By Heather Taylor
So, you’ve been asked to take over the Instagram account of a glossy mag or website for a day—brb, dying with excitement! Once you’ve stopped freaking out long enough to accept the offer, it’s time to think strategy. How do you get the publication’s followers hearting your content while still bringing your unique flair to IG? We talked to three of Ed’s former Insta guests on how to excel during your takeover time.
1. Feeling nervous? Plan ahead!
If you aren’t sure what to post, prep some content days in advance. Jennifer Goldstein, executive beauty and health editor at Marie Claire, recommends utilizing the Instagram drafts function to gather a few generic posts (like #shelfies or #deskies) so you’ll have something ready, no matter what.
2. Tell a story.
Hi! It's @amg_onthego again. And this is @richie_hines backstage @dereklam, sketching to pass the time and also because she's great at it, clearly. I like moments like this because it reminds you/me/us that models are real human people. They don't always get treated as such. OK! This advice is a little more esoteric, but I'm feeling introspective as we near the end of #NYFW, my 20-somethingest season of doing this 🙏🏼 Tip 2: Be yourself: I am a hard-working, no-nonsense, reliable Scorpio lady who can also write. I can't be anything else. BUT! Early in my career, I had a job where I tried to reassemble myself to fit the office culture, and it was… not great. For anyone. As much as you are able, choose jobs/brands/assignments that align with your values/vibe and you'll do amazing work. I know, easier said than done in a competitive job market, but when you can take a bet, bet on yourself. #edtakeover
“The best thing anyone can do during an Instagram takeover is to have a distinct point of view,” says Anne-Marie Guarnieri, deputy beauty director at Harper’s BAZAAR. When she took over Ed’s Insta in February, she gave us the VIP tour of what it was like to be backstage at NYFW, and her consistent images really stood out. “Remember the brand you’re posting for,” she says. “All of the images you use for your takeover should feel like they’re part of one cohesive story.”
3. Be yourself!
Okay, so you’re hosting on an IG account that has hundreds of thousands of followers…gulp! No pressure, right? Rather than panic that nobody will like your content, Caroline Vazzana, founder of MakingManhattan.com, advises focusing on your personality. “I think it’s super important to be yourself,” she says. “Even though you’re taking over another brand’s page, that doesn’t mean you should go off brand for who you are.”
Guarnieri—who offered up helpful career tips in her captions—agrees:“Don’t be afraid to bring yourself into it a bit. This is why the brand asked you to do a takeover!”
4. Don’t forget the sign-off.
Winding down for the day? Vazzana advises posting one last image to give your takeover a proper ending. “It will make the whole thing flow much better,” she says. Plus, it’s a great way to pass along your personal IG handle for those who want to hear more about what you do!
Heather Taylor is a former entertainment writer turned brand mascot aficionado (and head writer) for Advertising Week’s Icon Blog. She shares her thoughts on pop culture at HelloGiggles and has been published in Brit + Co, The Drum, and BettyConfidential. Chat with her about anything from SNL to the Pillsbury Doughboy on Twitter @howveryheather. GIFs highly encouraged.