Instagram Takeover Tips

Oct 24, 2018

Written by Joannah Long, 2018 SMCLT President


One of the benefits we offer to our members is the ability to apply to take over the SMCLT Instagram. This is a recent addition to our member benefits and no one outside of the SMCLT board had applied to do so. That was until the digital marketing team of Carowinds, a 400-acre amusement park located in North and South Carolina, applied to promote their annual Halloween event, SCarowinds. For us, it was a no-brainer to partner with them as they are a fun local brand who is trustworthy and engages with their audience.


In order to continue to provide the greater Charlotte social media community with opportunities to learn and grown, we decided to share our best tips for having a successful Instagram takeover.


  1. Find the right partner: Typically, whoever takes over your Instagram will fall into one three categories: influencer, employee/colleague or community member. Carowinds fell into the community member category as one of their digital marketing team members is an SMCLT member and active in the social media community. We knew Carowinds would be a good fit for us as they are local and have a fun and dynamic brand. In addition, we love showcasing awesome events and locations in our region.
  1. Define your goals and metrics (from both the partnership and account perspective): The three things we are focused on are:
        • -Creating more exposure for both entities: through follower growth, reach, view and mentions
        • -Engaging with the audience: number of interactions (likes, comments and direct messages)
        • -Promoting an event or product: traffic to website, conversions, attendees, etc (we know that this isn’t our promotion but as I mentioned above, we feel that part of our role as an organization is to help support the social media and digital marketing work our those in our community
  1. Have pre-set grounds rules/guidelines for anyone taking over your account: This is helpful to make sure everyone involved is on the same page. Our favorite ones to include are:
    • Length of takeover
    • Type of content: posts, videos, stories, going live
    • Give context to the first post/caption: include information about your role, that you are a member of SMCLT and why you are taking over our account
    • Frequency of posts: No more than 5 static posts and unlimited story additions
    • Off-limit topics or content: sales pitches, harassment, name calling or trolling or any kind
  1. Determine type of takeover: Know ahead of time if you plan to do a full (giving your partner total control of the account) or partial (where you either receive all posts or stories prior to the takeover or set permissions)
    • A full takeover feels more authentic and you don’t have to worry about posting anything on your guest’s behalf. You do need to consider if it’s wise to share your password online and you do have less control over the content being posted. However, content appropriateness can be resolved with well written ground rules
    • To share your password securely you may want to use a tool like One-Time Secret. And, make sure you change your password once the takeover concludes.
    • A partial takeover can prevent compromising your password or account. You can have more control and take the posting responsibility off your guest. Some of the downfalls are that this type of takeover may come across as less authentic and your guest will not be able to reply to questions or responses.
  1. Promote the takeover to draw interest: It’s helpful to give your audience and your partner’s audience a heads up about the takeover maybe even in a teasing manner. This will help draw attention to the takeover and build anticipation. Include the who, what, when and where. Our standard procedure for this includes:
    • Announce the takeover 2-3 days before – through both a static post and in your story
    • Promote the takeover on your other channels to catch a larger audience
    • Encourage your guest to promote the takeover on their channels as well
  1. Wrap up and analyze: Review your analytics and data to see if your goals were achieved.

Best of luck with your Instagram Takeover! And, if you are a member of Social Media Charlotte, reach out to apply to take over our account on behalf of your company.

Share: