How To: Set Up A Brand New Social Media Channel
Setting up a new social media channel is a relatively straightforward process on most social media platforms. However, having an account set up, and having an account ready for general public or your customers is a very different thing.
There is quite a bit of ‘hidden work’ which is easy to overlook, which can turn setting up a new social media channel from a five-minute job, into a five-hour job. It’s useful to be aware of the sneaky extra tasks so when you’re next setting up a social media account, you’ve allocated enough time for the job.
Let’s jump into it.
One of the first tasks which should be done is research on your potential username. It’s important to make your usernames as consistent as possible across your social media channels so that your customers can find you from one channel to another. It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many people set up accounts in a hurry and don’t maintain consistent usernames. Do some research on what usernames are available on your platform to select one which best fits.
Some tricks if your original name isn’t available is to consider adding your city or country code to the end of your name, or adding an underscore. Don’t be one of those people who add a number ‘1’ or ‘2’ on the end!
The logins account
Are you sharing the login and password with anyone else? Or is it just you? You can set up an account with your personal or work email address, but it’s important to consider how that account will be accessed by those in your role in the future, or if others will be logging in too.
All too often are business pages set up with someone’s work email address and a few years later that person leaves the company — and their email address is disabled. Suddenly no staff member in the company can access the account or reset the password. In some circumstances, it’s better to set up a dummy email account, with a password which anyone on your social team has access to.
Alternatively, if you are setting it up for a client and are using a client’s email address to set up an account, they are likely to need to click on a verification link, so be prepared for some potentially slow-moving back and forth to verify the login details.
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Your bio or About Page for a social channel is a small, but important piece of copywriting. Ensuring you’ve got the key information needed so customers can find your business and essential business information like a website or opening hours can be found. Also keep in mind that using keywords that you want your business to be associated with can be useful for SEO, too.
This might also require some approvals interally or from your client before being published.
The profile picture
One of the essential things to keep in mind with your profile picture is that you need to be thinking about mobile first: how does this look on a mobile device? The majority of social media use (especially in Australia) is on mobiles rather than computers.
Making sure your logo or your profile picture is a clear representation of your business and seen on a mobile screen is key.
It’s also best practise to make sure your profile pictures are the same across all your social media platforms so your customers can recognise you more easily as the official channel.
The background image
For the social platforms that have a background image, this is an opportunity to show off your business. You’re not just sharing the culture of your business, but there’s also the opportunity to convey information there, too, such as marketing.
Don’t launch without content
You wouldn’t launch a website without any text on the pages — or send out a flyer without any text. Don’t launch a social channel without some posts so that the people who first join your channel can see the kinds of content and the kind of culture they are subscribing to.
It’s best practise to create at least 3–5 pieces of content before going live, and if you have the luxury of time, spread this out over a series of days so it doesn’t look like you’ve thrown it all up on one day.
It can take hours to create the right copy for a handful of posts including researching the best hashtags for your industry. Spend time creating beautiful content to people see why they would engage with your business.
Depending on if this is for a client, this content may need to be sourced (or created) and the copy potentially approved before posting. This is additional time and back-and-forth for the client.
Signing up to the service
I know we’ve done a lot of preparation already — but we haven’t even signed up to the new social channel yet! This one is a pretty vital step. ;) Sign up your shiny new Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account.
While you have the basic design set up, you may also want to set up a social scheduling tool so the page can be managed faster and more effectively. Hootsuite it a popular choice, but it depends on what channels you need and what you need them for.
I’d suggest also scheduling in your first week of posts if you have the time. Often if you’re setting up a new channel, you’re in the middle of a launch and you’ve got a million other things on your mind. Pre-scheduling the first week gives you some breathing space.
All quiet on the social channel front
Additionally, when setting up social channels, often the unspoken criteria is, of course, fans and followers.
While you can invite all your friends and family and encourage the client or your colleagues to do so too, ultimately, you will want your actual target marketing liking the page.
You can promote the new accounts with ad buys to specific audiences so they have a bit of a following. Ensure you are targeting the right audience, to run some ads to test and optimise. It can be relatively affordable to run an ad on Facebook, with ad targeting 2000 people costing $50 (give or take — do your own research should these figures fluxuate).
Promote and Embed
Once your account is live, you will want to also ensure that you’ve done some basic promotion.
Consider embedding a Like Button or Follow button on your website, add it to your email signature, throw it on your menu. Make sure you spread the word!
As you can see, there can be a lot more to setting up social media account that simply reserving your username.
It’s important to fill it with content about your business, have rich and engaging posts ready for people to engage with, and, of course, spread the word!
Wanting to get started using a social media content calendar? This template has all the things you need to get started: an Excel document where you can mark off your schedule, content, images, approvals and more. Download it now.
Social Media Content Calendar Template
Wanting to get started using a social media content calendar? This template has all the things you need to get started: an Excel document where you can mark off your schedule, content, images, approvals and more. Subscribe to the Beaney Beat newsletter to download it now.