what-should-you-do-with-extra-social-media-profilesSocial media help comes in all forms. Some business owners are currently managing their own social presence, but come to us for some strategy planning or social media review help to make sure they are making the most of their efforts and have a solid plan for the future. Some business owners come to us because they know the importance and value of having a social media presence, but have no idea where to start or how to establish their brand. Then there is another group of business owners who already have a collection of social media profiles (and even website URLs), but they have multiple profiles for the same platform, may not know how to regain access of one because a former employee used to handle that, or have gone through a rebranding and need help determining how to handle their extra social media profiles.

Figuring out what to do with those extra social profiles is definitely a tricky situation, and often, there isn’t 1 clear choice but more of a “lesser of evils” type situation.

Here are a few questions to consider if you find yourself in this situation.

  1. Can you change your username? In the case of rebranding and (sometimes) consolidation of accounts, changing your handle or display name may be all that’s needed to address the issue. If a social media platform will allow for a name change, they’ll do so without causing you to lose any followers.
  2. Which social media profile has the most followers? We recently had this situation with a client who had 3 of 1 type of social media profile. When we took a look at the number of followers across all 3, it was easy to determine which one to keep.
  3. Is the profile verified? Verification is an extra step that you can take with profiles like Google+ and Pinterest. If you have more than one of these profiles, and only 1 has been verified, the choice of which one to keep may be easy for you.
  4. Should you delete your extra profiles? At some point you may have come across a deserted fan page or Twitter profile that shows the final update stating that profile is no longer being used and to follow that same user at a different username instead. While this step might be wise for some brands for a short period of time, this is not a long term solution. Social media profiles will continue to surface in search (both internal to the platform and search engines like Google). You can’t control how someone will first come in contact with your brand, which means potential customers can come across your dormant profile instead of the active profile you manage. Also, keep in mind that most users don’t visit your profile page, and instead only interact with updates that are seen in their streams.

Before deleting any social media profile, make sure there isn’t anything worth saving first! Imagery, photos that have been shared, bios, descriptions, and lists (Twitter lists, LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Circles, etc.) may be valuable and worth carrying over to the social media profile you plan to keep for the future.

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