If you’ve ever started a social media account on one of the big networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and then lost interest, you are not alone. But unfortunately an abandoned or under-utilized social media account can actually harm your brand image.
When I meet someone new or when I’m investigating a potential service provider, the first thing I do is visit their website (this is what most people do, by the way). If there are social media links, I click to see their activity. If the social media accounts are inactive, or if they haven’t had any activity in weeks or months, it can leave a negative impression. This is especially true if the brand is one that involves marketing (people look to you to lead by example!) or a public persona, such as an author or speaker.
Social media isn’t yet a priority for every business, though I could argue that it should be! But if you decide to abandon your efforts or take a break, one way to address that is by posting a message to the audience: “On hiatus from social media, but will be back soon. Thanks for stopping by!” This small gesture will help your audience understand that you aren’t just ignoring your platforms and that you plan to return.
And if you don’t plan to return, you have two choices:
- Delete the profile or page altogether. Maintaining a Facebook page with a handful of Likes and no activity can send the wrong message. Simply delete it and start a new one later when you are ready to make a better commitment.
- Update your bio and status to let visitors know a better way to find you. For example, I stopped using Myspace ages ago, but instead of just ignoring the page, I posted a note letting visitors know that I no longer use the account and shared a link to find me on Twitter or Facebook instead.
Also, if you’re not active with your social media accounts, then have the links removed from your website. This will only confuse site visitors. Or, if you maintain activity on just one or two networks, leave those links up and remove the links that you aren’t using. Utilizing one network is better than no networks at all, and it’s perfectly fine to simply feature the one you keep active.
Social media does take time and not every business owner makes it a priority. But you can make a few minor adjustments so that you don’t send the wrong message to your audience!