How to do an Instagram Takeover to expand your reach

networking social media Apr 26, 2021

Anyone who works with me knows I’m always talking about how to stand out in a crowd, especially on social media. I recently had an experience that increased my followers on Instagram by 10% in just a week. Considering my goal was first and foremost to share career advice with a group of amazing future environmental heroes and secondarily gain 4 or 5 new followers, I’d say it was a great success. The additional bonus was that it was super simple to execute.  

This experience was with Instagram Takeovers. If you don’t know what a takeover is, it basically means your hand over the keys to your profile to someone else and let them create posts, go live, and share stories with your audience.

This opportunity came about, no surprise, through networking (another topic I’m always talking about). I had given a presentation at SUNY-ESF several months prior and a career advisor there mentioned my name to the Rockland Conservation Corp. Subsequently, their program director suggested we try the Instagram Takeover, something I’d seen but never considered before. 

At that point, I got together with my social media team and we put together a plan.

I’d like to share our plan outline with you in case you’d like to try an Instagram Takeover of your own. 

Planning Steps

  1. Determine the purpose of the takeover.
  2. Write down the current needs of their audience as related to your expertise/services.
  3. Determine your goals and the goals for the profile you’re taking over
  4. Create your day-by-day schedule, starting with the pre-event announcements, followed by the day-of posting schedule, and how you will follow up. Be specific about the type of posts so you can plan ahead and include who will be creating them, who will be responsible for posting them, and at what times. 
  5. After the event, document your lessons learned, and be sure to thank the host back on your profile. 

As for our takeover, we decided to go with a combination of the following: 

  • Stories to focus on my personal productivity tips and advice for maintaining a healthy outlook and effective job search
  • Live Q & A sessions at 2 pre-scheduled times
  • A few posts during the day announcing our Live Q&A times, asking for questions, and promoting a free-coaching session giveaway.  

What happens after the event is up to you and the host to agree upon. You can leave the posts up on your profile feed or you can delete them as if it never happened. If you have one of those profiles that is carefully laid out for your brand style, this would be what you would do. 

The highlight for us was the Live Q&A sessions, we had lots of people stop by and ask questions. My interviewer, Neha Bhalla, was a terrific moderator. I highly suggest if you plan to do live interviews, that you do a test beforehand to make sure your wi-fi works, you know how to join your guest into the call (if you have one), and how to manage and respond to comments and questions. 

Overall, it was a great experience and we learned a lot! It was a lot of work setting up this first one but we should be all set up for future ones. That said, we’re adding IG takeovers to our partner options.

If you have or are involved with an environmental organization and have student members, run student events, or have a student chapter, we’d love to host an IG Takeover with you so that we can directly answer career questions from your followers.

On the flip side, we’d like to have other experts and students who have advice or interesting projects to share with other career seekers to take over our Instagram page. 

Ultimately, it's incredibly rewarding to be able to share my advice with passionate environmental students and career changers, and partnerships like these let us reach more and more people than we can through our current following and email list. If you’d like to learn more about partnership or sponsor opportunities or would like to takeover our profile, send us a message or head over to the website partners page to learn more.


Stay gold, 



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