Before you welcome your first guests to the party, you want to make sure that the space is decorated, the snacks are out, and the playlist is ready to go. Properly setting up social channels is like doing that for your business. 

Note: This Social Channels Set-Up Guide is an excerpt from our free Stir Marketing resource, “Intro to Social Media for Business Growth”. If you’re a business owner looking to grow your brand online, make sure to check it out.

But if you’re impatient to get started, scroll on! (We do suggest giving some thought to your social media marketing strategy first. This blog post, “Social Media Marketing Strategic Planning for Beginners”, provides a valuable overview.)

Let’s dive in!

Choosing Channels

As a first step, you’ll want to make sure you’re in the right places. There are so many social networks for a business to choose from today — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Tumblr, Google My Business, StumbleUpon and more. How do you know which one(s) to pursue?

There are several variables to consider, including:

  • Where do your target audiences hang out?
  • Where are your competitors having success (or missing opportunities)? On one hand, you’ll want to match-step with your competitors. Do they have a successful presence on Facebook? Don’t risk letting them get all the attention there. Conversely, is there a network where your competitors haven’t done much marketing yet? Perhaps it’s worth adding that network to your strategy.
  • Which ones make the most sense for your business right now?
  • Are you a B2C or B2B business? (Some of the networks better lend themselves to one business type over the other. Many say Facebook is the place to be for B2C marketing, while LinkedIn is often considered best for B2B marketing.)
  • Consider your creative assets. Have access to tons of great visual content (like photos)? Definitely consider Instagram. Have zero videos? Forgo YouTube for now.
  • How much time do you have to devote to maintaining multiple social accounts? (If your time is limited, consider setting-up fewer (rather than many or all) social accounts. Having a poorly set-up and irregularly-managed account is almost as bad for your brand as having no presence on that network at all.)

Finding out where your target audiences are on social is the easiest question to answer and starts with looking at each network’s user base. This resource from popular social media management platform Sprout Social is a great one. See the graphics below. Match your target audiences’ characteristics to the networks that suit best. And don’t forget about those “influencers” and “fans”.

As above, don’t try to be everywhere and do everything at once. Just try to choose the best networks for your business to reach your target audience(s) and convey your brand messaging to meet your goals.

Still not sure? Most businesses start with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — adding Instagram if they’ve got access to great photos and YouTube if they’ve got access to great videos.

Accounts Set-Up

Below are instructions for setting up a profile for your business on four of the top networks — Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook and managed, in-part, through your Facebook account), Twitter and LinkedIn.

Note: In most cases, you can get set-up in minutes, but this task actually warrants much more thought and time. In fact, setting-up your social accounts is a task that deserves the same careful consideration you gave to your website’s design, business cards, and professional headshot.

Your business’s social profiles are, after all, important very-public representations of your business — often the first ones potential customers will see. So make sure they’re set-up perfectly. They’ll also be made exponentially better, your social profiles and pages, if you set them up with your goals, target market and brand messaging in mind.

A few important considerations:

  • Business in the front, party in the back. Already have personal profiles on all of these networks? Don’t be tempted to do your business marketing through those personal profiles. Instead, set up dedicated business profiles and/or pages.
  • Get inspired! Look at your competitors and industry’s leaders to see what they’re doing on social media (both in terms of set-up and branding as well as ongoing posting and engagement). Never, ever copy them, but do glean inspiration from what they’re doing well, and look for things you can do better. How can you set-up your social profiles and pages to convey your USP and truly stand apart?
  • Engage, motivate and persuade. In the Social Posting Chapter, you’ll learn about the importance of publishing social posts that engage, motivate and persuade. Make sure your social profiles (accounts) themselves do that too. Grab attention, hang onto it, and show the world what makes your business so special.
  • Go consistent in naming: If you’re setting up several social profiles for your business at once, consider giving them all the same name and URL (ie: and @mostdelicioussoup). That’ll make it easier for people to find you across different channels. In some cases, your business name will be too long, or someone else will already have “claimed” it for themselves. You might have to get creative, but still aim for consistency.
  • Go complementary in branding: Aim for consistency in branding across all social channels. That doesn’t mean you should use the exact same images and copy in all networks, but rather that it should be complementary — all coming together to create a complete picture of the very best of your business and brand messaging.
  • You can judge a book by its cover. In all cases, you’ll have an opportunity to add a visual representation of your business, including a profile photo (avatar; usually your business’s logo) and a cover image. Do not underestimate the importance of these images. Make sure they’re on-brand, eye-catching, memorable and complementary. Spend the time and money it might require to take or source beautiful, high-quality images and format (ie: size) them properly for each network.
  • Tell your story and make it count. Each network will also require some copy — either a (very) short “Bio” and/or a longer About or Story. This isn’t easy, but that’s okay — it shouldn’t be. Like with your business’s social account imagery, this copy is critical and deserves careful consideration. Go back to the Brand Messaging exercise and figure out how, within each network’s maximum character count limit, you can convey everything you want and need to say about your business in order to turn potential fans into real followers and then, of course, into paying customers.
  • Don’t forget to invite people to the party! Once your social accounts are set-up and populated with some content (posts), make sure people know how to find them. Add social icons (links) to your website, and consider adding links to your social accounts in your email signature. Tell your personal profile connections about your new business accounts so that your friends, families and peers can help spread the word!

Create a Facebook Business Page

You’ll need a Personal Facebook Profile to create a Facebook Business Page. (You likely already have one, the account you use to check out pics of your cousin’s cats and spy on your high-school sweetheart.) Your Personal Profile will be connected to your Business Page in so much as it’s how you’ll create and access it, but they’re not linked publicly.

More set-up tips:


Create a Business Account on Instagram

You’ll need to download the Instagram app to your SmartPhone or device. (You can’t post to Instagram from your computer’s desktop like you can with other networks. You can use a social media dashboard like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to do it without the app, but you must start somewhere and that’s with the app.) Instagram, like Facebook, has both personal profiles and business accounts.

If you’re going to promote Instagram posts (like boosting Facebook posts, which we’ll learn about in the Social Ads Chapter), you can manage it all from Facebook — one place, easier! You’ll just need to connect your Facebook Business Page and Instagram Business Account. Here’s how.


Create a Twitter account for your business

Twitter doesn’t have personal vs. business profiles/accounts like some of the other networks do — just one kind of profile/account. If you’ve got a personal profile on Twitter, just create another one for your business.


Create a LinkedIn Profile and Company Page

Like Facebook, LinkedIn allows for (and requires) a personal profile in order to create and manage a business presence. So start there.

And there you have it!

Once you’re social media accounts are set-up, you’ll want to start posting. Learn more to craft brand-building social posts in our free online resource for business owners here, “Intro to Social Media for Business Growth”. Happy posting!

Note: Need help? The expert social media marketing strategists at Stir Marketing can help you leverage the power of social media to grow your brand online. Reach out anytime to learn more.