Instagram Takeovers

Ever since I've moved to Ohio "Instagram takeovers" have been, well, taking over! Everyday it seems that someone I follow is taking over this account or that account. There are even accounts like @livecolumbus that are made with the purpose of having someone different run them everyday. Live Columbus specifically aims to showcase a-day-in-the-life of local business owners or individuals, it's actually very neat! Have I been missing out on this phenomenon or is it just a Columbus thing? After extensive Google research, I found that these actually happen all the time all over the place. I, of course, had to see what all the fuss was about for myself. I was hesitant at first because I don't even have a rhyme or reason to posting to my own Instagram account - how was I going to run an account for someone that was counting on me to actually deliver content? It turns out that there are many articles out there like the one I am about to write. However, I didn't even think to look them up prior to running the accounts that I did, which probably would have been really helpful, because honestly, I was nervous!

First off, I did create my most of my content in advance. I have seen plenty of takeovers where it was clear that the person taking over got halfway through their day and realized 'oh sh*t, I was supposed to be running such-and-such account today.' You don't want to come off this way to the organization that is letting you take over or the audience. In my case, I took over an account for a craft show where I would be vending - I wanted to be taken seriously but easy-going and fun at the same time. Plus, I wanted to do a good job in hopes that it would better my chance to come back in following years! I even purposely selected a day that I knew I could plan this takeover around. I selected a day when I knew I would be creating as well as getting out of the house a little.

Next, I thought about my goals and the goals of the organization in doing this takeover. We are all looking to grow our audience, right? There were three main goals that I wanted to accomplish with my take over:

1) Grow the @craftinoutlaws following
2) Grow my account following
3) Get the current followers of Craftin' Outlaws excited about the show

With this in mind I began creating content. I had a 12 hour window to post to the account and I decided that I wanted to do at least one post per hour. One of these would obviously be some sort of introductory post and another would be a sign-off of sorts. That gave me 10 posts that I needed to come up with to fill the remaining hours. I thought that I would make my introductory post one that was interactive so I could get a feel for the audience, but that didn't turn out so well (which I will discuss a little later). For everything in between I tried my best to show behind the scenes and as many product photos as I could. I also tried to poll the audience about what types of things they'd like me to bring to the show (which also did not turn out as well as I had hoped). To be honest, coming up with everything in the middle was really simple.

In this preparation I typed up all of my post captions complete with hashtags in the notes on my iPhone. You can not create line breaks when you are typing on the Instagram app, so the main reason I did this was to have those line breaks and make everything easier to read because I had a lot to say! It was also nice on the day of because I set an hourly reminder on my phone to make a post and then I just copied and pasted and it took all of 5 seconds to make the post and move on with my day. In addition to the planned posts, I did post a couple extra things here and there as I was going about my day.

All in all, I did a total of 15 posts while running the Craftin' Outlaws account. The immediate (and by immediate I mean at the end of my takeover) results were:

197 Total Likes
2 New Followers for Craftin' Outlaws
8 New Followers for Myself

I did follow-up on my posts for about a week or so after my takeover was done with and noticed that I would get more likes on the photos I posted as the days went by. I also gained more followers on my personal account that I recognized from the takeover. Just know that the results don't end when your takeover ends - it definitely keeps going! 

As a whole I was very satisfied with how the whole thing went and I was glad that I had done the work in advance to make it the best takeover that I could. If I could go back and do it again, the only thing I would change is getting a better feel for my audience. I mentioned earlier, my more interactive posts did not get the response that I had hoped. As I was thinking about this, I remembered that a lot of creatives and show attendees are introverts. Which is totally perfect and fine, but would explain why no one responded when I posed a question - Duhhh! Also with regard to knowing your audience, I would highly recommend signing up for Iconosquare for anyone. For those out there that allow individuals to takeover your account this might be insightful information to pass along to them when giving instructions for the takeover. You can really nerd out on marketing with the statistics Iconosquare provides. There's a report that tells you what Instagram filter gets you the most interaction, I'm not kidding.

Since my takeover with Craftin Outlaws, I also had the pleasure of running HandMAKE My Day Cbus for two days. Now that I feel comfortable with what I'm doing I will be volunteering for all of the takeovers I can! Now, enjoy this "sign off" photo of Jahjeh and I in the craft room! :D