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Social Media During a Rebrand: Some Advice

Recently, we rebranded as Mighty Citizen — complete with a new strategic focus, visual identity, and services menu.

Rebranding is a beast. Out with the old, in with the new — including all official documents, websites, signage, printed materials, etc.

But the most surprising part of our 12-month rebranding project? How difficult it was to manage our company’s social media accounts. It was an endless game of two steps forward, one step back. We didn’t anticipate social media being the rebrand’s stickiest challenge. 

We didn’t anticipate social media being the rebrand’s stickiest challenge.

So here’s what we learned about handling your social media accounts during a rebranding project:

Each Social Platform is Different

When you’re knee-deep in one social platform — changing your profile name, handle, page description, and URL while also trying to promote cohesive, clear social content — you’ll wish they all played by the same rules.

Solution: Build a Launch Day Punchlist and a Content Calendar.

A Launch Day Punchlist is just that: a list of everything that needs to happen on the day your new brand officially launches. You “punch” the items off, one by one.

Part of your punchlist should be devoted to social media. By tracking everything that needs to be done to fully convert each social media page on each platform, you’re less likely to forget a task. It’s also helpful to include the URL of each platform’s  “page update” page because each platform has different settings. For anyone who is updating the platforms and may not be intimately familiar with the inner workings of Facebook, Twitter, etc. (or simply might be anxious about missing something), this can act as a cheat sheet.

This Mighty Citizen punchlist included tasks for each social platform for launch day. Where appropriate, we referenced handles and file names to make the process stress-free and comprehensive. Editors initialed each task as it was completed so we could easily track progress.

A Brand Launch Content Calendar is also helpful. It’s a simple spreadsheet that outlines, in detail, what social media content you’ll create and post each day leading up to, and immediately following, your relaunch: 

Scheduling Tools Can Be Funky

When using a social media post scheduler (i.e. SocialPilot, Buffer), it’s important to note how posts will translate from the scheduler to the actual platform. We wanted to use specific images or GIFs for each brand-related social post, but we discovered that our scheduler, SocialPilot, didn’t share the media in the same way as if posted manually through the platform. In other words, the posts looked strange and unprofessional.

Solution: Manually post to ensure best results.

A company rebrand is no small matter. To ensure our posts matched the integrity of our new brand, we bit the bullet and manually posted across all social media platforms throughout our rebrand announcement phase. Not ideal, but better than a Facebook post that won’t play a GIF seamlessly or contains strange symbols (“&”) in the text.

The Customer Support of Social Media Platforms Is Laughable

Everyone gets frustrated when they call a support line and get endless computer prompts. Or when you email a company and get a response weeks later. But with social media platforms, you’re lucky to get any response.

It’s understandable. The number of users trying to reach Facebook, Twitter, etc. every day is undoubtedly overwhelming. But Google searches only get you so far. When none of Google’s suggestions work or you find they’re outdated, it can be frustrating. (To say the least.)

Solution: If we had one, we’d be the only ones.

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Don’t Jump the Gun

Another tricky aspect of our rebrand was ensuring nothing on social media was updated prior to the official launch time. Because social media is so public, we wanted to prevent spoilers.

Solution: Wait until launch day to make any changes, and anticipate challenges.

And as a result of being unable to update platforms until launch day, you can’t confirm if things will go smoothly until actual launch day. Sure, you can prep and plan all you want, but until you physically try requesting a name change on Facebook or changing a handle, nothing is guaranteed.

You’ll Never Really Be Done

A social media page will always need continuous updates. But even after the official launch day, there were still minor edits to complete for our social platforms.

For example, on launch day, we couldn’t change our Instagram profile to the handle we wanted (@mightycitizen), and it wasn’t until several days later that we managed to snag it. No one is sure if it was by luck or if we had to wait a specific time period before claiming it (we had initially saved and then dropped it prior to the launch), but either way, we’re thankful.

Solution: Patience is a virtue.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a concrete solution, but this phrase rang true for not only social media, but the entire rebrand process. You’ll find this is when your creativity (or acceptance of defeat) kicks in. But never fear, no matter how challenging social media is, you’re not alone in this struggle.

Now, carry on! And good luck in your journey to conquer the beast that is social media marketing.
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