Eden Spodek

What You Need to Know About Instagram Takeovers

By: Eden Spodek | February 6, 2017 | 
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What You Need to Know About Instagram Takeovers You may recall Paula Kiger sharing her experience in Anatomy of a Snapchat Takeover.

Recently, we were having a discussion about Instagram takeovers in the private Slack community.

More people had Instagram questions than answers.

As someone whose firm has managed Instagram takeovers for brands, I thought it would be helpful to share my insights with you.

What is an Instagram Takeover?

An Instagram takeover is when you give an influencer the keys to the kingdom (access to your Instagram account) and let them publish to your account for a fixed period of time, typically a day.

Both you and the influencer promote the takeover to your communities and invite them to visit, 💗  the post, leave comments, and even repost.

Louis Vuitton gave their Instagram reigns to their men’s artistic director, Kim Jones.

Jones provided fans with an inside look at the preparations leading up to their 2017 men’s fall collection fashion show.

A closer look at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall-Winter 2017 Collection by @MrKimJones #LVMenFW17 Photo by @HarleyWeir

A photo posted by Louis Vuitton Official (@louisvuitton) on

What You Need to Know About Instagram Takeovers

An Instagram takeover isn’t as easy—and spontaneous—as it looks.

It requires a lot of planning, including:

  • A schedule for the period before, during, and after the takeover.
  • A promotional plan, a loose script, a unique hashtag, and most of all, a cooperative partner.

You’ll need a solid understanding of how the platform works (or hire someone who does to help you).

It’s important to have a decent-sized Instagram following for this tactic to work well.

Also important is finding an Instagram-savvy takeover partner with a creative approach to imagery and storytelling which appeals to your followers.

What are the Benefits of an Instagram Takeover?

According to the latest statistics from Pew Research, Instagram is the second most popular social network in the United States.

Thirty-eight percent of Americans who are online use Instagram (or 28 percent of all Americans).

More than half of them use it daily!

eMarketer predicts that more than 70 percent of brands will be using Instagram by the end of this year.

Assuming it’s the right platform for your brand (or your client’s), Instagram takeovers help engage and grow your audience by:

  • Introducing your account to an influencer’s audience.
  • Providing a special “treat” for your Instagram followers to spark conversation and help build engagement.
  • Increasing awareness of your Instagram account and adding new followers.

In the case of Spodek & Co., we used Instagram takeovers to build awareness for a client’s reading app.

The client wanted to introduce customers (and prospects) to new books in their catalogue.

We recommended they do so by inviting authors to do an Instagram takeover.

Here’s an example of an Instagram Takeover we did for Booktrack to help promote the addition of romance writer Alessandra Torre’s new book to their catalogue.

She shared her day in photos and anecdotes, like this one about some of the places and life experiences that inspired both her career and her current novel. 

Instagram Takeovers: Three Tips for Success

  • Determine your objective.
    • What do you want to accomplish from an Instagram takeover?
  • Set benchmarks.
    • Look at your most successful or top performing post to date and make a note of the analytics, and any other ways you determined it was the top performer. Use that data to establish benchmarks and set expectations for your takeover. After the takeover, measure your results. Now you can compare how well it performed versus your best post prior to the takeover, and set benchmarks for future Instagram takeovers (assuming you’re pleased with the results.)
  • Select your Instagram influencer carefully.
    • Choose an influencer with a strong digital footprint who is a regular Instagram user with a larger following, and who is confident using the Instagram platform.
    • Make sure the influencer is open to promoting the takeover on their account as well.

In part two of this series, I’ll share the steps involved in hosting and promoting an Instagram takeover.

In the meantime, if you’ve been part of an Instagram takeover, please share any tips or tricks you learned from your experience in the comments below.

About Eden Spodek


Eden Spodek is a founder & CEO of Spodek & Co., an integrated communications firm. Eden has a unique perspective on emerging media and more than 25 years’ experience in communications. She’s happiest helping colleagues, clients and students be a little disruptive. She’s outspoken about the importance of building online engagement and targeted relationships, one influencer at a time. Eden is based in Toronto, Canada and can be found on many places online.

  • Great tips, Eden! Instagram takeovers are a great way to build community, engage with somebody else’s audience, and have lots of fun.

    • Thanks Corina! You’re right, they do all of those things and it’s interesting to see the conversations taking place, especially when you bring the two communities together.

  • paulakiger

    These ARE fantastic tips, Eden! I agree — a takeover definitely takes planning in advance in order to be optimal. At the same time you want the person doing the takeover to infuse their personality so it’s a bit of a balancing act. I haven’t done IG live at all ….. yet. If I ever want to be eligible to take over I’d better get on that!

    • Thanks very much, Paula! I couldn’t agree more about the planning and having your guest infuse her/his personality and style into the posts. Can’t wait to see your IG takeover one day soon!

  • I really love Instagram and I love the potential of influencer takeovers like this. Thanks for doing this series, I can’t wait for part two!

    • Me too and you’re very welcome! Thanks for sparking the idea, Laura!

  • Darryl Robinson-Keys

    I want to takeover someones Instagram account! Cool.

  • New goal in life: Take over the Spodek & Co Instagram account.

    • I guess that means we need to start a Spodek & Co. Instagram account and invite you to be the first guest takeover. 😉

  • Thanks Eden a really informative post, I’ve learnt a lot. Looking forward to getting stuck in and helping some clients with this….

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