Lauren Marinigh

What I Learned From Twitter Takeovers

By Lauren | November 16, 2015 | 0 Comment

Social media takeovers are becoming a more and more common thing in the online world and I personally love them. I’ve watched celebrities take over Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope accounts for brands and I think it’s a great way to increase engagement and give fans an inside look that they probably have never seen or experienced before. Recently at Futurpreneur Canada we celebrated Small Business Week with the Business Development Bank of Canada.  This week was created to celebrate small businesses and entrepreneurs in Canada, and I thought, what better way to celebrate that then by letting our entrepreneurs takeover our Twitter accounts across Canada to showcase what a day-in-their-life looks like from their perspective.

Over the course of the week, I lined up 12 entrepreneurs from different provinces across Canada to takeover our regional Twitter accounts. From a bakery in Manitoba, to a mobile clothing store in New Brunswick, we celebrated entrepreneurs and businesses across the country. During this week long initiative I learned a lot, especially since it was the first Twitter takeover that I was organizing. Here are some of my key lessons that hopefully will help you when you run your first takeover.

Guidelines are key (and helpful)

When you hand over your Twitter account to someone outside of your organization, it’s important to set guidelines and get them to sign them to cover your butt. Lay out exactly what you expect from them, like how often you want them to post, any hashtags that they should include, and simple things like if someone tweets your business account with a question not for your influencer, who’s going to take care of it. Even if you think certain things are completely obvious (like making sure to use appropriate language), never assume what’s obvious to you is obvious to someone else. Having it in writing will hold all parties accountable. The more information they have the better, but remember that for a takeover to be effective and personal, don’t be so strict that the influencer who is taking over your account feels like they can’t be themselves

Get it in writing

You’re handing over your social media account to someone else, they’ll have login access and the ability to really post whatever they want. You know what they say, even if you delete posts, they don’t completely disappear. Make sure that there is a legal contract that the influencer signs that outlines what information should be kept confidential (like your login information), and that holds the influencer liable for things that could go wrong. The last thing you want is a PR crisis on your hands.

Monitor, monitor, monitor

Just because someone else is taking over your account, doesn’t mean that you should neglect it and look at it as a day off. Make sure you are constantly monitoring so you can flag anything that may not be happening the way you want, or that you can fix anything that may go wrong. If you don’t monitor the account, you can’t guarantee the takeover will go the way you had anticipated. For example, for this campaign, some entrepreneurs that were taking over our account weren’t using the hashtag—thankfully I was watching this and was able to notify them right away to continue posting with the hashtag. Monitoring is key, and if anything, you should be monitoring even more than usual during your takeover!

Have examples

Since this was the first time my organization ever did something like this, it was hard to show the influencers exactly what we were looking for. So instead, I found samples of other brands that had done something similar so I could show them. If you’ve done something like this in the past, show them a really successful example of a takeover that went well to give them inspiration. For example, I made this Storify of Small Business Week after the week was complete, so next year, if we decide to do this again, I have this as an example and inspiration.

Don’t overdo it

When running a social media takeover, you want to gain followers and increase engagement with them, the last thing you want to do is lose followers. Make sure that you don’t overwhelm your audience with: a) too many takeovers, or b) too many unrelated tweets that are overwhelming their newsfeed. There are a few ways to combat this—first off, make sure the person taking over your account is relevant and would appeal to your audience, second off, make sure they are tweeting useful and interesting things (if you have great guidelines and examples, this should be easy).

Social media takeovers are becoming more and more popular, and it can be a great way to do something out-of-the-box and give your followers a little something different for a day. Just make sure you have a plan and there is an objective and point behind running a campaign like this—running a campaign for the sake of running a campaign is never a good marketing plan.


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