Interested in telling better stories about your school? Then you must involve others!
Staff and students have amazing storytelling capabilities, and those stories belong on your district-wide social media accounts. Getting them involved through Instagram Story Takeovers could be the perfect solution. Here’s exactly how to do it!
What is an Instagram Story Takeover for a School?
An Instagram Story Takeover is when a student or staff member takes over the school’s Instagram Stories. It could be just for an event, an entire day, a week, or a quarter/semester.
The individual will post photos and videos onto the school’s Instagram account – as Instagram Stories and/or Reels – from their personal point of view, not from the school’s perspective. This is a “direct reporter” type of role.
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Benefits of Instagram Takeovers
An Instagram Stories Takeover is a fun way to expand and connect with your Instagram Community! Followers and non-followers will tune in based on the promotion of the takeover as well as their direct relationship with the student or staff member involved.
Instagram Stories and/or Reels are the best outlet for takeovers because they are fast-paced, eye-catching, and fun. Plus, these formats allow for easy, real-time posting!
When to Run Instagram Takeovers
You can run these anytime! You could start with a special event like Homecoming week, high school graduation, or the opening night of your school musical.
You could also capture a “Day in the Life” at any point, where the student or staff member shares moments throughout a typical day. This shares a behind-the-scenes look at what life is like at your school. Once you’ve tested the waters with short-term takeovers, you can get creative – the sky is the limit!
Selecting People for Instagram Takeovers
Think beyond the student council president or the captain of the basketball team. They could be great candidates, of course, but you also want to pick students who can offer insight into different aspects of your school. Any student you select should be trustworthy and dependable. They should feel comfortable with social media and have experience using Instagram Stories and/or Reels.
If you have a media, marketing, or journalism class – start there! This type of work would fit perfectly into the curriculum. Your school newspaper or yearbook students might also love the chance to be a “reporter” on Instagram.
When it comes to selecting staff members, look for people who embrace Instagram already. They are comfortable with Stories and/or Reels and are excited about offering a fresh perspective on the school’s account. You will still want to give them direction, but they could help showcase everyday life in middle or high school, share common updates from a specific organization, or help with weekly videos of other staff members sharing why they love working for your school.
Checklist for Instagram Takeovers
Step 1: Announce the takeover on Instagram and your other social media channels.
Step 2: Provide access to the Instagram account on the contributor’s personal device or school-issued device, such as a phone or tablet. Ensure that your contributor can post to social media while using the school’s WiFi connection. Some schools have social media platforms blocked.
Step 3: Designate when the contributor should start and end their takeover. Provide a list of accounts to tag and hashtags to use.
Step 4: Decide whether Stories will be saved as highlights. If they are, decide whether you will save them to highlights or if the contributor will. Decide whether the contributor will respond to Instagram messages that come in throughout the day, or if you will monitor these.
Step 5: At the end of the takeover, change the account password or delete the login from the device. Treat your volunteers who take over the account to some SWAG!
Story & Reel Ideas for Instagram Takeovers
Idea 1: Introduce yourself! Let people know that you are the Instagram Takeover contributor, share a few fun facts about yourself, and preview what you’ll be covering. This could be a photo of yourself with written text or a short video introduction.
Idea 2: Share videos using trending audio on Reels.
Idea 3: Ask a question, share a poll, or use one of the other interactive features within Stories.
Idea 4: Post throughout the day or event.
Idea 5: Finish your takeover with a “thank you for tuning in” message.
Idea 6: Seniors sharing their plans for after high school; you could also post senior photos with their plans written in text.
Idea 7: Staff sharing why they love working for the school or district
Idea 8: Interview student-athletes, musical cast members, etc.
Idea 9: A day in the life of a first-grader, fifth-grader, middle schooler, or high schooler. This could be pre-collected content that is organized and then posted on a particular day by your takeover contributor!
Idea 10: Talk about an upcoming event with teasers and interviews.
Idea 11: Feature your school mascot
Idea 12: Spotlight what makes your school special
Idea 13: Have your contributor share a “Joke of the Week”
Idea 14: Post short clips from classrooms, athletic events, etc.
I hope this guide has inspired you to try out some Instagram Takeovers before the end of the school year! Take some time, this week, to talk to potential students or staff members. You might be surprised at the enthusiasm and engagement this will generate.
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