This post was originally published on 5/9/17, but updated on 8/19/19 for added value.

Have you ever seen a takeover on social media? Usually, this is when a student, employee, or key constituent takes over a company or organization’s social media for the day. It’s done on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – all the major channels.

We bring this up because it could be a great marketing tactic for your association or chamber of commerce. Here are a few reasons to consider hosting a social media takeover:

  • It takes the pressure of posting off you – You know you need to be posting regularly on social media, but with everything else you have going on, sometimes, you just don’t have the time. By hosting a social media takeover, you can give that responsibility to someone else – and usually, it’s someone who WANTS to do it (meaning the posts are creative and unique).
  • It’s a great way to engage your members (particularly those posting) – By getting different people to post on your organization’s social media pages, you’ll get different types of content, perspectives, and social media styles. And “different” is intriguing! Your members will want to follow along, particularly to see what other people like them are doing in the industry. (Plus, allowing your members to post on your social media pages is kind of like an added benefit. It gets their name out there and shows that they’re a trusted member of the industry.)
  • It’s a great way to reach other people in the industry (AKA potential members) – More than likely, your members are friends with other people in the industry (who may not be members of your association or chamber of commerce). That said, if they’re selected to do a social media takeover, chances are, they’ll announce it on their own personal social media pages, putting your organization’s name in front of a whole gang of potential members! 

Now you might be thinking, there’s no WAY I’d hand my organization’s social media over to someone I barely know. And I totally get that! Which is why you HAVE to do your research in advance. When it comes to social media takeovers, there are two primary ways to go about finding “hosts:”

  • Don’t make it an open announcement; reach out to people on your own – If the thought of handing over your organization’s social media pages to someone you don’t know very well stresses you out, tighten the reins a little. Don’t make it an open announcement. In other words, don’t send out an email letting your members know you’re looking for volunteers. Instead, analyze your membership and consider who might be a good fit for the position – someone with a leadership position who’s been heavily involved for years, for example. Then, reach out to that person and have a private conversation about the opportunity. This minimizes the chances of you accidentally putting your accounts in the wrong hands.
  • Make it an open announcement – but screen, screen, screen – If you think there might be good candidates out there you wouldn’t think of on your own, consider making it an open announcement. Let your members know you’re looking for volunteers. But as people apply, screen, screen, screen! Take a look at their own social media pages (how many followers they have, what kind of content they post, what their captions look like, etc.) Then, make your decisions accordingly. (Note: You’ll want to make it a requirement that people’s pages are public. You should never go into something like this blindly!)

Now let’s say you do decide to host a social media takeover. What kind of posts could you expect that member to publish? Well, that’s something you and the member should sit down and discuss beforehand. (They may have some unique ideas of their own!) But to get you thinking and on the right track, here are a few ideas: 

  • Have that member post pro-tips of their own – things that help them survive in the industry. (Hacks, if you will.)
  • Have them share some of their favorite industry-related books and/or apps. (Again, that’s valuable content for your members and followers!)
  • Have them share what they love most about the industry. (For example, “7 things I love about being a Georgia nurse,” or “5 things I love about the Tallahassee community.”) A lot of your followers will probably be able to relate, and better yet, share! 
  • If they’re on a committee, have them post a picture of one of their meetings and maybe a few exciting things to come. 

There are a million things you could do with this, but the point is, you’re giving your members a voice and making engagement hands-on.

Now one more piece of advice: You may want to spread your social media takeovers out – once a month or once a quarter. We say this because it’s best to change your passwords afterwards (just in case), and you don’t want to be doing that too often. But if you DO host a monthly or quarterly takeover, turn it into a fun event. Call it “Tuesday Takeover” and use the hashtag #TuesdayTakeover. This just gets people excited because it’s something new, fun, and different (and for the most part, kind of rare).

Want more tips for engaging your members on social media? Check out our free Small-Staff Guide to Social Media below!