A quick guide to Instagram Story takeovers

If your brand wants to get more out of Instagram Stories but you don’t have the resources to develop elaborate, comprehensive Story content each day (they expire in 24 hours, after all, unless you add them to Stories Highlights on your profile!) you can consider Story takeovers.

That’s when someone else- an employee, an influencer, maybe even a customer- takes over your Stories for a day or more, sharing your brand from their point of view.

What do these look like, how do you set them up and what else should you know before doing one? We break it down.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

What do Story takeovers look like?

Often before a takeover, the brand and the person taking over will post about it, both in a regular Instagram post and in their Stories. “Don’t forget that tomorrow I’ll be taking over [x]‘s Stories!” from the employee or influencer, and similar posts from the brand. That way fans and followers know what to expect.

As for who should take over, that depends on your brand. Wild Friends Foods has done takeovers from both of their Co-Founders, showing what their lives are like not only behind the scenes of the brand, but their personal interests and hobbies as well.

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via Wild Friends Foods on Instagram

How to set up a Story takeover

Once you’ve decided on who is doing the takeover, you should establish some ground rules so both of you know what to expect. Is anything off-limits? (Not talking about a new product yet, for example.) Is there a content guide for your brand you’d like them to loosely follow?

If you’re working with an influencer or brand advocate, it’s best to pick someone familiar with your brand so they can bring their own personality and take on things- not to mention their audience!- but also tie that back into your brand voice and values.

A formal contract may or may not be appropriate depending on your brand and resources. This person will need to have your Instagram password, so definitely change to a temporary password for them to use that you change back after the takeover is over. That’s not necessary if it’s an employee with regular access to the account, of course.

How to measure Story impact

You won’t know the impact of your takeover unless you measure it!

Instagram Insights give you some data, and you can pair that with something like our Instagram analytics to see more.

Here’s an overview of what our Stories analytics look like:

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Our analytics also tell you exactly how many taps forward and back your Stories got, the number of exits made from your Story, and your reach and impressions, all broken out by each Story post.

That can help you figure out the sweet spot for how long your Stories should be, as well as if your particular audience starts to drop off after too many video posts, or type posts, or some other format. You can also see if a certain format is more engaging to them and work in more of that type of content.

You’ll also see your posting behavior, which lets you know if you’re always posting Stories around the same time each day. Mix it up to see if you get more engagement!

More resources

Not sure where to start planning Stories content, for a takeover or otherwise? We’ve written a comprehensive guide to Instagram Stories features as well as sharing some tips and resources for better graphics in your Stories.

Happy Instagramming!


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash