Taking over someone else’s social media when you purchase a business
This month in the Social Spotlight, we have Kim Oliver talking about the unique experience of taking over the social media for a business you’ve bought.
Have you recently purchased a new business, or are you planning to, and worried about having to take over an existing social media account? First off let me congratulate you, and tell you how lucky you are (in most cases) to take over a social media account that is already up and running, instead of having to start from 0. The previous owner has likely done all the
hard work for you, by creating an active social media account that has obtained an engaged following.
On 1st May 2019 I took over The Chocolate Tour, and while I was excited, I was equally scared! Having set up 2 other successful businesses I knew how much work had gone into this business already, and I knew a few things to look out for as well, so let me share these tips with you;
1. Update description/profile
On both Facebook and Instagram, there is a bit of updating to do. Not just your contact information, but also general information about the business or its location may need updating. Make sure that the business description reflects how you want to take the business going forward. For example, if you want to stop selling one of its current top selling products, make sure to remove all reference to it now.
2. Curate the content & layout
What was the purpose of this account? You may find that when using multiple platforms, audiences respond differently to content. I have always considered my Instagram to be of an ‘behind the scenes’ look into my business, and I have kept my Facebook for the professional photos. This may not work for every business, but it has worked well for me so far. Looking through the Instagram feed for this new business, images were across all kinds of categories and didn’t seem to stick with a theme. Did I want a theme? This was something to decide on before moving further.
3. Remove images that don’t suit your brand image going forward
If you purchase a business with the intent to change the brand image going forward (for example; going from corporate to casual Friday’s) then you may want to consider removing any old content that doesn’t suit that new image. If a new follower or potential client visits your profile you want to present them with a smooth feeling, like you know what you’re doing and you are confident in who you are as a business. This will help make that new follower or
potential client feel much more confident in you as well. Compared to when your content looks all over the place.
4. Remove personal images
I went through my newly acquired Instagram feed and removed any images that showed the previous owner and her family. Not because I didn’t like them, but because this was now my business and if people would scroll through my feed I don’t want to confuse them! This is a simple but effective way to show ownership; your face! Make sure you go back through all the old content, because you never know how far back a new follower or potential client will
scroll. Make sure to do some new posts with your face on it (in a brand appropriate way) so that there is no question about who is in charge.
5. Research hashtags
I went back through the Instagram feed for several months and found the most popular images, I made a list of which hashtags were used and was able to find the top 6 hashtags that were in every popular post. Don’t get me wrong, it is not just about hashtags, the image/content itself has to be right too! But having the right hashtags will help to get your content in front of the right audience.
6. Built content
Over the weeks that followed I would take photos of everything I was doing within my new business. Me holding a fancy looking bar of chocolate, me packing boxes, me eating chocolate, me baking with chocolate! Everything that could be relevant. Why? I am building content. I am saving up images so that when I need to post something I always have something ready. I may not use the images until next year, but at least I know I have them ready to go. Same goes for written content, anything you may find interesting/relevant, write it up and save it on your computer. You can always flesh it out later with more details, but these first few months when you are new to the business yourself are gold for coming up with content that resonate with your customers. Why? Because this content isn’t about selling, it is about educating them about your business and your products and/or services.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to be human. The above list is something I am still working through and I am several months into owning my new business. It won’t all go to plan, and it won’t all go in order. The important thing to remember is to just keep going, keep posting content even if it is not perfect. Because if you let the social media pages go quiet while you try to come up with the perfect content, your followers will lose interest and you will lose the
value that the previous owner has built up for you.
If you’d like an analysis of how your social media strategy is going, and how it can be improved, we offer FREE Social Media Audit’s to all New Zealand businesses. You can get yours here: