A Complete Guide to Crushing Your First Snapchat Takeover

If one of your brand’s target audiences is young adults, then this blog post is for you.

Snapchat, the social media messaging app that lets users post images and videos that disappear after a brief period of time, is dominated by younger demographics. full 60% of Snapchat’s 300 million total monthly users are under the age of 25, while 26% are between the ages of 25-34.

This means that Snapchat can be a hugely effective tool for getting your brand message out to a younger, highly engaged audience.

While there are plenty of ways to use Snapchat to your advantage, for the purposes of this post we’re going to focus on one tactic: Snapchat takeovers.

What is a Snapchat takeover?

Snapchat takeovers are a way to get your brand message out to a whole new set of eyes.

The way they usually work is that a brand will give an influencer access to its Snapchat account for a set amount of time – usually a day. The influencer then “takes over” the account, sharing their own images and messages with the brand’s followers as a Snapchat Story.

There’s plenty of cross-promotion leading up to the big day, so both the influencer’s followers and the brand’s followers know that the takeover is coming up.

Why are Snapchat takeovers effective?

The reason Snapchat takeovers can work so well for some brands is that – with the right planning – you can effectively double your audience for the duration of the takeover.

That’s because the influencer who’s taking over your Snapchat will be bringing their own followers with them. And, as all good social media marketing moves are, takeovers are mutually beneficial: just as you’re bound to pick up a few followers from your influencer’s fan base, they’re bound to pick up a few new ones from yours.

Snapchat takeovers can be especially effective when you’re having trouble reaching a very specific demographic – for example, young women in the Midwest, or new college freshmen. By working with an influencer who’s highly popular among your target group, you greatly increase your chances of getting them to follow and engage with your brand.

How do I plan a Snapchat takeover?

Planning a great Snapchat takeover requires, first of all, that you have a long enough timeline – from a week to a month or more, depending on how long the takeover will last.

For example, if the takeover will last just a few hours or a day, you can likely talk through a single theme and a few posting ideas fairly quickly. Longer takeovers, of course, will need more time for brainstorming.

Snapchat takeovers aren’t terribly complicated, but if you want to maximize your results, you should go through the following steps.

Decide on your goal

Every social media campaign needs a goal, and Snapchat takeovers are no different.

Are you looking to increase your reach? Increase engagement? Grow your number of Snapchat followers? Sell more of a specific product or service?

These goals are important because they’ll help you both decide on the right influencer, and guide the takeover content.

Identify potential influencers who are right for your brand and goal

If influencer marketing is already a part of your digital marketing plan, then you’ve probably got a few influencers who may be willing to do a Snapchat takeover for you.

For instance, our own Zen Media founder and CEO, Shama Hyder, recently did a Snapchat takeover for Inc. magazine. Because Shama already blogs regularly for Inc., they knew she’d be a great fit for their brand.

Shama snapped text images that offered tidbits of marketing advice, and also made short videos expanding on those topics throughout her takeover.

Source: Shama Hyder Snapchat takeover for Inc.

If you don’t have people like this already partnering with you, it’s time to start identifying them. One great tool for identifying powerful influencers in your industry is BuzzSumo – it allows you to see the most shared content based on keywords that you type in.

You can also read our full blog post on how to find and approach influencers here.

Obviously, the influencers you’re looking for will have a strong Snapchat presence – so if you find someone on BuzzSumo who has an amazing blog and a huge Instagram following, but a low number of Snapchat followers, then you’ll want to work out another way to partner with them.

Now, one drawback of Snapchat is that you can’t do a simple search for a hashtag or keyword and find people who are snapping about it. Because of this, it’s usually easier to find your influencer on a platform like Instagram or Facebook first – if they’ve got a large Snapchat following, they’ll often (but not always) include their Snapchat handle in their bio or “about” section.

Hash out all the details of the takeover with your influencer

Once the Snapchat influencer has expressed interest in doing the takeover, you’ll need to begin the actual planning phase.

While you certainly don’t want to micromanage your influencer, you do want to review your expectations with them before the takeover begins. If you have any particular asks, be specific – is there a product you need them to include in a snap on a certain day? Do they need to stay away from any topics or trends? How often do you expect them to post?

Another key point is to discuss the logistics of how the influencer’s snaps will be posted. It’s possible to have your influencer text images and whatever text they’re including to someone at your brand who then posts them on your account; however, this can be a clumsy and tedious process.

The other, more streamlined option is simply to change your password to something temporary, give it to your influencer, and allow them to access your account firsthand. Once the takeover is finished, change the password again.

If the takeover is running over multiple days, creating a new password daily that you share with your influencer is a good idea to ensure your account’s security.

Handling all these things in advance will make the takeover run much more smoothly.

Brainstorm and/or review content ideas

It’s mainly your influencer’s responsibility to come up with the content they’ll be posting – after all the whole point of a Snapchat takeover is to have someone new sharing their unique perspective with your followers.

However, it’s a good idea to go over any additional guidelines you may have, in addition to the ones mentioned above. You can also take some time to help brainstorm content or creative ideas, if your influencer is open to it.

Promote like crazy

Perhaps the most important part of any pre-Snapchat takeover planning is the promotion. Let your followers know that your influencer will be taking over your Snapchat account, with all the specifics of date, as well as time, if applicable.

You should also always share the influencer’s Snapchat handle, so they benefit from your promotion.

Just like a Facebook Live stream won’t do much for your brand unless people know about it in advance, a Snapchat takeover will only be effective if you get the word out.

You’ve also got to ensure that your influencer is doing promotion of the takeover, too. They need to be sharing the info, including your Snapchat handle, on their own social media channels.

Finally, start snapping!

When the big day arrives, you want everything to run smoothly, so make sure your influencer has your account password in plenty of time to get up and running.

Since Stories disappear after 24 hours, you need to take screenshots and save individual snaps throughout the campaign. You can also download your Story so you can reference it in the future when you’re looking at things that have or haven’t worked. You can also post it on your other social media channels, like YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.

Once the takeover is finished, you’ll want to thank the influencer with a solid shout-out on your Snapchat account, which is now yours once more.

After that, shift into analytics mode. This is when you’ll get to see how effective your Snapchat takeover was. How many new followers do you have? How did your engagement change throughout the takeover? Did your web traffic change?

Snapchat takeovers can be a great way to utilize this younger-skewing social media platform and extend your brand’s reach. Want more? Read 7 Snapchat Marketing Secrets That Won’t Disappear After 10 Seconds.”


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