Time to Get Off a Platform: How to Close Down a Social Media Account

You’ve decided to close down a social media account or get off a specific platform. Follow these quick steps to do it right.

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Social media marketing has become a critical channel for many brands to connect with their customers. However, names that were once cornerstones of the social media marketing world are fading in popularity as new formats take their place. For the first time, brands are confronting the reality that their social media strategy must continually evolve as the social media world grows and changes. One part of that process is closing down social media accounts that are no longer a valuable part of your strategy. If you decide to close a social media account for your brand, here are a few steps to make that process seamless.

Create a timeline: Once the data have suggested that there is no longer a logical return on investment for actively participating on a specific social media channel, it’s important to take the steps to shut it down. However, it is rarely as easy as simply terminating an account. Instead, come up with a timeline to “sunset” the account. Consider any time you might need to notify your followers, archive your content, and manage the technical process.

Let your followers know now: One of the most important factors of closing a social media account is taking the steps necessary to make sure you don’t lose connections. Post a message that lets people know when the account will be shut down, and include alternatives for getting in touch on other media platforms. Consider giving your followers at least a month—if not longer—to get the message. Post multiple updates throughout that time, and consider making your announcement a pinned post or featured update (depending on the network) to increase its visibility.

Archive your content: Check with your legal department or company management on any industry requirements for archiving or retaining communications with customers. At a minimum, archive a copy of the data associated with your account so you have a record of those interactions and the content published. Have a plan for storing that archive in a central location your marketing team can easily access if the information is needed.

Outline the technology requirements of closing down an account: Every platform is different in terms of what is required to close an account, particularly if you have an account that is verified or associated with the brand. Contact the platform to let it know you plan to close out the account, and create a checklist of the steps you’ll need to take to verify that the account is truly closed. Be diligent to ensure that your account isn’t simply orphaned, leaving future visitors to wonder why your brand is no longer updating its social presence.

Social media marketing is a valuable way to connect with your customers. However, good social media marketing can be time-intensive, and it’s important to make strategic decisions about where you spend your time. If you are no longer seeing the value from a specific network, don’t be afraid to shut down your profile. Simply take the steps to make sure you handle the process professionally and that your customers know where to find you online.