How to do an Instagram Takeover

Right. From my vast (once, for @visitbath just before Christmas) experience of Instagram takeovers I am going to write a post on how to do an Instagram takeover. Before I forget what I did!

But first things first. What is an Instagram Takeover? The quick answer is that it’s being invited to take over someone else’s feed for a short period of time. Not sure why there aren’t Facebook takeovers or Twitter takeovers too, but there you go. You can think of it like a guest editorship when someone steps in to edit a special magazine issue.

Anyhow, here are a few things I discovered as I was going along.

DO post as many photos as you can

There reason for this is that – obviously – you want to get as much exposure (read, new followers) as you can. Having your pictures pop up frequently is the best way to do that.

DO take lots of photos in advance.

The weekend I did a takeover for @visitbath the weather was pretty grim so I was glad I had enough photos ready to see me through. Note: it’s a bit odd to post photos of glorious summer weather on a grey winter’s day without explanation. So just mention what you are doing when you post anything too incongruous.

DO remember to include your own account name in each post

Not everyone will see your first post, so if your aim is to get people to visit your feed (which it probably is), remember to add your feed name and a short explanation of what you are doing to each post.

DO maintain some style consistency

In a way, you can treat an Instagram takeover like an exhibtion in a small gallery. How about choosing a set of photos (I posted 14) with a theme, or at least some sort of consistent style? Obviously, this is harder if you post photos actually taken during the takeover. But not impossible.

DON’T post photos you know won’t appeal to instagrammers

One of the slightly irritating aspects to Instagram is that there’s a particular type of photo that appeals to users, and otherwise excellent photos may get ignored. (For example, I have found that portraits and low-key photos are less popular than landscapes or high-key photos).

Some talented people manage to break the “rules” and still build a following on Instagram. But in the limited time of a takeover, you’d be well advised to play the game and try to post the kinds of photographs you know will appeal. You can always use the other photos elsewhere.

DON’T check the feed every five minutes for the entire weekend to see how your posts are doing.

I did… and got RSI in my thumb.

That’s it. Now you know how to do an Instagram takeover. Any more tips? I’m by no means an expert on this so it would be great to hear from other Instagrammers – especially anyone who’s done a takeover too.