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Celebrity social media takeovers create buzz around brands

The social media takeover is a growing trend in marketing for brands and retailers that produces high consumer participation.

A brand or retailer will partner with a celebrity, personality or even another brand to hijack its social media accounts. That celebrity or company will post multiple entries from the brands? username and its page.

"Cross-promoting channels is a great way to increase your following, so linking up accounts increases that level of promotion and serves as a way for consumers to discover new brands and/or influencers to engage with," Folke Lemaitre, CEO and founder of Engagor, San Francisco. "Takeovers work best on Instagram and Twitter. The visual nature of Instagram provides a completely new lens for the brand, which allows for a fresh landscape that?s exciting for followers to see. 

"The real-time feed of Twitter is also great for takeovers as it encourages rapid, direct engagement."

Such activity creates an event-type buzz and a fleeting form of marketing that excites consumers. The takeovers usually last only a day, causing fans to engage immediately with whatever promotion is happening because it is such a short event. 

Sense of urgency
Even though there may not be a sale or anything that is time sensitive, because the takeover is only temporary, it creates an instant reaction to whatever is being discussed such as sharing posts or even purchasing products. 

Beauty product retailer Sephora did this recently with popular beauty expert Tamanna Roashan who is known for her contouring skills and has 1.3 million followers on Instagram. 

Ms. Roashan is a beauty educator and celebrity makeup artist. She is promoting her beauty classes with this takeover, while Sephora is attempting to drive sales for products. 

The takeover was hosted on Sephora?s Instagram with tips, how-to's and featured products to use when contouring from Ms. Roashan. A time-lapsed video of the contouring process finished off the day. 

Contouring is currently popular topic in the beauty world and Sephora has been doing a lot of promotion on the subject. 

Addressing millennial shoppers? desire for fast, personalized mobile experiences, the beauty retailer launched a new service on its mobile site and application, Pocket Contour Class, to provide tailored, step-by-step instructions for makeup application (see more).

Ms. Ashley's post on Express's Instagram of her meditating in the brand's swimwear 

Fashion brand Express invited Pro-surfer Anastasia Ashley to take over its Instagram account for a day to host a question and answer. The live chat was from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. that day and prior to that she posted pictures of her morning routine featuring Express?s swimwear. 

The takeover was to generate buzz around the upcoming swimwear line and also spring and summer lines. 

Ms. Ashley?s fans tuned into Express for the live chat and the brand received many new followers due to the takeover. 

Not just girls-only 
This trend is not just for beauty brands and clothing retailers, an annual European soccer competition UEFA Champions League is holding a Q&A with retired player Christian Karembeu on the league?s Twitter account. Fans are encouraged to tweet questions tagging the league, including the hashtag #askKarembeu and Mr. Karembeu will answer the day of the takeover. 

Champions League is tapping into Mr. Karembeu large fan base to promote the current games.

The recently released app Meerkat can be another tool used in this marketing strategy. The new live-streaming app became a marketing sensation right after its launch because of its ability to connect brands and consumers in real-time without delay (see more).

"Know your audience," Mr. Lemaitre said. "You don?t want to do a takeover for the sake of it, but really seek to find brands or influencers that will get your audience excited to engage.

"Brands should also think strategically about their marketing goals and identify the type of audience they?re looking to attract when selecting the influencer who will participate in the takeover."