How to Successfully Rebrand on Social Media
For all the permanence offered by the internet, one thing is certain: nothing lasts forever. Audience interests change, engagement falters, brands that were once hitting home runs are hitting social media slumps.
If you notice your brand has hit a metaphorical wall it may be time to consider a rebrand. A rebrand is an involved process and the decision to go ahead with one requires understanding the buy-in involved to do so successfully.
After all, a rebrand is more than simply changing a logo or adopting a buttoned-down voice – although these may be facets of the process. The concept of your brand is oftentimes out of your hands. Brand is public perception. What do consumers think your brand stands for, what it cares about, what it embodies? What many marketers deem rebranding may end up not having any substantial impact because they do not take these questions into consideration.
Before going all in, remember there are other options available. For example, if your brand is not hitting its KPI’s on social media, examining the content being shared is a good place to start. It is possible your content is not meaningful to your target audience.
If organic reach is dipping, sponsored posts may be the way to go. With changes to algorithms on popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter over recent years, it is increasingly more difficult to garner organic reach without a budget for sponsored posts. There is no stigma attached to paying for exposure, only the possibility of expanding your audience.
However, if these or other alternatives do not attain the desired goal for your brand, then it might be time to rebrand. Although different for every business, there is a basic outline that a brand should follow to revamp their social media presence once it’s time.
Plan, Plan, Plan
The first step of everything we do as marketers and brand managers must be planning. This is the stage where direction is developed. Without it, strong ideas from your team may fail to land with your brand’s audience.
Having a strategy that is based on primary or secondary research (or both) can elevate modest campaigns to excellence and the same can be said for rebranding. Data is your friend. Using data to align brand values and vision allows you to better reposition your brand in the minds of consumers. It is also a great way to decide on what key performance indicators to utilize for evaluation.
Just as valuable are the lessons learned through current social media efforts. What was successful? What could be improved? Was there engagement outside of our core audience? These are just some questions that should be brought to the table while strategizing.
An overlooked part of social-rebranding is confirming the availability of your desired handles. The great thing about social media is that there are no barriers – anyone can sign up. The bad thing about social media is that there are no barriers -anyone can sign up. With 45% of the world’s population active on social media, the probability of someone snatching a coveted new username from underneath your nose is high. Be proactive and take it off the market before it is too late.
It’s Okay to Tease the Rebrand
After researching and strategizing to identify the best way to go about rebranding, no one can blame marketers that are aching to implement as soon as possible. The best approach, however, is to piecemeal the rebrand. Change is hard, and for fans of your brand, an abrupt change may not be welcomed with open arms. Drumming up excitement is not possible when a rebrand happens with a snap of the fingers.
Developing a teaser campaign is one of the best ways to create anticipation. A sneak peek here, a corner of a logo there, can get your fans talking on social media as well as those outside of your brand’s expected reach. This also prepares consumers for impending changes so the initial reception can be (mostly) positive.
Once the rebranding dust has settled, the work continues. Celebrate the positive points of the rebrand while also explaining why change was necessary. It may not be a popular move with everyone but being transparent about the reasons for change can create goodwill and share an intimate look of brand values.
Engage with your audience. Reply to comments, like posts, answer questions. A transition from the old to the new is smoothed by taking the temperature of how a rebrand is being received in real-time. This is one example of how being fast is an advantage during this process.
Evaluate and Adapt
Having speed and precision is helpful during the evaluation stage. Since your team set KPIs at the start of the rebrand, this may be the easiest step to take. This new data being collected will be helpful to either remain the focus of your fans or detail how to recapture lost parts of your audience.
Utilizing this information can help your brand be more adaptable on social media going forward. Every marketer knows that branding is a continuous process, as is evaluation. Speaking clearly, your brand should not waver in its identity, but adapting to produce content and digital experiences that are valued by audiences is always encouraged.
Rebranding on social media is not a quick process. Public perception is what is really changing with this process, and it is not something that can be done overnight. Dedication, planning, and transparency are all key elements of the process. Knowing the risks is necessary, but a successful and well-organized rebrand can reap many rewards.