What is life really like at Gardner-Webb?

Current GWU students, alumni, faculty and staff may participate in taking over Gardner-Webb University’s Instagram channel to show what their Bulldog stories and experience looks like through their eyes and with their voice.

Takeovers are generally used to showcase student life at Gardner-Webb whether that be a day in the life, a class, or organization. Our audience ranges from prospective students to parents and alumni. You may sign up for a takeover on your own, with your department, or as a representative of a student organization.

Submit Your Application

Submitting an application does not guarantee selection for a takeover.


So, you have decided to takeover the GWU Instagram account? Fantastic! Your application will be reviewed by the Social Media Manager, who will then reach out to you to schedule your takeover. We may ask additional questions or request additional information before scheduling your takeover.

If you are selected, our social media manager will contact you with your unique password 24 hours prior to your takeover. You will only have access to our Instagram account for the duration of your takeover as outlined by the agreement. During your takeover, you will access Instagram from your personal device.

If you have a specific date in mind, please apply as soon as possible. While we try our best to schedule everyone who shows interest, we cannot guarantee any specific dates—some days fill up months in advance.


Your Voice – Your GWU Experience

Your takeover can showcase all elements of your GWU experience, including classes and faculty and staff, residence halls, clubs and athletics, excursions into Shelby, Gaffney, Charlotte, Asheville and other local travel as well as study abroad, summer internships, and more. Everything is written from your voice to show your perspective.

  • Only post to Instagram Story – do not post to the main feed.
  • Be sure to introduce yourself and/or the organization you are representing in your first post.
  • Consider sharing a brief overview of your day.
  • Balance posts promoting your organizations with posts of your Gardner-Webb experience as a whole.
  • Be sure to post a sign off message at the conclusion of your takeover. You made include your group name or Instagram handle in your sign off post.
  • Watch for comments and be engaging! Reply to comments related to your takeover.
  • Most students who take over the account post between 5 and 10 times spaced throughout the day.
  • Use #GardnerWebbStudentTakeover hashtag on your posts.
  • Spread the word on your personal social media accounts about your takeover!
  • Do not use URLs in your posts—instead, update the link in our bio and direct users to click the live link [let us know if you do plan to use this feature]

  • After submitting your user agreement, the password to the Instagram account will be shared with you within 24-hours prior to the start of the takeover.
  • We use two-factor authentication to secure our account. When you enter the password, a six-digit code will be sent to my phone alerting me that you are attempting to login. The Social Media Manager will share this code with you through a text message. Input this code to gain access to our account.
  • Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Social Media Manager for any reason if you have questions or need help during your takeover.

7:00 a.m.: Video: “Good morning! How are you, GWU? My name is John Doe, and I am a {class year} {major}. I am also involved in {club name}. I am taking over Gardner-Webb’s Instagram today. Follow along to see what a day in my life is like.”

7:30 a.m.: Photo. Eating breakfast and reading. Use an Instagram Story Sticker. Ask me about my GWU experience!

8:00 a.m.: Video. Walking to class. Share what brought you to GWU.

8:30 a.m.: Boomerang. Classroom with classmates.

9:00 a.m.: Video. Talking with your professor.

12:00 p.m.: Boomerang. Current activity.

1:00 p.m.: Photo. At the Caf for lunch. Use poll – what should I eat today? Burrito or Quesadilla?

3:00 p.m.: Video. Tour of your residence hall and introduce your roommate.

5:00 p.m.: Studying at the library. Use an Instagram Story Sticker. What is your favorite place to study on campus?

8:00 p.m.: Video. Sign off. “Gardner-Webb, I had a blast showing you a day in my life! Thank you for tuning in. If you have any questions that I didn’t answer, feel free to connect with me @{your Instagram handle}.”

Up for the challenge?

Social Media Takeover Application

Please submit one form per takeover at least 10 business days in advance of the requested Takeover date. All requests are subject to availability. All individuals requesting a takeover must be available to meet in-person, via web conference, or by phone with the social media manager prior to a takeover (meetings usually take ~30 minutes to complete).

If there are any issues with your request, you will be contacted by the Social Media Manager. If you have any questions or would like more information, please email Thea Thompson, or call (704) 406-2582.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can do a takeover?

Gardner-Webb current students, alumni, faculty, staff and official University organizations and teams may manage a takeover. Takeovers may be used for special events and initiatives that are sponsored by Gardner-Webb University and have educational, athletic, or other components that align with the University’s mission and values.

What type of content should I share?

Our Instagram channel is followed by not only current Runnin’ Bulldogs, but also alumni, prospective students, and community members who are interested in seeing what life is like at GWU. Think about what you would have wanted to know about Gardner-Webb before you arrived, and what you might want to know about after you leave.

If you are taking over to promote an event, be sure to balance posts promoting your organizations with posts of your Gardner-Webb experience as a whole.

What are some things I should consider before I apply?

  • Am I comfortable using Instagram?
  • Can I take a variety of photos and videos that are visually appealing?
  • Am I comfortable telling by GWU story and proofreading my content?
  • Can I commit to posting throughout the day during my takeover?

Takeovers are not available to promote private social events or for organizations that are not recognized as official University organizations.

Examples of takeovers that have been done in the past: “A day in the life” showcasing a GWU student experience, student-athlete spotlight, Rescue Race, Poverty Simulation, and commencement.

How does a takeover work?

Once a takeover is approved, the individual taking over our account meets with the Social Media Manager to review guidelines and policy and discuss general questions in person, through video conference, or by phone. The individual taking over our account will be given channel access the day before the scheduled takeover, unless another user is currently hosting a takeover at that time. In those cases, channel access will be provided early on the day of the takeover.

How early should I submit a request for a takeover?

Fill out the application form as early as possible. Approved takeovers are put in a master schedule. Official University events can be scheduled months into the future; the earlier you apply, the more likely the requested date will be available.

Is additional training available?

Yes, the Social Media Manager is happy to have additional meetings with users to discuss best practices and review scenarios. However, we do encourage all applicants to have a baseline understanding of the Instagram platform prior to applying for a takeover. Email us to schedule an appointment.

Are there restrictions on topics?

Yes. Takeovers on Gardner-Webb’s channels are granted based on the understanding that the user is representing Gardner-Webb University and its mission and values.