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How to Plan & Execute a Social Media Takeover

6 min

Success is all about hitting the right note at the right time. Powerful digital marketing is the only hope to see success and expand your brand reach at the right time today. With heavy competition in the market, businesses are forced to think and explore new digital possibilities.

Social media takeovers are a new possibility to expand brand reach, and increase your customer base. Instagram and Snapchat takeovers are popular, with many businesses using this method. It is, by and large, an incredible way to promote content. Rope in your influencers and customers for this.

If you can’t really decide how to involve others to talk about you, let me take you through a series of points which will let you to plan and execute social media takeovers.

Social media is huge and effective. Nearly 80% of marketers today agree that they can see increased traffic and brand reach with effective social media strategies. You need to consider all possible social media plans that will work for you. A social media takeover is one such tactic that you cannot ignore.

Why a social media takeover?

A takeover is like having a joint account with a rich person. It enables a third party to endorse you and your brand. The process lets you to invite someone to take care of your profile/account for a short period of time. You literally relinquish control of that social platform to someone else for a fixed time.

To understand this better, let me take you through some basics. Marketing your brand online involves being consistently active in social media. It is not enough to just open your account and create an identity. To have any hope of reaching your customers, you need to follow 5 key steps:

  • Define your objective
  • Engage
  • Involve others to talk about you and your brand
  • Build relationship
  • Smoothly take it to the next level

Involve others

“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence,” said Sean Gardner, social media author and speaker.

Advantages of a social media takeover

Takeover is by and large considered as a makeover. It lets you to;

  • Expand your reach
  • Discover new viewerships
  • Increase your customer base
  • Build your brand
  • Increase traffic

Above all, the method is cost-effective and both the parties involved benefit.

How to initiate a social media takeover

To initiate a social media takeover, you first need to understand your audience and followers well, engage with them consistently, create strong relationship with few influencers, and spot the right influencer for the takeover. Once you carry out this task, then you are ready to discover new audiences and enhance traffic. A few successful examples of takeovers are Instagram takeover, Snapchat takeover, and Twitter takeover. Just ensure that before you give the takeover partner your login credentials, you secure your account by two way authentication and pass on the account information with a temporary password. You will, of course, promote the takeover in your network, and ask the influencer you’re working with to do the same.

Instagram Takeover

Case Study of Chicago Bulls-branded Bud Light Can #BullsIGTakeover

social media takeover chicago bud light example

This is one typical social media blow up that happened in recent days. The tactic was an Instagram Takeover.

The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team. In order to drive sales for their new Chicago Bulls-branded Bud Light can (sponsors), both the organizations planned to initiate an Instagram takeover.

Having already worked with Chuck Anderson, who is a part of Chicago based creative studio NoPattern, for the last few seasons, the Chicago Bulls saw an opportunity to partner with him through a social media takeover initiative. Together with Bud Light, the company agreed on an Instagram takeover program in which Bud Light agreed to team with Anderson and few other photographers to upload pictures during and after games, and these photographers would ‘take over’ the Chicago Bulls Instagram account for the evening.

Result: The #BullsIGTakeover photos on Instagram performed nearly twice as well as the normal rate of engagement for the season. The team is said to have managed nearly 2 million engagements on #BullsIGTakeover content on Instagram, and the program is still on. The takeover initiative has been a talk throughout Bud Light’s marketing teams and is being mirrored across more markets and professional sports teams.

In the Bizjournal article, the Bulls’ team expressed great satisfaction with the takeover tactic. “For us, it’s huge because it’s creating a connection between the city of Chicago and the Bulls,” said Dan Moriarty, the Bulls’ digital director. “Re-establishing a connection between the city of Chicago and the Bulls is really important to us.” He further explains that, despite the “takeover” format, the Bulls’ digital team still has full control over what is posted. He says that the content the takeover photographers “have never given us cause for concern.”

Snapchat Takeover

#Airbnb Snapchat Takeover

social media takeover airbnb snapchat takeover

Snapchat is slightly different compared to the rest of the social channels. Creating a Snapchat account takeover is a challenge. It’s also noted to be the most successful strategies one can have to reach wider audience. A typical takeover to talk about is Airbnb’s account takeover. The company recently invited its followers to share their interest by taking over its account for a defined time and duration and sharing their stories.

social media takeover airbnb snapchat takeover example

#UND’s Takover of GrandforkCity’s Snapchat Account

To create better learning opportunities for all the University of North Dakota (UND) students, in addition to enabling the city of Grand Forks to establish their social presence and develop their engagement with younger audience, Queen Ngale, a UND psychology/pre-med student captured Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown’s every move on Snapchat and shared it with the world. Within few seconds after introducing herself as “Snapchat” girl of the city, the GrandforksCity account saw a surge in the number of followers.

social media takeover UND snapchat example

Pete Haga, Community/Government Relations Officer, commented in a statement, “Students bring authentic, fresh perspectives that allow us to see our work in different ways.”

That precisely describes the power of takeovers. Be it businesses, students, cities, anybody can see benefits out of this simple practice.

Twitter Takeover

@ToledoRockets Account Takeover

Let’s consider a recent takeover of the Toledo Rockets’ Twitter account. The Toledo Rockets practice this tactics every two weeks for half an hour where in the company ropes in a Rockets student-athlete to take over their account. The company recently invited Sophomore forward Nate Navigato to answer fan questions through the Athletic Department’s @ToledoRockets twitter account.

social media takeover toledo rockets twitter takeover example

The Rocket Academic Center is in the Larimer Athletic Complex at the University of Toledo. The center is open to all student-athletes and it aims to help develop the student overall, not just academically, but socially, morally, and in terms of leadership. With a long and rich history, Rockets athletes are not just great on the field but they are excellent choices to talk about the center too.

You can be a Host too

Inviting others to talk about you is one way and participating to talk about other channel is another way to reach a wider audience. How can you make the most of takeovers? Follow these guidelines.

Takeover details:

  • Topic
  • Time
  • Duration
  • Account Username
  • Password

How to go ahead with a takeover:

  • Introduce and describe the event
  • Share pictures
  • Provide value to the audience
  • Have fun but remember that you are in someone’s page
  • Give reasons for the audience to follow you back even after the event is over
  • Promote in your social network

To Wrap

Social media takeovers are heating up. Make the most use of this tactic to expand reach and grow your audience. You can either invite someone to take over your account or you can go ahead and take over someone’s account.

After you initiate your social media takeover, be sure to keep track of your metrics. Understand how this is working for you.

How have you used social media takeovers? Do you have any useful tips to share?  Let me know in the comments!