Imagine giving up control of your audience and your reputation to another person outside your organization, sharing your password with that person, and letting them take control of your account?
Could you do it?
Does the thought of it make you cringe?
It's happening all the time on Snapchat right now. It's called a takeover, and it's quickly becoming a standard practice for influencers, brands and regular users alike to bring new experiences into their content.
What's a Takeover?
A takeover is when a brand or individual, allows another user to create content on their account for a period of time, creating their own story for that day (or even for just a few hours). The user sends all their followers to watch a story on that new account.
Without a true way to discover new and interesting Snapchat users, the takeover is quickly proving to be the most effective method for growing Snapchat audiences while showing variety of content and expose new audiences to new people.
What Are Advantages of a Takeover?
- Growing your audience - One of the most obvious advantage of a Snapchat takeover is an increase in followers. When you use influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, the odds are in your favor that your following will grow significantly as a result.
- Building connections - Remember #FollowFridays? They're a fleeting glimpse of the past, but ever-relevant, nonetheless. Networking and introductions are what make the world go-round. A Snapchat takeover is a great way to get an introduction to a new group of individuals.
Why are Takeovers Are So Popular?
It's simple, it's raw and authentic.
When we see one of our own, another human being, snapping on behalf of a brand, something resonates within us. We no longer feel distanced from the brand or that the brand lives in some fantasy brand-land. It now lives, and moves, and has it's being amongst us all. We see the brand for what it could be in our own lives. It even seems that we believe the brand a bit more - kind of like when a friend gives you a review of a restaurant versus reading one of those Yelp! essays from people who have no idea who they are.
Take for example Evan Garber's takeover of the U.S. Open Snapchat Account:
You want to take in his experience at the Open and see the things he thinks is important while attending an Open - an honest and authentic look at a major sporting event, without even being there.
Snapchat empowers users to give a raw, real, honest look at a real person's experiences. It's a stream of 'in the moment' consumption, not over saturated and exposed photo's on Instagram or a tweet lost in a storm of other noisy missives.
It's a channel like TV, and if I'm following EMgarber on his account and he tells me to follow him on the U.S. Open for the day, then I'm going to go that channel and want to participate in that experience with him.
Some Examples of Takeovers
As more and more brands look to launch their Snapchat channels we see them turning towards takeovers to help quickly gain a strong viewership. Last year we worked with Tiger Beat, Cinnabon and Jolly Rancher who employed takeovers in account launches like this with great success.
Victoria's Secret has started using takeovers with their models on their account.
Men's Health has been working with Metz044 to illustrate their stories
Disney Parks have used takeovers extensively, bringing a number of top Snapchat stars like mplatco to their various parks to create content.
Even DJ Khaled got into the fun when the Lonely Island Boys took over his account and made their own video.
It's not only brands though. One Snapchat account I really like is WTFFacts, run by Snapchat star Taylor Nikolai. He's brought other Snappers on to his channel to create their own WTFFacts, sharing their unique POV with his existing audience, while also bringing in a new audience. Nikolai has grown a large, but equally engaged, fanbase through the use of takeovers.
My friend Jason Yarby has been taking this to heart by running what he has been calling a "SnapSwap." It's almost like Freaky Friday - he and one of his friends switch their lives and accounts completely and become the other person and share their lives with that account.
If you're a brand or an individual, don't fear the takeover. It's a wonderful strategy for all involved and for all following along, but make sure you're smart about it.
Brands need to have guidelines and contracts, or to ensure they work with a company who's skilled in managing these types of relationships and campaigns and can help measure the results. Individuals need to ensure they trust the person taking over their accounts before you hand over the password.
And above all else, don't forget to have fun.
This post originally appeared on the Delmondo blog