Is a social media rebrand on your radar?

The importance of thoughtful and original branding can’t be overstated.

We get it, though — sometimes a change is necessary. You shouldn’t be saddled with a brand identity that doesn’t make sense, right?

But the stakes are high for businesses looking to reinvent themselves.

Food for thought: 70% of marketers say that consistent branding is the most important element of building a community and retaining customers.

And that’s the challenge: how do you introduce a new identity without losing touch with your existing audience?

In this guide, we’ll break down how to rebrand your business on social media and keep your customers happy.

Why (and when) a rebrand on social media is necessary

Let’s kick things off by reviewing why rebrands happen in the first place.

And no, a rebrand is not just a logo update.

Rebrands shouldn’t be taken lightly given the legwork and potential risk involved. That said, they’re totally necessary and happen often for the reasons below.

Your business is shifting its focus and messaging

Maybe your business is pivoting to new products and services.

Or perhaps your current branding doesn’t reflect your voice or values.

Either way, these are legit reasons for a fresh start. For example, changes in your branding and marketing messages might reflect:

  • Simplifying (or expanding) your product offerings and features
  • A commitment to being more socially conscious
  • Going from “discount” or “affordable” to “premium” or “boutique” (or vice-versa)

Whether motivated by new leadership or customer feedback, a rebrand on social is the perfect way to communicate your updated mission.

You’re struggling to stand out in your industry

This is a problem that many B2B brands and SaaS companies face.

Branding is everything when there are dozens of companies offering near-identical services like yourself. If you’re in an up-and-coming business among crowded competition, a rebrand can cement your identity.

Heck, ongoing rebrands are popular even among established companies. Doing so allows you to modernize your business and avoid being perceived as stuck in your ways.

Mailchimp is a great example of this. Check out the evolution of the brand’s Twitter from 2014 to 2021 below. Beyond the updated imagery and naming (“MailChimp” to “Mailchimp”), the brand has pivoted from “just email” to a full suite of marketing and ecommerce tools.

Gif of Mailchimp's Twitter rebrand evolution

Your customers aren’t thrilled with your current brand

Unfortunately, this is something you’ll likely learn the hard way.

There’s no good way to ask past and present customers “Why don’t you like us anymore?” That said, warning signs of a damaged brand include:

  • An uptick of negative social comments (“outdated,” “disappointed,” “they fell off”)
  • Getting called out as being the lesser among your competitors
  • Dealing with a significant  crisis or public backlash

When done right, a rebrand on social media can be the sort of “hard reset” you need to reestablish yourself. If you’re worried about your current brand health, social listening tools can clue you in via mention monitoring and sentiment analysis.

Sprout's sentiment analysis for a rebrand on social media

“What are the key pieces of a social media rebrand?”

The short answer? It depends.

For rebranding on social media, you’ll need to create, gather and agree upon deliverables such as:

  • Logos, graphics and color schemes for your visual identity
  • Your brand name, @brand social handles and hashtags
  • Taglines, slogans and your mission statement
  • Announcement copy and posts for your various social channels
Wise's Twitter handle references its prior identity as Transferwise in its rebrand materials.

Also, consider more abstract elements of your rebranding efforts that you’ll need to communicate to followers. This includes:

  • Your brand voice
  • Your brand’s values
  • Marketing messaging
  • Your value proposition

Note that social media rebrands are typically part of a larger rebranding effort. Also, not all types of rebrands involve the same amount of legwork.

For example, a refresh might involve lighter changes such as a new logo or mission statement. A brand reboot might involve company-wide rebranding while a brand overhaul basically means starting from scratch.

This update from Discord is a good example that’s closer to a refresh:

The degree to which the elements above need to change isn’t one-size-fits-all. You’ll need to talk to your team to figure it out.

“Who’s involved in a social media rebrand?”

Rebrands often involve a lot of moving pieces.

As a result, there are usually quite a few people and departments involved.

Before you get knee-deep in your rebrand on social media, consider roles including:

  • The C-level. There are the folks making high-level decisions and signing off on the rebrand itself.
  • Marketing teams. This includes project managers and directors to plan the steps of the rebrand.
  • Social media teams. The social team is obviously essential not only for putting your rebranding plan into action but also for engaging with customers and keeping your messaging consistent.
  • PR teams. Rebrands are the bread and butter of PR pros. They’re responsible for communicating the rebrand beyond social including earned and owned media.
  • Creative teams. From designers to copywriters and beyond, the creatives on your team will be busy during the rebranding process.
  • Employees. Responsible for promoting and boosting your rebrand to their own networks. It’s important to keep all employees informed of an upcoming rebrand, whether it’s a refresh or overhaul, and why.
  • Agencies, contractors and freelancers. Non-employees might serve as consultants on your rebrand and messaging or handle some of the duties above if you’re a smaller team.

The need for these roles ultimately depends on the size of your business. Having fewer stakeholders and participants isn’t necessarily a negative if you want to get your rebrand moving faster.

5 steps to prep for a successful social media rebrand

Below is a quick breakdown of what needs to happen before you roll out your rebrand on social media.

