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Considering Instagram Takeovers? Here’s What We’ve Learned starting them at Caster

Your employees are a great resource for growing your social media presence and increasing engagement, but a lot of companies are afraid to incorporate them into official messaging. There are risks to giving employees the reins on social, but the potential benefits are huge: you get to show off your organization’s personality, build credibility and trust, and increase the authenticity and creativity of your feed.

An Instagram takeover program is an effective means to leverage employees who aren’t typically part of  your corporate communications on your social platforms. An Instagram takeover is a great way to increase your account’s exposure and amplify your team members, which in turn will likely result in new followers and a more authentic tone.

Instagram takeovers can promote a new product or event, increase following, or show a personal side to a professional organization. You can strategically choose employees for takeovers based on events, announcements, and themes set by the company.

Caster has implemented more regular Instagram takeovers into our schedule, and here are some of the things we’ve considered along the way.

 

Intention

Start with your intentions. Why do you want to implement an Instagram takeover? What do you want to show off to your following? How will you know if you accomplished what you wanted to?

Set one main overarching goal for the takeover. For example, here at Caster, we’ve been implementing Instagram takeovers to show a more personal side of Caster. While we have a lot of industry friends following us, we use Instagram as a way to introduce ourselves as individuals . Our Twitter and LinkedIn presence is more professional, so our goal is to boost engagement on Instagram. We show off behind-the-scenes footage of the Caster Crew doing what we do best.

Setting a clear goal will help you pick the right people, time, or event to  institute the takeover. Setting goals will also help you set the stage to give appropriate posting guidance.

Once a goal has been decided, it’s time to set a metric for tracking your success. Are you looking for more views, more interaction, new followers? This metric should be achievable and realistic. Look at past account performance and analytics to see where your account could use a boost and ensure goals are manageable. At Caster, we’re looking to build engagement with our takeovers, so we’re tracking views and interactions.

 

Framework

Once you’ve established a goal and set metrics to measure it, it’s time to think about execution. Start by defining the number of posts. At Caster, we aim for 5-10 Instagram story posts per day (depending on what you have going on) and no more than 1 static post per day. Instagram is a great platform to show visual content, but be warned  your audience may lose interest if content seems forced.

At Caster, we always start an introduction post about the takeover. It can be either a static or story post. Caster has found the most success by implementing a light, fun tone with eye-catching graphics. For our team, authenticity, fun, and asking questions has been a great way to get our audience engaged with us.

It also does not hurt to share the take over on other company platforms, e.g. a Twitter post directing your followers to “Check out Jane Doe’s takeover of our Instagram Stories today!”

IF you’re struggling on how to approach a take-over, look at what other companies in the industry do for their takeovers, what can you do to be unique.

On Instagram, you have the option to post temporary 24-hour stories and permanent static posts. While static posts are often more structured and informative, stories can be more fun for the viewer. Using both stories and static posts during your takeover adds a nice variety of content. The person running the takeover can use stories as an opportunity to engage with your following using Instagram’s stickers. This feature allows you to run a poll, as a question and highlight responses, or even quiz your followers. This helps engage the audience, but it is also a shortcut to generate organic content. If you’re looking for a good example, I suggest giving @CasterComm a follow on Instagram and checking out our team’s past takeovers. Lexie’s takeover question had some great engagement all day!

While we want employees to be authentic and personal during the takeover, Caster also has clear content guidelines, and this is something every company should consider. In the early stages or with newer employees, you may want an approval process where senior team members can check, approve, and edit content before it goes live. If you have a timely process that works for you, great, but required content can interfere with the organic and spontaneous nature of a takeover. Consider practicing with employees over messenger until you feel comfortable giving them the reigns.

 

The Actual Takeover

Remind the employee the week before the takeover to give them time to prep. For organizational purposes, Caster uses a social content calendar to keep track of posts going up on our accounts as well as Instagram takeover. This ensures that all team members get the opportunity to do an Instagram takeover. Remember to share login credentials. If you’re leading by example and doing a takeover yourself, here are some tips to guide you through:

When you agree to takeover your company’s Instagram account, you have the ability to incorporate your uniqueness and creativity into your brand. 10 Instagram stories from the same desk setup can get old, and followers might stop watching after the first few posts. By showing off different activities and locations, you are keeping your following on their toes. Another tip is to use a mix of photos and videos. Having videos and chatting with your audience can add a personal touch. That being said, be aware that not everyone will be willing to turn on audio as they watch stories – don’t make the day’s stories too sound-dependent. Finally, exercise quality control. Be conscious of the noise level around your recording area and be as eloquent as possible. There is no shame in giving that video another shot!

Remember that if you are creating content that you wouldn’t watch off the clock, you can’t expect many of your followers to. This is your chance to add some variety and flavor into your social channels without compromising your credibility and image. Show your followers what you are having for lunch, what you’re working on, or even take everybody on a desk or office tour.

 

Wrapping Up – Analytics

Once the takeover program is in place, it’s time to tune into your metrics. Check your views, likes, and stats collected from Instagram engagement features. Compare these numbers to your original goal to see if you reached or exceeded your expectations.

If the numbers are a littler lower than you’d hoped, that’s okay! Use your early metrics  as an opportunity to try new days, times, topics, and content. Compare the analytics from these takeovers to find what schedule, topics, and content styles are best for your account. You can streamline data collection on the effectiveness of your takeover by creating a custom hashtag for your workplace.

. Have you done an Instagram take over at your company? What have you learned? Make sure you’re following @CasterComm on Instagram for our Take Over Tuesdays! Connect with me on Twitter @RobertZengaPR to chat more about takeovers, PR, opinions, and funny gifs.

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