The takeover: When another person/entity/personality runs a branded social media account for a period of time.
At Colorado State, we’ve used the takeover a few times on Twitter and Snapchat and we even have a permanent takeover of an Instagram account.
This is why takeovers rule.
Yes, we strive to make our branded social media accounts resonate with audience across different platforms, but at the end of the day, we are digital storytellers paid to be the voice of Colorado State. When someone else is using their voice on our channels, there is something distinctly refreshing and real about it.
This is Liz. She’s student and RA (residence assistant) and took over CSU’s Snapchat account this spring to show a day-in-the-life of a Ram. We specifically chose a week in March for her to be at the helm of the account to coincide when our incoming class was getting their housing assignments. We worked with our friends in Admissions to get the word out about Liz’s takeover and encouraged our new freshmen to add ColoradoStateU on Snapchat to see inside some of the residence halls and dining centers. Liz delivered. It was really cool.
2. In your shoes experience.
During the 2015 Mountain West Conference in Las Vegas, we turned the CSUCAMtheRam Snapchat account over to our Women’s Basketball team for a day. The team gave an inside look at what it is like to be a student-athlete on game day. They snapped behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the team working out, studying for classes, meeting fans and then of course, plenty of in-game action.
3. Rock star status.
Being dubbed the person behind a takeover is a coveted honor. There are some legit bragging rights belonging to anyone who is asked to take over a branded account. I mean, seriously, how cool is it to be trusted to snap as CSU or CAM the Ram for a day? Time to update those LinkedIn skills. Just sayin’.
4. Content generation that is not on YOU.
CSU’s ultimate takeover is our student-run Instagram account, ProudToBeACSURam. Since January of 2014, a different CSU student has run this account each and every week. Sweet, right? Followers get a glimpse into the varied lives of our students. It’s been an amazing way for students to show what it means to be a CSU Ram. And for each person, it is a bit different making this account a must-follow. Plus, all of the photos are generated by the students. If colleges or units are looking for content to share, promoting ProudToBeACSURam on their social channels is a slam dunk.
Things to keep in mind when plotting a takeover
Vet your takeover people. Make sure that you have a trusted person “behind the wheel” of your social media accounts.
Provide guidelines. It is essential to give the dos and don’ts. For every takeover of a CSU account, my team gives guidelines as to how often to post, what hashtags to use, STRONG reminders to keep the content clean, etc. It takes just one poor decision to ruin it for everyone (including us!).
Tell them you are watching it like a hawk. And then do it.
Scheduling is key. Is there an upcoming major event happening in your college or department that could set the stage for a takeover (Just like what we did with Liz and Women’s Basketball on Snapchat)? Think of a takeover as another storytelling tool from a first-person perspective.
We do this all the time with ProudToBeACSURam. We’ll work with colleges and units to schedule students who are involved with major events to be at the helm of our student-run Instagram account. Lindsay LaMothe, an apparel merchandising student, ran ProudToBe the week leading up to the annual Spring Fashion Show. It was incredible to see all of the work that goes into producing that show and made for a really compelling week of photos on Instagram.
Want to takeover a CSU account?
Know a student who would be great at the helm of ProudToBeACSURam for a week? Or an idea for a takeover? Shoot me an email at Kimberly.Stern@colostate.edu and let’s talk about it. Because, takeovers rule.