ultra-famous celebrity influencer. Choosing a member of your team or inviting a loyal audience member to take over can help you cultivate a more authentic brand experience.
Connection leads to loyalty and brand growth. About 70% of consumers feel more connected to a brand when the CEO shows up on its social platforms. What’s more, over half of those customers will spend more with that brand because of the connection they feel with it.
The final word: recruiting someone from inside your team (or even an audience member) can be a cost-effective way to raise engagement and sales that lead to bottom-line growth.
Foodie Tribe, a creative influencer marketing agency in the food space, embraced this method by having one of its audience members host an Instagram takeover about food photography for the brand’s following.
Lifestyle brand A Beautiful Mess constantly recruits its team members to take over its stories for the day. Each team member organically shows and uses partner brands, features new home decor items they love and talks about new developments on the blog.
3. Establish guidelines and metrics before takeover day
You can’t improve what you don’t track. This credo applies to your Instagram takeover strategy and the metrics you pay attention to.
Tracking takeover metrics will look different depending on your end goal. It may include measuring numbers like:
- How many people tuned in to your takeover
- The comment or like count on posts
- Follower growth
- The number of DMs during or after the takeover
Granted, some metrics are qualitative—but this doesn’t mean you should discount them. While quantitative metrics look at hard numbers like follower or comment count, qualitative metrics can look like overall comment sentiment or the quality of DM customer support interactions your brand has with its audience. Both are equally crucial to assessing the results of your takeovers.
The key is to set objectives and metrics beforehand so you know what to aim for. Check out Student UK’s and approach to its Instagram takeover efforts. Along with its objectives and the themes it plans to touch on to stay on brand, its plan outlines current follower numbers, likes, average monthly reach, and how it’ll measure Instagram takeover success.
Specificity is key when setting guidelines and metrics. As Julia from Social Glowup notes, “I like to create the foundation of takeovers quarterly. I set goals (first checking with marketing to see their timeline and if there are any upcoming launches that we could add to), research trending topics/discussions related to niche/industry, create a list of topics for takeover collabs, and choose the angle-specific industry/seasonal that the host could speak to.”
Julia also reaches out to potential influencers or thought leaders relevant to the collaboration as part of her takeover management process each quarter. She explains, “Sometimes [we] set up Zoom calls to discuss the overview of our takeover vision and get their feedback, answer questions so we are on the same page, organize date [and] time. Communication is very important to execute a successful takeover.”
4. Use relevant Instagram hashtags
Unsurprisingly, Instagram hashtags can play a large part in your Instagram takeover strategy’s success. They make it easier for your target audience to find you and help increase engagement.
The median number of hashtags for Instagram posts—about 50%—is around six. According to HubSpot, engagement tends to decrease when posts include more than that.
That said, it’s wise to experiment with different hashtag variations to see what works best for your brand. Remember Foodie Tribe? When it features a new takeover host, it always includes hashtags like #takeover, #foodietribetakeover, and #foodinfluencer in the comments.
5. Promote on other platforms
Cross-promotion on Instagram is a great way to build hype around your takeover events. For example, artist Jennifer Rowley posted on her account to let her followers know she was taking over the Opera De Rourden Instagram account with a behind-the-scenes look at its latest production.
Don’t forget to promote your Instagram takeover on other platforms. That could mean announcing your takeover to your newsletter subscribers, harnessing the reach of your Facebook presence, or hey, even making a TikTok announcement.
Your audience lives in more than one place—chances are, some of them might not be avid Instagram users. But that doesn’t mean your takeover can’t reach them. Cross-promotion can help ensure you get as many eyeballs as possible on your takeover
ManyChat makes the promotion process easier. You can automate your Facebook Messenger efforts to boost awareness for your takeover. How? With our Facebook Messenger Chat Marketing automation features, you can create welcome messages, chat sequences, and flows all triggered by keywords.
You can also use Instagram Automation by ManyChat to engage with your audience post-takeover without dealing with the taxing process of answering everyone manually.
6. Work with bigger influencers over time
Working with big-name influencers offers an opportunity to reach a larger audience. Yet collaborating with them doesn’t come cheap.
This is why it’s worth waiting until you have a tried-and-true takeover process before investing in a partnership with a notable influencer. You should iron out any mishaps or loose ends in your takeover strategy by the time you’re ready to work with the Beyonces of the influencer industry.
You could start with a few team member takeovers and graduate to audience takeovers when you’re certain about your strategy. Once you’ve been able to identify what resonates, you can be more confident reaching out to bigger influencers for a takeover knowing that you have a smooth process in place.
Caveat: You still want to be careful not to over-plan the process. According to Jessica from Yellow House Creative Consulting, you don’t want to suck the life out of your Instagram takeovers. She notes that “Authenticity is more important than having perfect grammar and production quality. Allow the influencer to be genuine and express unpopular and controversial views. That shows you’re secure in your brand and that you didn’t put the content through an editorial meat grinder.”
7. End with a valuable takeaway
You know that feeling you get when you finish a movie that lacks a resolution? It leaves you feeling dissatisfied. This is a mistake you don’t want to make with your Instagram takeovers.
To avoid this, your Instagram takeovers should end with a valuable takeaway. What does this look like in practice? Here are a few ideas:
- End with a strong call to action (CTA) (e.g., “Click this link,” “Visit this website,” “Sign up below,” “Like or comment,” etc.)
- Recap the most important points
- Announce your next takeover if you’re running a series
- Reiterate and emphasize the most valuable takeaway
“Swipe to explore our move with us series.”
Streamline your Instagram takeover process with ManyChat
Hosting Instagram takeovers can be yet another powerful tool in your arsenal for building your brand and generating awareness. As you experiment with and refine your Instagram takeover strategy, don’t forget to streamline your processes.
Tools like Instagram Automation by ManyChat can help you stay on top of messages, automated outreach efforts, takeover reminders, and engagement with minimal human intervention.