Should you rebrand your existing social media channels to your new business name?
It may be that you've finished a course and want to use the platforms you tested during your training as your new business pages. Maybe you are diversifying to offer social media management, or perhaps you are planning a true pivot from a totally different sector, eg blogging or photography, to start your social media management business.
Whatever your circumstances are there many things to take into consideration when deciding what to do and this is something we are asked regularly in The Hub, there are arguments for both so we've laid it out so you can take a considered decision.
The pros and cons of switching Vs starting from scratch.
8 reasons you SHOULD NOT keep your existing platforms and simply rebrand them.
When you've spent time building your presence on social media it can be really scary to consider starting again from scratch. But there are many reasons you should do exactly that so take all of this into consideration before making a decision:
1. Your followers have followed you for a reason. If they are engaged then it's probably because they like what you are doing and the content you are sharing. A switch to something completely new could be the reason they hit unfollow – although that might not be a bad thing.
2. Your Facebook reviews won't make sense to new followers if they are talking about the thing you used to do/sell and not what you are doing right now. Of course this only applies if you have reviews on your page.
3. The old content won't make sense to new followers and it might be too much work to go back and archive / delete it all.
4. If you wish to pivot back to use your platforms for the same reasons you previously used them then you might not be able to as your followers will have changed.
5. If your platforms are linked from other sites, maybe in guest blogs etc, then you might still be getting traffic to your platforms from people expecting you to be doing whatever it is you used to do.
6. It can take a long time to retrain your newsfeed to show you what you actually want to see now you have pivoted. So you might miss out on the content you want to be seeing – this can be overcome with Twitter lists but on Instagram it might be a long task to unfollow all the old accounts you used to see and replace them with new.
7. You may confuse the algorithm if you are wanting to run ads and you won't be able to target your warmest audiences or create lookalikes of them, as they won't be the right audiences.
8. It can take a lot of time and patience to change your Facebook page name as you often have to do that in stages. However, while Facebook can sometimes take weeks, Twitter & Instagram can be switched in a matter of minutes.
7 reasons you SHOULD keep your old platforms and simply rebrand them.
1. You've already got an audience who are engaged. You might lose some when you pivot but if the ones who stay become clients, or recommend you to others because they already know, like and trust you enough then the ones you've lost won't be missed.
2. The basic set up and leg work is done. So switching your handles, brand names and editing bios won't be as time consuming as starting from scratch.
3. You've already got some content on your platforms, which might not be relevant but could show people that you haven't just sprung up from nowhere – you were already using social media to market yourself or your business and so you have proof of your first hand experience of using the platforms fully.
4. The algorithm already understands that people like your content (if you get engagement) and you don't need to work so hard to train it from scratch. Although you may need to re-train it to show your content to a different type of person.
5. Clients love vanity metrics and will probably have more trust in you if your follower numbers are higher – even if they aren't the right followers (which is annoying and goes against everything we stand for!!)
6. It can work, if you do it well.
Can it work to rebrand your existing platforms?
I have done this myself as I ran a 6 month campaign for working mums on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter which I then rebranded to become my current business platforms. It worked for me because the audience was already right and I had (at that time) over 1000 people following me who were business owners and could potentially become clients.
However, I also had another Instagram page with (at the time) over 17k followers which I didn't even consider switching. For vanity reasons, and to get swipe up, it would have been great to use that for my current business. But I knew the audience wasn't right and it would have taken too much work to rebrand it.
Alison Reay-Jones rebranded her platforms after completing the Digital Mums course. Her campaign had been around flexible working and she chose to rebrand only her Instagram account and started afresh on Twitter & Facebook.
She told me she now wishes she had been a little more bold when making this decision as she could have switched her Twitter & Facebook pages as well as the followers she had could easily have been potential clients or collaborators.
Hannah Massey also rebranded her Instagram account after completing her training, she chose to delete her Facebook and Twitter accounts entirely. She was strategic in her rebrand and informed people what was happening with some short form blog posts so that there was a good transition.
Hannah had great engagement on her posts and had built a lovely community, so while she was aware they were probably not her ideal clients, they were part of her community that she wanted to keep. She's had no negative repercussions from rebranding but she does show a lot of her personality on her posts and is not all about business.
So whats your verdict?
Will you be rebranding your existing social media pages to use as your business page? We'd love to know. Join in the conversation in The Hub, or leave a comment below.