So you have decided to rebrand … exciting right? A new name alone can breathe new life into your business if the marketing is handled right. But… what about the social media? The difficulties of rebranding on social media are often undervalued and under thought but they are immense!
If your rebrand simply involves a new logo, new image and some new content then you don’t need to worry because this can easily be updated across all your social networks. The problem comes when we are talking about a new company name. So what are the difficulties of rebranding on social media?
So your old brand had a matching Twitter handle right? Well getting the new user name you want might not be possible because Twitter will only allow one of each user names on its network so if your new company name is “Vision” you might need to settle for “Vision_Global”. This is because the chances are that your user name is taken already and it’s against Twitter’s terms of service to pay for a handle. It can be a frustrating exercise much like hunting for a domain name that’s available!
Other networks like Linkedin will be simpler because they will allow multiple company names on their network. If you are renaming your old Twitter account then be sure to update your profile, profile photo and cover image so that you are coordinated. Users who are following you will not be notified… they will simply be following your new account by default. If you were a verified user (with the blue tick) you will probably need to reach out to Twitter to get it back again but their service is pretty good and they will fix it quickly.
The nice people at Linkedin have made it simple to rebrand because they allow you to change the company name simply by clicking edit. Your linkedin url will not change automatically but open a ticket with their customer service team and they will align it for you… phew! Company Pages on Linkedin feature a logo, description, and a list of employees in the main area of the page so you will need to edit any associated details. You may also see the company’s Twitter and Linkedin icons in this area so be sure to change the urls to your new ones! Be sure that your HR department are on board with your Linkedin rebrand because it will automatically affect the brand that everyone works for if they are connected to the page!
Wow you might have some fun with this one especially if you already claimed your unique url with your last brand! G+ only allows you to change your url once so you will have to make a special request to Google to get a new one to match your new name. Renaming your channel is easy but it will not automatically rename your url which will remain the same. If you are merging an old G+ page with a new one then you will be able to transfer all your followers, photos and information plus your YouTube channel. You will not, however, be guaranteed a new url! On the plus side I highly rate Google’s customer service; they do their utmost to accommodate you if you contact them. Plus unlike some social networks, they have a physical support team who returns calls and emails… YAY!
If you have managed to change the url on your G+ account then this will automatically change your YouTube account because the two are forcibly linked. Similarly if you change the G+ name and profile picture then this will change on YouTube too. On your YouTube channel you will need to categorise your old playlists (if you want to separate the two brands) and you may need to create new thumbnail covers for future videos. You will also need a new cover and description and make sure you edit the links in your clickable icons leading to other networks. Even if they do not mesh with your new brand, avoid the temptation to remove old videos, especially if your videos have a lot of views. It is better to keep them on your channel in a separate playlist rather than to lose them because they contribute to your search engine ranking.
As with everything, Facebook is the hardest of all the social networks to work with professionally. Their help centre is manned entirely by Facebook users not staff and most of the links are outdated or broken. You cannot rename a Facebook page that has more than 200 followers and you cannot merge two pages that are not virtually identical in name and description. Additionally your url needs to be unique so as with Twitter you may need to tweak your user name a little (eg Vision Global instead of Vision). The problem with Facebook is that most requests are not answered and if they are, then actions are completed without any forewarning. This means that you might enquire about a page rename that’s happening in the future only to find out that your page has been renamed overnight. With this situation I would say it is much easier to start a new page but of course if you have a substantial amount of organic followers it isn’t ideal. Remember to change your cover photo, profile photo, description and any associated links to your new website address. You may also want to design a nice update to coincide with your rebrand but remember it is difficult to coordinate it on Facebook!
Social Rebranding Checklist
- Change social media urls where possible
- Rename social media pages or user names
- Change profile photos and update cover photos
- Rewrite social media descriptions
- Check app url locations and test them
- Change any promotions to your new website address
- Post a nice update to advise followers of the change
- Ensure you have enough newly branded graphics handy
- Test every link on every social media page you have
My final advice on this one? Don’t put off your social media branding until the last second. You might have to file legal trademark claims if your new brand name’s been taken, you will have to battle with certain networks and spend large amounts of time trying to resolve it! You’re also going to want new artwork for your social pages which means involving your graphic designers not to mention revised content which will involve your content writer. I also recommend putting a profile template document together including your opening hours, mission statement and description which you can paste onto each profile.
Rebranding on social media … did you ever go through it? Tweet me @charli_says and tell me about it!