How To Guide: The Instagram Takeover

As a performing artist, you are sometimes asked to “takeover” another Instagram account by posting stories, sometimes posts too, to help promote the show you’re in. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement, in that you get to charm a new audience and, hopefully gain more followers and the company gets to promote their show while also, ideally, bringing over some of your followers.

I have seen takeovers go badly, and I have worked on some epic ones. The key to a great takeover is PLANNING! The most important thing you do as a performing artist is PERFORM, so you do NOT want your Instagram work to distract from your important work.

How do you plan a takeover?
⦾ if you are doing one for the first time, plan it for the middle of a run of shows (ie. you have 9 shows, do it show #3)
write down the hours of your takeover (ie. 9am to show end? too much? 3pm to show end?). Tell the account you are taking over these hours so that they can promote the start of your takeover (and yes, ask if they PLAN to promote the takeover, that’s important)
Brainstorm what you want to share. Always think COLLABORATIVELY. People might not know you, but if you catch their interest about something else, that might be key to piquing their interest about your art too. ie. if you drink coffee every morning, tag where and explain why (it’s now a recommendation for where to go!)
Get help. Whether that be a colleague, a friend, or even someone in the Communications Department of the company you work with. If you give notice, likely you will find the help you need. There are interns working with most companies that are keen to meet artists, and would be available to help (again with NOTICE).

Some things to consider, that aren’t always considered:
⦾ Did you know that not all of the stuff you do on your takeover has to happen LIVE on the takeover date? That means you can take footage leading up to your takeover and USE IT. This is key because you want each post to COUNT. This is also key because no one has the energy to perform a show and do a great takeover at the same time (ie. aren’t you supposed to be resting up?).
⦾ Again, I can’t stress ENOUGH how much you need to think COLLABORATIVELY. Tag your colleagues, involve your colleagues, tag businesses, tag tag tag where appropriate!!
⦾ Find out whether you can do posts (some only do story-takeovers). Find out whether you can do an IGTV film (that’s up to 10min of possible real estate!). Find out if you can do an IGLive. Find out the boundaries of your takeover and take FULL ADVANTAGE!

Instagram Takeover Don’ts:
Do not take a 1 minute video of yourself talking and cut it up in 15 second increments for stories (yawn). Unless it’s absolutely epic, this is generally a bad idea. Be concise.
Do not use bad photos or videos that make people motion sick. Luckily with modern technology our phones are very powerful tools for photography and video these days.
Do not use a variety of styles, filters, and fonts throughout. You want your takeover to be recognizably YOURS throughout.

Instagram Takeover Dos:
Always use a location tag, always use one or two (not more) well-used hashtags in each story (ie. #coffee #operasinger #singerlife – you can search hashtags and see how used they are, did you know that? Please do that.)
Always find ways to tag (I know, I repeat myself, it’s important)
Film your content ahead of time (have it on your phone, with your status text, hashtags, tags, all written down so that you just have to follow the steps to post (ideally, have someone else do it).
Do try to show things from a perspective audiences won’t ever see from their seats (interesting things backstage, what are people doing when they’re not on stage? what happens when YOU’RE about to go on stage?)
Make each post DIFFERENT but similar in style (ie. use the same font(s) throughout – honestly I’d stick to ONE font for a takeover, and make sure you’re tagging yourself in each post throughout in the same style, repetition is key (so people KNOW there is someone taking over the account and are interested enough to GO to your account), but you still have to film things differently (to change it up).
Promote your takeover, and make sure it’s being promoted on the account you are taking over. Again, this falls into the planning category. A week or half a week before you takeover the account, post a story about your takeover, then the night before post a post reminding people (in the same style).

I will post another post about Instagram Takeover Footage/Post Ideas early next week. Until then, this is my #FreebieFriday for this week! Hope it’s somewhat helpful as we restart the performing arts again.