Social Media Takeover Guide

Takeovers of your social media accounts are an invaluable way to showcase new and varied perspectives of the BU experience. They provide a distinct point of view, personalize the program/experience you’re highlighting, and help facilitate peer-to-peer conversations on topics of strategic importance. However, while it might seem like you’re off the hook by having someone else do the posting, facilitating a takeover is still plenty of work. Below are our tips for doing so successfully.

How do I make sure people tune in?

Use other communication channels to notify users that you’re hosting an account takeover. You can connect with members of your school/college through newsletters, event calendars, and social media ahead of time once you’ve scheduled a date for the takeover. In addition, once it’s ongoing, you can share a link to your social media account and encourage people to tune in throughout the day. If you’re showing off experiences involving other departments at BU (i.e., Study Abroad, Housing, etc.), you can let them know in advance so they can also share. Lastly, tap into your host’s network to get the word out. Ask them to share on their personal channels that they’ll be hosting a takeover and encourage their followers to follow your account to watch along live.


Ahead of Time:

  • Identify a takeover host and ensure they’re comfortable using your chosen platform.
  • Be specific in your communications about what they will show off, i.e., an internship, a study abroad location, or simply “a day in the life.”
  • Create a set of guidelines for the host to know what’s acceptable and what’s not when hosting the takeover. This can (and should) include information about what types of questions they’re free to reply to and which should be sent your way. Send these guidelines to the host in advance and get confirmation that they’ve read and understand all of them. If it’s helpful, you can ask them to sign an agreement indicating that they know the rules. Here is an example of our Instagram Takeover Guidelines for inspiration.
  • Use your owned channels to promote the takeover and encourage your host to do the same! Reach out to affiliated departments on campus and ask if they’ll promote your upcoming takeover.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication as an added layer of security. With this feature turned on, takeover candidates must enter a unique code to access the account.
  • Ask the host to let you know once the takeover is complete.


  • Follow along throughout the day, ensuring the posts are appropriate and relevant.
  • Be available to answer any questions the host receives that they feel unqualified to answer. Alternatively, you can ask them to take screenshots of questions and log in to answer them following the takeover.


  • Immediately change the password.
  • Save the takeover as a video or save it as a highlight on Instagram. If you’re comfortable, send it back to the host. They often like to keep the files as a memento of the experience.
  • If agreed to in advance, send the host any stats available on their takeovers, such as views or screenshots.
  • Post the video file on your other social media platforms (YouTube and Twitter) to improve the discoverability and reach of the content.