What is a social media takeover, how do they work, and why would an artist get involved?

Musicians on social media always need new ways to find followers and expand their fanbase. One creative way to build connections with fans and peers in the music business is to take part in a social media takeover.

What is a social media takeover?

A social media takeover is when someone, in this case a music artist, takes control of a brand’s social media account for a set period. It’s sort of like being on work experience in social networking.

Social takeovers usually take place for a working day, or afternoon. Once you start, you’ll be in control of everything that gets posted. We’re talking Instagram stories and posts, live-tweeting an event, or posting TikToks. Usually the takeover will be of one platform account only.

Why are social media takeovers good for artists?

Takeovers are a chance to get out of your own social media bubble and get creative. You can show your personality to a whole new audience and promote your music in fun new ways. Above all, you’ll gather new followers for your own social media who will hopefully turn into big fans of your music. You might learn some new tricks, too.

What’s in it for the brand? You’ll be bringing your own existing followers to their account for a day, as fans check in to see how you’re getting on and what you have to say. So, indirectly, you’re promoting their brand as well.

Which accounts are best for a social media takeover?

Interested? Time to start thinking about who would be good to approach to offer yourself for a takeover. Accounts that could work well for musicians include:

  • Music festivals
  • Record labels
  • Music publications and blogs
  • Venues
  • Recording studios
  • Music business professionals and organisations
  • Radio stations
  • Other artists

Approach accounts with a similar follower reach as your own, rather than hugely popular accounts who might be out of your reach for now.

Contact them with a vague plan of what you’d be posting on the day – and show what’s in it for them. Make sure your own social media is performing well, so they know you’re going to be a fun and worthwhile addition for the day.

What to share

routenote Q&A

On the day, post frequently throughout with a mixture of planned posts and spontaneous content, such as Instagram stories of whatever you’re up to at that moment. Make sure to introduce yourself!

Try to have lots going on so you’ve got something to build content around. You might want to choose the day of a show, release day, or just set aside time to build a track from start to finish.

Although, if you’re planning on sitting in front of a DAW all day, it’s a good idea to mix it up a bit. Make sure your content isn’t in one static place – head out and get a coffee at least to give the viewer a change of scene, or pepper your content with previously shot videos and images.

Treat the account as your own for a day – but perhaps with more of a professional sheen, depending on which brand you’re working with. (That probably means toning down the swearing.) You want to strike a balancing act between matching the tone of their existing posts and bringing something fresh and unique to the page.

Check out other takeovers to get an idea of what to post. Scroll back through their posts or check out story highlights to find examples of what other artists got up to playing social media officer for the day.

Like any sort of social media content, engagement with the audience is vital – it’s not called social media for nothing. Talk to people, answer comments, start a Q&A on stories, post polls, ask opinions.

Being part of a social media takeover is a fantastic opportunity to make connections and promote your work to a new audience. Have some fun with it. Treat the account as your own, apply your social networking skills, and above all let your music shine. It’s your takeover, after all.

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We’ve been supporting unsigned artists and indie record labels since 2007. Head here to see what we could do for your music.