The social media content scramble is a real struggle. Where do you go for carefully curated content? What is an impactful way to shift your audience demographic or increase your reach? A social media takeover may be the solution you need!

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What Is an Employee Social Media Takeover?

A social media takeover is a form of content creation and brand marketing when an individual employee takes control of posting content on a company’s social media account from their point of view. As the name suggests, the employee “takes over” the account for an allotted period of time. This is typically a day but it can vary. This gives the brand’s audience a different perspective and a feeling of exclusivity as they gain a behind-the-scenes view of the company’s inner workings.

What Are the Benefits of an Employee Social Media Takeover?

So… what’s the point? To put it simply, it’s different so it’s interesting. This keeps your page relevant and draws new followers. A social media takeover can also:

  • Increase reach and brand awareness. Without getting detailed about social media algorithms, let’s just put it like this: different styled content = different audiences reached. As the content changes, so does the demographic.
  • Expand entertaining content. If you’re at a loss for content or find yourself in a followers count “lull,” this can be an excellent way to give your page that needed boost.
  • Improve follower count and interaction. The result of that extended reach and different demographic is a higher view count, greater user interaction and an increase in followers.
  • Helps with passive hiring. Giving potential future candidates a behind-the-scenes look at the company and its culture shows them why your company is a great place to work. This is a recruitment technique known as social media talent attraction.
  • Adds a layer of humor and relatability. The change of pace can be refreshing for your social media account. This adds a sense of community and inclusion to your page.

How To Prepare for an Employee Social Media Takeover

Preparation is the key to running a successful takeover campaign. To prepare, ask yourself: Who are you trying to reach? This is the most important question to a successful takeover campaign and will be the main factor to consider while planning.

Step 1: Collect the Data

Make sure your publicity campaign’s impact is measurable. In other words, have an accurate understanding of the impact your social media has before, during and after the takeover is complete. See the “Set a Measurable Goal” and “Do the Homework” sections below for more.

Step 2: Decide the “Personality”

If your company is on social media, your company already has a social media personality, intentional or not. The personality of the takeover needs to be in line with your company personality, but also needs a distinct flavor.

Step 3: Determine Who Will Be Running the Show

Maybe you already have someone in mind or maybe you plan to open an audition to give anyone the chance to head up the takeover. Remember to keep your target audience in mind when making this selection.

Step 4: Schedule the Posts

Create a content calendar. It’s a good idea to research what posting times might be best to reach your target audience when creating this calendar.

Step 5: Create and Approve Content

Content should be created in advance, preferably days before the scheduled takeover. This gives plenty of time and opportunity to have the content reviewed by several eyes prior to going public.

Tips for Running an Effective Employee Social Media Takeover

While running any type of social media campaign, it’s important to keep the platform in mind. This is not the place to promote yourself blatantly. Purchase paid advertising if you want to advertise directly. This is also not the place to be overly professional (unless professionalism is true to your company’s personality). With this in mind:

Tip 1: Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

If you’re having genuine fun, your audience will be able to tell and respond accordingly. Takeover campaigns have the potential to reach your target audiences in a unique way that is intriguing, entertaining, and relatable.

Tip 2: Get Creative

Takeovers are successful because they’re different. Don’t shy away from individuality. Let your brand personality shine through. Maybe you want the takeover to be headed by an influencer, but that is not the only successful way to run your takeover. For instance, this museum’s social media is run by their head of security and we’re still laughing! The employee you choose to run your takeover doesn’t have to be a celebrity to gain the attention of your target audience. They just need to be relatable, magnetic, and interesting to your ideal client… or entertaining enough to attract everyone!

Tip 3: Set a Measurable Goal

Data is king. In order to get an accurate grasp on the success (or failure) of your campaign, collect data on your current social media standing in advance. Some key points to track would be:

  • Page traffic
  • Engagement — the collection of data the platform typically calculates automatically including:
    • Reactions or “likes”
    • Shared posts
    • Comments
    • Time spent on posts
  • New followers
  • Demographic changes

Tip 4: Do the Homework

If you don’t know where to find the above data, figure that out before planning your takeover. The location and accessibility of this data varies depending on the platform. Research where this data is stored on the social media site you’re using to understand the impact of your takeover. Moreover, do your homework surrounding your ideal consumer. What are they posting on? Liking? What pages do they follow? This will give you inspiration on the type of content you want to curate to reach the right people.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Employee Takeover (Social Media)

Some examples are a number of new followers, a percentage of gained engagement or a certain demographic shift in your reached audience. Whatever your goal, make sure it is measurable. The more specific you can make your goal, the better. It needs to include tangible numbers and data. For example, 10,000 new followers, 15% engagement gain, or a 10% increase in male followers between the ages of 18-25. It also needs to include a timeframe such as, “by the end of the takeover” or “10 days from the end of the campaign.”
Set parameters surrounding the personality of your brand. Ensure the one heading up the content creation stays in line with your company’s mission, integrity, and character. For instance, if you’re running a takeover for a brewery, your parameters for humor and professionalism will be wildly different than if you are running the campaign for a children’s hospital. Additionally, stay on track. Keep the main thing the main thing. It can be easy to get off track when running something that diverges from the norm.
Kayla Farber
Kayla Farber

Kayla is the Chief Innovation Officer at Hero Culture, where the passion is to create company cultures of retention using the power of personality.

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