Posted January 12, 2016

How to Run a Successful Instagram Takeover + Grow your Followers

Feel like your Instagram is full of the same old content on repeat? Freshen up your feed with a new voice by handing your account to a customer or influencer.

Read on to find out how we at Blinds.com have used Instagram takeovers to create unique and engaging content and grow our follower numbers.

We’ve gathered together some of our best practices for running a successful Instagram Takeover:

1. Choose your takeover partner wisely

When deciding who to partner with for an Instagram takeover, find someone who is influential and has a voice and aesthetic that compliments your own. Because the goal of takeovers is to gain followers, choose someone who has larger follower numbers than you, or reaches a niche audience that you don’t currently.

Let us introduce you to @abigailmarygreen. She’s a Denver based, outdoor-loving coffee afficiando with an eclectic décor style who writes at abigailmarygreen.com. She just moved into a new home and this weekend she’s taking over our feed to share her latest décor project with you. We’re also giving away 2 $100 Blinds.com Gift Cards to lucky followers. To enter, follow @BlindsDotCom and @abigailmarygreen + comment on one of the #AMGxBLINDS photos this weekend. We’ll randomly choose 2 winners on @BlindsDotCom Monday 9/14 at 12m CST. Take it away Abigail! _________________________________ Hi there! I’m so glad to be taking over the @blindsdotcom feed this weekend to share our blinds project with you all. My husband & I just bought our first home. We had sheer curtains in our last home so we loved the idea of changing it up a bit with some light-filtering, simple blinds for our new windows. Follow along as we install our lovely white, honeycomb shades! -@abigailmarygreen #AMGxBLINDS

A photo posted by Blinds.com (@blindsdotcom) on

2. Be organized + start coordinating early.

Begin communicating with your influencer at least a few weeks before you plan to host the takeover. This allows you time to send them the product they’ll be featuring in the takeover and for them to create the content.

3. Don’t have the influencer post “live”

In order to maintain control over the content posted under your name and to ensure future account security, don’t hand over your account’s password to the influencer. Have the influencer send the photos and captions over to you a few days before the takeover. That way you can send any feedback and retain editorial control.

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 4. Have a posting schedule

When you’ve both agreed on the content and a posting schedule, your social media managers can post the photos live on the day of the takeover, or use an instagram scheduling tool like Soldsie. Be sure that your posting schedule includes a preview post from both of your accounts the day before the takeover. The influencer should also be responsible for posting from their account several times throughout the takeover to remind their followers to head over to your account.

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5. Tell a story

Be sure that your influencer’s posts are telling a compelling narrative. Whether it allows followers to see a room come together over the course of a day, or follow the influencer as they browse a flea market, you need a story that will draw people in. We’ve found success with having influencers cover a project or event.

6. Use a hashtag

Be sure that all posts associated with the takeover are using one hashtag. This will allow followers who come in late to go back and see all the posts associated with the campaign in one place. We like using a hashtag that incorporates both of our account names in some way.

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7. Give people a reason to follow

The goal of most takeovers is to gain followers from the other’s audience. This is a benefit to both parties participating. When structuring the takeover, give users an incentive to follow you. We’ve found it most successful to pair the takeover with a small giveaway where you must follow both accounts and comment

Even though the influencer will not be posting live, they should be checking in to instagram to reply to commenters and post reminders from their personal account.

We’d like to introduce you @AmandaJaneJones. She’s the co-founder of Kinfolk Magazine, a fab graphic designer, and minimalist design aficionado. This weekend she’s making over her sunroom/office and taking over our account to share the transformation! You can follow along at #AJJxBLINDS and read more our interview with Amanda with the link in our profile. GIVEAWAY! We’re also giving away $100 Blinds.com Gift Cards to 3 lucky followers! To enter, follow @BlindsDotcom + @amandajanejones and comment on one of the #AJJxBLINDS photos this weekend. We’ll choose 3 random winners on @BlindsDotCom Monday 6/15 at 12pm CST. Take it away Amanda! __________________________ Hi Blinds.com friends! So excited to share our sunroom project with you. Our light filtering cellular shades arrived promptly and neatly packaged. Excited to begin! -AJJ #AJJxBLINDS

A photo posted by Blinds.com (@blindsdotcom) on

8. Post extra content on your site

Another goal of the takeover should be to bring instagram followers to your site. Give new and existing followers a reason to click over to your site during the takeover. Host an interview with the influencer, guest post or more photos of the project on your blog or website. Link to this content in your Instagram profile. Be sure to track clicks by putting a tracking code in the link or shortening the link with bit.ly.

Read this post: Our Chat with Kinfolk Magazine Co-Founder Amanda Jane Jones.

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9. Measure follower growth

If you don’t use an instagram analytics tool that charts your follower growth, be sure to make a note of your follower count at the beginning and end of the takeover.

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 10. Engage your employees

Was one of your employees involved in serving this customer? When we have a Blinds.com designer who has assisted an influencer and is socially inclined, we encourage them to interact with commenters and answer questions throughout the campaign. The influencer will occasionally mention their role in the ordering process in a caption and tag their personal account.

11. Network for future takeovers

Hosting a takeover is the best advertising for finding future partners. The influencer likely has followers with similar styles and big audiences. See who’s engaging with your posts and take a look at their profile. If you think they’d be a good fit, reach out and let them know that the opportunity is available.

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12. Cross Promote

Don’t just keep your takeover on Instagram. This special event is a perfect way to bring followers from other networks over to Instagram. Share from your other social properties and have your influencer do the same from theirs.

Take a Closer Look at Our Latest Takeovers

Amanda Jane Jones #AJJxBlinds

Mary Ellen Skye #MESxBlinds

Abigail Mary Green #AMGxBlinds

It’s not all about Instagram super stars – We also let employees take over our Instagram! Learn more.

What’s your experience with Instagram takeovers?

Share your tips + join the discussion with us on Twitter @BlindsDotCom.