Here’s an issue we’re seeing more and more of: You’ve just purchased an existing business and are attempting to take over management of the existing social media footprint. Sadly, you can’t access the required accounts to manage them. What are your options?
Hopefully you are still in contact with the previous owners and everything is in good standing with them. If so, simply reaching out to them and asking for their assistance is your first step. If that isn’t the case, you may be in for an uphill battle.
Here are some tips to make sure you never find yourself in that situation, and if you do, what you can do about it.
Who Owns the Social Media Accounts When a Business is Sold?
This is an interesting question, because one would think the owner of the business is the owner of any accounts associated with the company, so if a business is sold, the new owner would then own the social media accounts. But most social media accounts cannot be sold or transferred, and as with anything business related, if social account ownership is not discussed during the negotiations, it may be overlooked until after the sale is finalized.
When it comes to social media, the owner is typically the person who created the account or the profile associated with the business page. Now this could differ depending on the platform, but most accounts are associated with a specific email, and the owner of that email is who the platform considers to be the owner of the social media account.
Since most social media accounts cannot be sold or officially transferred, it is important to set them up as a business account associated with a business email, so that if or when a new owner comes on board, the account is accessed with the same business email, and it’s simply overseen by the new owner.
The Importance of Finding All Accounts Associated with a Newly-Purchased Business
When purchasing a business, it’s very important to take stock of all of its assets, and in the 21st century, social media accounts are of the utmost importance! Of course, the main things to consider are all tax returns, sales records, and current debt, but as technology has evolved, social media accounts have proven to be a must-have in any purchase considerations. Current marketing trends require the use of social media, and if the business being purchased already has existing social media accounts, the chance of success improves with the acquisition of those accounts.
If those accounts cannot be acquired, then the new owner would have to start from scratch. Of course, if previous accounts did not have a lot of followers or clout, then it might not be much of an issue. But when there is a decade plus of potential existence and success on the table, it is imperative that the new owner do what they can to continue using the accounts already in existence, if even solely for branding purposes.
In some instances, a social media account transfer agreement might be necessary, due to the legalities of business in general. By implementing an agreement during the purchase of a business, the new owner has clarity and specifics at their fingertips that will be adhered to during the sale.
Don’t Forget Social Media Ad Accounts!
Not only are the business pages important to control, but also the ad accounts! Because of the pay-to-play nature of social media, this is where the crucial core of marketing lies, and is an extra step for most social media accounts. Not only will the administrators of the accounts need to be updated, but also the billing!
And remember – depending on the platform, the term “transfer” doesn’t necessarily apply. This is why even though a personal profile might be needed to initially create the account, as long as the admins are adjusted as needed, the account access should be strictly set to only those needing it. If the platform allows for the business page to be set up with a business email and not a personal profile, then it is even easier to manage.
Transferring Ownership of Social Media Accounts
As we mentioned, “transfer” can be a misnomer when it comes to social media accounts changing ownership. While some allow for the transfer of ownership, platforms like Facebook only allow for the management of admins – this is where the new owners are added as admins by the old owner, and then the new admins remove the old owner. Don’t forget to adjust the ad accounts accordingly!
Managing an Existing Social Media Presence
Now that you have access to the social media accounts, what’s next? That depends on your marketing plans and if the creative team plans to introduce new branding or continue with the existing branding. Either way, putting your own spin on the existing social media presence is bound to happen.
Take the time to evaluate the history of the posts and see what seemed to connect with users and how they interacted with the posts. For example, Instagram offers “Insights” to help business accounts view analytics and improve their Instagram strategy. By using analytics to see how the past posts performed, the new owners can decide on any branding changes and cultivate their social media presence based on real data that will directly affect the success of future strategies.
Getting Outside Help
No matter where you are in the process of taking on a new business with an existing social media presence, if you need help the best thing to do is ask for it!
Blink;Tech considers itself a true tech partner – one that is here to help every step of the way. If you find yourself in over your head and treading water, getting outside help from a trusted tech company can really change things for the better. Don’t hesitate to contact us below for help in getting a handle on your new business’s social media accounts!