One of my favorite opportunities with Edible Hours is taking over another account on social media to share my story. It’s a unique chance to reach out to a new audience and provide value to another organization that I believe in. When I was approached by Explore Midtown to do a takeover I jumped at the opportunity. Before jumping into it there were a few things I needed to do.

Know the Brand
Most of the time when you’re approached to do a takeover it will be by a brand you already engage with and are familiar with. However, even if you are familiar with them you’ll want to take a look at their posts, the feel of their feed and if they do takeovers frequently, what others have posted.

I wanted to make sure I highlighted my favorite spots but also chose places that hadn’t been posted a lot recently where I could show something new. Luckily, since this takeover was all about Midtown it allowed for a lot of creative freedom and I had plenty of places to choose from.

Relate to the Followers
With Explore Midtown I knew I would be talking to mostly people in the Sacramento area. I wanted to engage locals living in and around Midtown but also provide value to people visiting who might be researching Midtown opportunities through social. No matter what your niche is, food, fashion, lifestyle, health etc. you want to connect with the audience you’re reaching and give them a reason to engage and follow you after the takeover has ended.

I also realize that while I like a wide variety of foods, not everyone does. During my takeover I wanted to highlight foods that a lot of people love (like grilled cheese and pretzels) and throw in some unique things that people may have never tried before (like a Cuban sandwich pizza). While I only post foods that I enjoy, when you’re curating a selection of photos for a takeover it’s all about the audience.

Plan Ahead
Explore Midtown was extremely organized. They gave me a takeover overview and guidelines ahead of time and I was able to plan photos weeks in advance. With this particular takeover I submitted all of my photos and captions ahead of time and their social media manager posted them based on the schedule they had laid out for me ahead of time. During the takeover I was given seven posts to tell my story, including an intro post and a “Midtown Love” post, which meant five posts that could be anything I wanted.

I knew from the start that a coffee shop would be the easiest to add the Midtown Love post to organically and I actually had my husband snap pictures of me for possible intro posts at a few locations so that I had options. The other five photos we took over the course of a few weeks which allowed me to be more picky about my final choices. When you’re posting timely photos of food, brunch is your friend! That beautiful time that goes from about 9am-3pm on the weekends at restaurants gives you a lot of wiggle room with content!

The Actual Takeover
Since I didn’t have control over the account during this takeover it was important for me to engage with people as Edible Hours the whole time. I wanted to show people who I am through my content, captions and comments. Since I knew the times the images would be posted to Explore Midtown I was able to make sure I had content ready to compliment it on my own feed and that I interacted with people who were engaging.

The big thing I keep in mind during takeovers is that it is about providing value to the account I am taking over and to their followers. If I can do that it is a successful takeover!

After a takeover I like to go back and see what I did well and where I can improve. I always thank the people in charge of the takeover account and ask for feedback, sometimes they’ll pick out things you never would have thought of.

In this particular takeover I learned that The Rind photo had the biggest response. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is definitely a winning combination here in Sacramento! I would have loved to generate more conversation, but in a world where people are scrolling through their feed quickly your captions are often skipped.

I was able to gain over one hundred new followers during the weekend and have seen a steady stream of new faces interacting over the last week. Being able to gain more awareness for Edible Hours is always a big win for me.

My favorite part of this particular takeover was feeling more a part of the Sacramento and Midtown Community. By contributing to Explore Midtown and engaging with new people I was able to learn about some new places to visit as well as add some of my favorite spots to people’s “must eat” list.

What would you like to read about in the future? Let me know in the comments or by DMing me on Instagram.

Rachel @EdibleHours

Food Photographer & Videographer 📸 Original #foodie content ❤️#Yelp Elite Squad & #foodietribe member

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