1. Assemble your team to define your goals

First thing’s first: bring your stakeholders together and hash out the big-picture details of your rebrand. This includes answering questions such as:

  • “What do we hope to accomplish?
  • “What’s the reason for our rebrand?”
  • “How intensive does the rebrand need to be? Refresh, reboot or overhaul?”
  • “What’s our timeline?”
  • “How will we measure the success of our rebrand?”

Again, rebranding is no small feat. Your team needs to be explicit about their expectations and what they want to get out of the process.

That means setting goals! Specific to a rebrand on social media, metrics such as engagement and sentiment help assess your goals and performance.

2. Audit your social presence to assess needs

To figure out where your rebrand needs to go, you need to figure out where you currently stand.

A full-blown social media audit coupled with a competitive analysis will highlight the deliverables you’ll need. This includes logos, graphics, copy and announcement posts for your priority networks.

3. Assign roles, deliverables and deadlines

Determine who’s going to be involved in delivering the goods for the rebrand. This includes your internal team and contractors.

Depending on the complexity of your rebrand, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Err on the side of caution when it comes to your rebranding schedule. Build-in time for revisions and approvals. If you set a hard date for an announcement, you’ll be tied to it.

4. Monitor and review the progress of your deliverables

Ideally, your collaborators should all work in a project management platform or collaboration tool for the sake of transparency and accountability. This will make it easier to see what’s on schedule and what’s not.

Collaborators should be comfortable checking in and providing feedback. When in doubt, consider more frequent assessments for deliverables (like logo designs) to reduce bottlenecks and unnecessary revisions.

5. Approve your rebranding announcement 

Assuming you have your deliverables ready, it’s time to decide how you’re going to announce your news.

Through your social media approval process, confirm that your messaging is 0n-point and the timing of your announcement is, too.

You obviously want to maximize the visibility of your rebrand. Consider that you might need to align your announcement timing with other marketing channels including emails, blog posts or press releases. And don’t forget to communicate company-wide when your rebrand goes live.

How to announce rebranding on social media the right way

The social announcement of your rebrand is arguably the most important part of the process.

Getting the most out of your hard work means generating some much-needed buzz and maximizing the engagement of your big announcement.

To wrap things up, here’s a quick announcement checklist for your rebrand on social media.

Hype your audience up (hint: don’t just dump the news on ’em)

Not everyone likes surprises.

But more importantly, a sudden switch-up of your branding can confuse your followers.

Whether weeks or days in advance, consider creating a preview post or two to tease your rebuild and build a bit of anticipation. Here’s a great example from Gumroad:

Prepare your “day one” social media announcement

You only get one announcement post, so make it count.

This is not the time for your images or captions to get cut off. Double-check the previews for your announcement posts across the platforms you’re publishing to. This includes:

  • Caption lengths
  • Display name and URL changes
  • File size and media types (think: video length, image dimensions)
  • External links to your website

Hint: you can use a social publishing tool like Sprout Social to ensure that your captions, media and links are all optimized and properly timed for each network you’re pushing to.

Encourage employees to boost your rebrand 

If you’re only publishing your rebrand announcement from your business profiles, you’re limiting your reach. Big time.

Employee advocacy is well-documented when it comes to helping brands earn more each. Whether it’s a simple repost or a personalized announcement, urge your employees to build buzz as well.

An employee announcing their employer's rebrand on social media

This is a great way to maximize your day-one reach and keep the hype train going over multiple days.

Promote your rebranding announcement elsewhere

Of course, social media isn’t the only place to hype your rebrand.

Don’t keep your audience and customer base in the dark. Consider other time-sensitive avenues to announce your rebrand such as:

  • An email (or newsletter)
  • Press release
  • Earned media or collaborations with other brands

Also, don’t forget about static content that customers can reference to learn about your rebrand. This includes:

  • A blog post (see below)
  • Videos (on your homepage or company YouTube account)
  • An FAQ page
Bergmeyer's rebrand blog announcement

Engage with your audience during the rebrand

Especially if you have an established following, you should be ready for people to say congrats and ask questions.

Don’t miss out on these valuable interactions: your followers will be looking at your comments and reactions. Likewise,  you may need to clarify details of your rebrand to satisfy skeptical customers.

This speaks to the importance of tools like Sprout’s Smart Inbox which not only monitors your brand mentions across multiple networks but also gives your team a single platform to respond in.

smart inbox to handle queries during a rebrand on social media

Remember: a rebrand is not a one-and-done process. You’re going to need to continuously monitor mentions and answer questions as your customers become familiar with your new identity.

And as noted earlier, you can assess the performance of your rebrand via analytics. If you’re seeing a boost in brand mentions and overall positive sentiment, you’re on the right track.

Are you ready for your social media rebrand?

Reinventing yourself on social media requires careful planning and specific execution if you want to do it right.

That said, going through the process is crucial for brands looking to define themselves versus their competitors.

Now that you know how to launch a rebrand on social media, it’s time to reflect on the latest social trends and tactics brands are using to stand out from the crowd.

If you haven’t already, check out the latest Sprout Social Index™ to learn what consumers are looking for from brands online.