At first a re-brand might seem like a straightforward task. Simply choose a new business name, decide on colours and a new logo, build a new website with fresh new content. Surely that’s it ?
Nowadays a business with an online presence also must consider their many social media profiles. Not only must you endeavour to smoothly effect the transition to the new brand in a planned and timely manner but you must do so while attempting at least to keep as many of your existing followers as possible. All the while great care must be taken to inform your existing clients of what is going on and updating and checking all links to and from your social media sites and profiles to your website and vice versa.
We have concentrated in this report on the technical issues to be aware of.
The Good News
The Good News is the accounts on the following social media networks can be rebranded with new vanity URLs without the loss of followers and other accrued metrics:
Rebranding your Twitter account will one of your easiest re-brand tasks. Hopefully you will have secured your desired username eg: @NewBrand some time earlier. Then, when you are ready to make the switch we change the new account username to something different (a third username) to make @NewBrand available for you to pick up and then change your original account @OldBrand to @NewBrand. Then upload your new logo and add your profile information and website address.
Don’t forget to let your followers know that you have changed your name and why they are now seeing Tweets from your new business.
For help on how to change your Twitter username visit https://support.twitter.com/articles/14609-how-to-change-your-username
A Google+ page name can be changed at anytime without losing your followers who have circled the page. However, you should be aware that:
If you haven’t yet been invited to set a vanity URL, your page URL will remain unchanged.
If you do have a vanity URL set (“plus.google.com/+brand-name”), it will revert back to the default-style URL (lots of numbers).
If you have verified page status, you will lose it upon renaming the page but you can simply reapply right away.
Note: If you have an existing YouTube channel and want to have a company Google+ page connected to it (best practise as it allows Hangouts On Air) it is most straightforward to activate a new Google+ page from Youtube. Go to Youtube channel settings, click advanced, then click the blue button Connect With a Google+ page, this will allow you to set up a new page or selected a page that you are already a manager of (using the same email address). Note: it won’t offer a page to be selected if that page already has a YouTube channel connected to it.
You can follow us on Google+here.
Administrators have full control over their business name and username/URL at https://pinterest.com/settings. There is a 15 character limit on usernames.
You can follow us on Pinterest here.
The Bad News
This is where things start to get a little tricky. You can plan on starting from scratch on the following social media networks:
- Facebook (unless you have less than 200 fans)
Facebook is often the biggest casualty of a full rebrand, as the name of your business/organization cannot be changed, nor can the vanity URL (username) associated with the page unless you have less than 200 fans. If you are in this category then this link from Facebook Support will guide you through it.
If you have over 200 fans and have to create a new page you should let the fans of your old page know through regular status updates in the first few weeks after launch. It’s a good idea to leave the old page up in tandem as the new page following grows.
You can follow us on Facebook here.
Unfortunately a LinkedIn company name and associated vanity URL cannot be changed.
It is a good idea to make sure that the business name in your personal profiles links correctly through to your LinkedIn company page. At the time of writing this post there is a known bug whereby business names of between 12 and 15 characters does not show up as an option to be selected as a link. The support at LinkedIn is really excellent in sorting this out so do email them with any issues you may have, they respond quickly.
If you wish to create a new Company Page visit http://www.linkedin.com/company/add/show. Note the email address you use must be at the new company domain. All employees should update their personal profiles to reflect the name change. They must enter the company name in the exact format as used on the Company Page or their profiles will not show up on the new page.
You can follow us on LinkedIn here.
YouTube does not allow you to change a Channel URL so you may have to start a new channel from scratch and re-upload your videos.
If you have a lot of videos you will have to manually archive your video titles, descriptions and keyword tags from the old channel and then re-upload your videos to your new channel and add the meta data to the newly uploaded videos. It may be a good idea prior to deleting the old channel to visit the subscribers page of the old channel while logged in as the new channel and subscribe to those users. This may give you the opportunity to regain these users as subscribers at a later stage.
You can follow us on YouTube here.
Note: On the platforms where your follower count is decimated try not to overdo your attempts to get your former followers to follow your new page. Best rather to concentrate on sharing good quality content and engaging with those who make a fresh decision to follow your new brand.
Our suggested re-branding checklist might be of further help:
- Identify all the social platforms you have profiles on and update or discard them in a methodical manner.
- Ensure all internal links in your website are updated and working and also links between your website and blog.
- Using information from the Google Analytics of your old site (before it is shutdown) identify the most important inbound links and ensure that these inbound links are safely re-routed to your new site using 301 redirects if necessary.
- Check that your company information on membership sites and directory listing is updated or resubmitted if necessary eg: the DMOZ drectory or paid directory listings.
- Again, Do regular searches for your old business name over a number of months in the main search engines and ensure that these links do not result in a 404 error. It may be a good idea to set up a landing page on your old domain that informs visitors of your re-brand and offers a new link to your site.
Best of luck with your new brand!