Taking Over an Existing Business: How to Keep the Established Social Media Presence
DIY Sprocket Solutions
Starting a new business has its unique set of challenges. Buying an existing business that you intend to take over presents a whole new host of hoops to jump through. In this digital age, an established business means an established online presence and following. New owners that buy that business are also buying that online presence and following. As is. For better or for worse.
Some businesses have tanked, which may be why they’re selling, and the online world has been around to reflect that failure. Countless negative reviews, bad experiences, and a poor reputation can follow a business around like the plague. On the other hand, you may get lucky. You may take over an existing business that has a very positive social media footprint. If the existing business has a large following, great reviews, and a strong overall online presence, then you are going to want to keep that momentum going.
So, how do you go into a business as the new owner and keep the established social media presence?
Create a good rapport with the previous owner
Your best asset is going to be the previous owner and management. If nothing else, you can utilize the connections you have with the previous owner and their staff to take over existing social media accounts. Get a conversation going about what social media accounts the business has. Ask for the login information for those pages or where you can find the login information if a manager or someone else was handling the social media posting.
If the relationship is good enough, you can dive a little deeper. Ask them what types of advertising or online marketing they’ve tried in the past. How did it work for them? What was their take away? When you do gain access to the existing social media pages, update them with any new information. This includes: new logos, photos, hours, address, phone numbers, specials, products, and more. This is a great opportunity for content announcing the new ownership and the exciting things to come.
Claim existing unclaimed pages
Not all digital marketing is social media marketing. Many times there are auto generated pages that come about when people go online and leave reviews. Even if you haven’t created a Yelp page for your business, for instance, if a customer eats at your restaurant and leaves a review –they can generate a page for you. There are many yellow page type sites, as well as many review sites, that are generated from people talking online about your business and from auto filled information about your business that is pulled from other outlets. These pages can be claimed. If no one has claimed the business, you have the option to do so for yourself.
Once you have these pages claimed, and have established an actual log in for them, you can go in and update them with correct information. Very often there are errors on these pages since they are created by people not associated with the business. Put your best foot forward with your new business. Make sure that all online outlets are cleaned up.
Invite existing customers over to your new pages
If (for one reason or another) you can’t take over the established social media accounts for your new business, then you should find a creative approach to invite those existing customers over to your new social media pages. Create those pages first, update them with all new and relevant information, then go back to the original social media pages and post very clearly, and repeatedly, that you’d like to invite existing customers to like your new page. You can incentivize this move if you‘d like. Test a few different approaches and see what works for you.
Just like launching a brand new business, re-launching a business that was already established is extremely exciting. It has to be something that you are passionate about if you want to incite passion about it in others. Taking care to cover all of your bases includes social media marketing. The following that a business has already established can be one of your greatest assets and resources moving forward. What are your thoughts on taking over the existing social media marketing presence of an established business once you become the new owner? Cut ties or keep the momentum rolling? Comment below!