Five tips on how to run a Twitter takeover for your charity

Shona Johnson
Relationship Manager
10 Jun 2019

Last week, our very own social media manager Tereza Litsa was invited to take over the @NonProfitOrgs Twitter account for the day to talk about #ReclaimSocial, a campaign of ours that has also evolved into a podcast series – emphasising the importance in spreading positivity on social media.

The display name twitter account was changed to ‘#ReclaimSocial/@nonprofitorgs’ that morning to reflect the takeover and lots of people and organisations got involved to share their own stories on how we can ‘#ReclaimSocial’. In the spirit of spreading positivity, let us share with you our own tips on running a successful Twitter takeover for your charity!

What is a Twitter takeover?

In short, a Twitter takeover is when you put your organisation’s Twitter account in the hands of an individual – be it a volunteer, employee or celebrity for a specified amount of time (usually a day).

There are a number of ways that a takeover can spice up your online presence, from allowing you to reach new audiences to charging your posts with a higher engagement rate.

However, a great takeover needs to be built on solid foundations. Here are some ways you can ensure yours goes off without a hitch:

1. Make sure you set goals

The most important thing is to be clear in what you want to achieve. Do you want to broaden your follower base, start a conversation around a specific issue, or prompt action? Be clear and be specific as this goal will set the tone of the entire campaign, it will also help you choose the right person for your takeover.

A perfect example of this is from Scope, where they handed the keys to their account for the day to Sam. Sam shared his experience with being blind; aiming to raise awareness and spread understanding of the barriers people with visual impairments face daily.

2. Choose the right person for your takeover

If you want to reach out to a younger audience, try handing the reins to a young employee. If you’re wanting to recruit new volunteers, considering handing your social media over to one of your current volunteers to showcase the benefits of working with your organisation. The possibilities are endless, just make sure you are staying relevant and realistic with your selection.

The NHS let a new person take over their account every week to share their stories using the #HelloMyNameIs hashtag. Participants are mostly people working within the NHS, sharing their stories and experiences to highlight just how much work goes into providing healthcare to people all over the UK.

They also have patients who share their stories.

3. Be clear on how much access you want to give

It’s natural to want to limit how much access you give an individual outside of your organisation. If your chosen ambassador will be posting natively to your Twitter account, change the password for that day.

Alternatively, you could use a platform like Lightful to give access to your social media accounts. This is especially useful if you are running a cross-platform takeover – simply add your chosen influencer to your Lightful account as a publisher, and you won’t have to worry about exchanging or resetting passwords!

4. Plan your day ahead of time

Having a live element to your takeover can be really great, but we’d strongly advise being as prepared as possible beforehand. Give the person who will be taking over a briefing. This can include timings, how many tweets or posts you’re expecting them to create, specific hashtags etc.

Tereza suggests gathering some relevant links that you want to share before the day, along with any images, videos or keynote messages.

Think about whether or not you will need a call-to-action if you’re using a link to a fundraising page or directing users to your website – consider using a link-tracker. This way you’ll be able to track the success of your posts and the number of people who visited the sites that you’ve shared. We automatically shorten links through Lightful in case you want to analyse the success of your takeover.

It’s important to think of your takeover posts as a narrative with each one contributing to a wider topic with a goal in mind – create a rough posting timeline in the days leading up to it.

Don’t forget to let people know when you’re signing off too.

5. Summarise the takeover

A great way to keep all of your followers in the loop is to create a summary of the day. This can be done as a Twitter ‘moment’ so anyone who might have missed your live posts can still feel involved.

Tereza’s #ReclaimSocial moment can be seen here.

This is also a good opportunity to thank everyone that engaged with the takeover by tagging them when you share the moment. It lets people know how much you appreciated their support!

Social media takeovers are a fantastic way to campaign online and are growing more and more popular within the third sector specifically.

If you’re feeling inspired, why not tag us in one of your takeover posts @lightful for a retweet!

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