How to run a Successful Story Takeover

Social Media

Instagram and Facebook stories increase in popularity by the day. According to Instagram, 500 million account users utilize or engage with Instagram stories each day. In fact, ⅓ of the most viewed Stories on Instagram come from businesses. Story is a tool that can prove to be effective for businesses and organizations. They aid in providing the authenticity and real-time satisfaction that users crave. Authenticity builds trust and trust builds brand champions.

But this article isn’t about all the awesomeness of social media, it’s about story takeovers. 

So what is a story takeover?


A story takeover is when someone else serves as a guest on another brand, business, individual, or organization’s profile. It’s important the two have a common denominator and that the guest will appeal to the host’s followers. For example, an influencer that focuses her page on makeup might be a guest for Sephora. A business that is sponsoring an event might be a guest on the host’s story. For Instagram, this means, you’ll be sharing your Instagram login. On Facebook, you can add the person as a ‘moderator’ under page roles.

For this article, we’re going refer to the ‘takeover host’ as the page where the takeover will be published to the story. We’re also going to refer to a ‘takeover guest.’ For our purposes today, the takeover guest is the individual, business or organization that will be providing the story content for the takeover.

Only perform takeovers with individuals you trust. You might consider a signed agreement. The agreement might indicate that the guest will follow your parameters and not steal or undermine your profile (especially with Instagram).

Why would you host an Instagram or Facebook story takeover?

Takeovers can be a great way to gain brand awareness, followers and exposure to otherwise unreached social media users. The users viewing the partner’s social media stories likely have an interest or even a relationship with the brand they are following. This increases the follower's likelihood to trust the information you’re sharing on a takeover because of the trust that has been built with the takeover host.

In our work with brands, we generally utilize story takeovers in the scenarios of mico-influencers, paid macro-influencers, and business/ organization partnerships.

We recommend that the host has guidelines around how the stories should and should not be used/ presented. This will aid in keeping the integrity and trust that has already been built.

How do you plan and prepare for an Instagram or Facebook story takeover?

Takeover Guest

  • Be sure to introduce yourself! Give some background on who you are and tag your profile. It’s important to have an attractive and clear intro.
  • Preplan your content. You don’t have to plan exactly everything you’re going to say but having a high-level outline will allow your takeover to be efficient and could assist with your confidence as well!
  • Preplan imagery or accents. If you’ll be sharing curated content, be sure to design it ahead of time. Not every story takeover needs curated content, this will simply depend on your brand. Curated items might also be provided by your takeover host.
  • Provide a unique experience. There are millions of stories created each day. You want to engage viewers by using fun tools, provide value to followers, and invite them into the story.
  • Plan the outro. Your host might provide you with a ‘signing out’ graphic. If not, consider doing a closing video or image that makes it clear you’re finished with the takeover. This allows viewers to close the story loop. It might say something such as “Thanks for tuning in! You can follow me @____.”


Takeover Host

  • Create a newsfeed post to explain the takeover. This should be in an on-brand, fun way but users shouldn’t be surprised when someone else is managing your story for a day or week.
  • Provide an outline of items you’d like featured. If you have a product that you’re pushing, chances are you’ll want that to be featured. Communicate clear objectives regarding the symbiotic relationship with your guest.
  • Provide some do’s or dont’s. Your takeover guest should have clear parameters but also be allowed to share their personality and brand style. You might distinguish items ranging from the company alcohol policies or use of the business or organization name.
  • Prepare any imagery or series of content that you’d like to be featured. Having pre-designed imagery can aid that guest in a quality experience, just be sure it doesn’t interfere with the authenticity of the guest’s brand. Pro tip: decide whether you want the guest’s content to be on-brand for their brand colors or for yours. There are advantages to both.
  • Add customization. Consider any GIFs, color palettes or custom fonts you’d like to use. Note: Facebook’s story capabilities are not yet caught up with Instagram but Instagram allows a lot of customizability.

For more tips and tools, follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

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