Eden Spodek

Hosting and Promoting an Instagram Takeover in Seven Easy Steps

By: Eden Spodek | June 13, 2017 | 

Hosting and Promoting an Instagram Takeover in Seven Easy StepsYou’ve determined an Instagram takeover is a perfect tactic for your overall PR strategy and you took my advice from What You Need to Know About Instagram Takeovers.

Your objectives are established, your benchmarks are documented and you know how you’ll measure success.

You’ve signed the ideal Instagrammer and the date is set… now what?

Choose Your Instagram Takeover Facilitator

Decide who is the best person on your team to facilitate the event.

That person should be well-organized, have a deep knowledge of Instagram (including community management and culture), and excellent account management skills.

Work Out a Loose Script

Consider charting a loose script out in Google Sheets or another spreadsheet software program on the cloud so it’s easily shared and viewed.

As a rule of thumb, we typically plan for eight to 10 posts per Instagram takeover.

It’s fun to include an Instagram Story if it makes sense for your guest Instagrammer too.

Prepare the Guest Instagrammer

Email the guest Instagrammer to share high-level details of the event plan and include to-dos at least two weeks in advance.

These might include content development with suggestions of possible narratives and expectations around responding to posts.

Then schedule a meeting with the Instagrammer to confirm processes, manage expectations, and answer any questions about the day of the event one to two weeks before the event.

Follow up a day or two before takeover day to make sure your guest is prepared.

Decide on Content in Advance

The Instagrammer who is taking over the account is typically responsible for creating the photos/graphics and copy and publishing times for posts (and story).

Always be sure to have a clear beginning (this is where your Instagrammer can create an introductory post—maybe of how he or she starts his or her day) and a clear ending for your takeover (this is where your guest Instagrammer can sign off—how she ends her day like the example below of going to sleep, or how she ends her work day) so people aren’t wondering when it starts and ends.

As an example of beginnings and ends, here’s how Booktrack started and ended their Instagram takeover with influencer, Alessandra Torre.


If you’re having an Instagram takeover you’ll want to get everyone excited and let them know when it’s happening.

Have your promotional plan ready to begin two weeks in advance on all your social media accounts, on the guest Instagrammer’s accounts, and on your blog (assuming you have one).

Prepare content for you and your guest in advance, along with high-level instructions.

Be sure to continue promoting the event throughout the day and cross-promote with the Instagrammer.

This is a great way to increase the followings for both Instagram accounts.

Here is a great example from Sephora Spain that is well-branded and well-promoted.

And in another example with CIROC USA, they invested a lot of creative in promoting their recent Instagram takeover with South African recording artist, Cassper Nyovest.




Takeover Day

Now it’s time for the takeover! Here are three things to make sure you do:

  • Set up an open line of communication with the Instagrammer. Everything should run smoothly, but just in case they don’t or if you or your guest think you want to make some changes part way through, you’ll want to be able to get in touch with each other quickly and easily. Text is typically the quickest and easiest channel to use but it’s best to use one that’s easiest and most convenient for your guest. Slack and Skype are other options if the decision is left up to you.
  • Publish content. It’s recommended the team member be responsible for publishing the posts throughout the day as planned according to the script, which should be updated and finalized once you have your guest’s content. If you’re using a third-party publishing platform, make sure to check and ensure every post is being published as scheduled and displays as expected.
  • Monitor and respond to posts. This responsibility lies with both the team member and the guest Instagrammer. The team should be monitoring the account hourly to ensure the conversation is flowing smoothly and posts are being published according to plan. Have a plan for handling spam or inappropriate comments and deal with them in a timely manner. The guest Instagrammer should be checking the account at regular intervals and engaging with your community in the comments. Ask the guest Instagrammer to reply to questions on your Instagram account at regular intervals (e.g. 20 mins in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of the day).

Analyze Results

Your first Instagram takeover should be run as both a learning experience and test to confirm it’s the right approach.

It’s also an important opportunity to set benchmarks and expectations for future events.

Determine what you’ll measure BEFORE the event (ideally, measurement will be determined as part of the objective setting exercise).

When we conduct an initial Instagram takeover, we use the top performing post on the Instagram prior to the takeover and look at:

  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Direct messages
  • Instagram Story activity (views, clicks, and comments)
  • The size of the account following as our benchmark and other relevant metrics (e.g. website views, downloads, sign-ups, etc.)

We track metrics for each post published as part of the takeover and compare them to our benchmark.

Here’s an example of how we tracked basic engagement for the Booktrack Instagram Takeover.

the Booktrack Instagram Takeover

You can also look at the size of the following afterwards to see how effective you were in growth and comment sentiment.

Analyze your results.

Was the event a success?

If so, tweak as necessary, lather, rinse and repeat.

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

Have more questions? Share them in the comments as well.

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.