Skip To Main Content
Tips for Your School’s Successful Social Media Takeover
Lanitta Collier

If you follow various schools online, you may have noticed more students giving a first-person POV of their school through the eyes of user-generated content. As the name suggests, a social media takeover is essentially when members of your school’s community have the opportunity to “take over” your account to put the life of your school or district at center stage. It’s a form of influencer marketing that allows students or faculty to temporarily post on their school’s social media pages by expressing themselves with their own content to an audience of their peers and community. 

When prospective families are getting the first impression of your school through the eyes of your community on social media, they’re more than likely to get a holistic view of the culture. Current and prospective families have an expectation for their schools and districts to be able to educate and relay information, however, balancing the focus of your school in a fun way gives a well-rounded perspective on all sides. 

Give your community the chance to honor their experience and showcase the content that matters to them. Your student body’s generation is already leading the way, redefining the purpose and use of social media. What better space for your digital natives to utilize their innate skill sets than through your school’s social media channels? 

Should our school allow social media takeovers?

The benefits of a social media takeover offer the opportunity for your community to connect with your school in a relatable way. They can provide an authentic aesthetic that’s far more candid than your school or district’s faculty and staff. And, with the right strategy, social media takeovers for schools can grow inquiries and help spread the word about your school.

How do you plan a social media takeover campaign?

  1. Set a timeframe
  2. Choose who’s going to takeover
  3. Decide the best platform(s) to post content on
  4. Create your social media takeover guidelines
  5. Arrange the necessary permissions
  6. Repurpose content

Set a timeframe

First things first, you have to schedule a date and time for your takeover. Consider timing the takeover with a school event like game days, open houses, shadow days, graduations, etc. This is the perfect opportunity to highlight the life of your school and, more importantly, what makes it stand out.

Click me

Choose who’s going to takeover

Think of the person who could best create a series of posts, like an extension of a single student feature post. Ask your faculty and staff to help identify a trustworthy student (even better if they have an interest in photography, marketing, or digital media). And if you’d like to involve your faculty, think about who might represent your school or district’s culture through athletics, admissions, academics, and so on.

Here are some ideas:


  • Pick a club president or member from one of your school’s active clubs. It can range from yearbook, art, theatre, etc. For example, you can have a student photographer in the yearbook club document their day by taking photos of different events happening on campus. Or, you can ask a student actor to document a rehearsal for an upcoming performance.
  • MVPs of your school’s sports teams are an easy go-to for showcasing your athletic programs and creating an inside look into practices, training, and games from your athletes’ perspectives. You can also contact the student managers to assist with filming content. 
  • Student ambassadors can document how you’ve been prepping for an open house and highlight the experiences that prospective families had during shadow days.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that representation matters as well. Feature students with diverse backgrounds and interests to help prospective students envision themselves at your school.


  • Get your admissions team involved! Ask someone to offer a tour as they would during an open house, or have them answer FAQs about the admissions process.
  • No one else knows your athletic programs like your school’s coaches. Coaches can give an inside look into the culture of their teams and answer questions about student-athlete expectations.
  • Everyone has their favorite teacher. Let your students decide! Take a poll in-class or online to decide what teachers your student body would like to see take over your school’s social media presence.
Ridgefield Academy takeover mockup

Followers of Ridgefield Academy's Instagram took a field trip alongside Grade 4 students to a science center — an authentic, inside look at a fun, educational outing!

Decide the best platform(s) to post content on

Define your goals for the audience you want to reach — the social media platform(s) you pick should reflect the audience you have in mind for the takeover campaign. Each platform has different content creation options, so it’s essential to target the network where your target audience is most likely active. Generally, the two main areas where schools offer takeovers are:

  1. Instagram - If you were to focus your efforts on engaging your current audience, you’d probably find a mixed bag of current students, parents, and alumni on Instagram. An Instagram takeover is an excellent way to engage current and prospective families with the use of high-resolution images and engaging videos. Use Instagram Stories to cover student takeovers, and save them as Highlights for prospective families to see on your school’s profile.
  2. TikTok - The majority of your student body, being Gen Z, dominates TikTok. This is a highly engaging space to showcase their own creativity and collaborate with their peers. With 60 percent of the platform’s users being twenty-five and younger, you’ll find the bulk of your current and prospective students on there. Make use of TikTok Stories to cover your student takeovers, promote them beforehand, and use the content to make a quick recap post.

What do I do once the takeover is planned?

Take a nap, you’re off the clock! (Just kidding). Monitor your page closely, but have confidence that the student you have entrusted for the job is responsible and professional. (If you don’t believe me, check out this fantastic social media takeover example created by a student entrusted to document Clarkston High School’s graduation.)

Screenshots of Clarkston High School Social takeover

Create your social media takeover guidelines

Set clear expectations with the student or faculty member. These expectations should include the duration of the takeover, an overview of the content to be created, editing responsibilities, the number of posts allowed, branded hashtags, and additional features that can be used in addition to the posts.

Also, ask for their ideas! This is a collaborative effort, and it’s about giving an authentic perspective of your school’s culture. And, most importantly, remember to reference your school’s social media policy or student handbook to ensure all parties are aware of the consequences in the event a takeover is abused or inappropriate content is posted.

Arrange necessary permissions

If you are giving multiple people in your school’s community the “keys to the kingdom” and are allowing them to post directly to your channel, be sure to change the password for a period of time and change it again when the takeover is over.

Or, you can have them create the content ahead of time without sharing and changing passwords. All they would need to do is save the content as they record within the app without any features or extra editing. That way, your school’s social media manager can pre-approve content, add any extra features, and post at a later date.

Repurpose the content

Social media takeovers are an awesome opportunity to grab reusable content. As mentioned earlier, you can use the takeover content from both TikTok and Instagram accounts and create videos on both platforms to share with a larger audience, increase brand awareness, and boost engagement rates. You can even take it a step further on Instagram and create a Highlight comprised of students and faculty takeovers.

Screenshot of Bear Creek School takeover

It’s not only limited to social! Take a page out of The Bear Creek School’s website, and post your best social media takeovers under the admissions page for your school or district to help gain inquiries.

Key takeaway

One of the best ways to let your school’s community tell the world who they are is through a well-planned social media takeover. Engagement soars when a familiar face is taking the wheel for a few hours. Empower your students, faculty, and staff to participate in your school’s social media strategy, and give prospective families a chance to see the life of your school in a relatable way.

The Complete Social Media Guide for Schools. Download your copy

Lanitta Collier Headshot

In her position as Social Media Manager, Lanitta assists with demand generation efforts across all social media channels, email, and website communications. With almost 5 years of experience in content creation, digital marketing, and social media management, Lanitta enjoys working with clients to create, produce, and strategize. She holds and maintains a number of certifications from Google, Hubspot, and SEMRush.

Explore More Recent Blogs

Subscribe to the Finalsite Blog

Love what you're reading? Join the 10k school marketers who get the newest best practices delivered to their inbox each week.

Request a FREE
website report card

Want feedback on your school or district's site? Get a free website report card, generated by an in-house website expert, sent right to your inbox.