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Managing online accounts when you sell or rebrand your business

North East Digital Marketing Agency, Cal Partners

Selling or closing a business? There are lots of things to remember and you may have specialist help to keep you on track. Your solicitor and accountant can help with issues like directors, shareholders, liquidation and tax – there’ll be lots of forms to complete and papers to sign. And don’t forget to change bank signatories, cancel the milkman and paper delivery!

But some online accounts can get overlooked during this period of change.

Recently, we worked with a client whose firm had been completely rebranded. New website, new domain, new email addresses. Unfortunately, before the old accounts disappeared, they didn’t update Google My Business, Twitter or Facebook.

These accounts were registered to an email address that no longer existed, meaning login details couldn’t simply be updated – passwords couldn’t be recovered, and email addresses couldn’t be changed.

How did we fix it?

Google My Business

We created a new Google account and My Business page. When you assign your business name, Google will send an email to the old admin to verify the update. After three days, if the old admin hasn’t responded, Google automatically replace and update the business to the new account.

Twitter

This is a lot more difficult. You can report an account and Twitter will investigate it – unfortunately they will only act if that account has violated their rules. Unless you are able to contact Twitter from the confirmed email address (or have access to the verified mobile number on the account), Twitter is unable to deactivate the account on your behalf. If an account isn’t active for 6 months or more, Twitter may delete it. The best option is to create a new twitter account and concentrate on growing your following and building – the old account should disappear in time.

Facebook

Facebook Business Pages are linked to at least one individual’s Facebook profile – and often these are set up in a personal capacity, with a personal email address. The easiest way to have an old Facebook Business Page deleted is to contact the person who had administrator access. You can ask them to them to delete the Business page on your behalf or, alternatively, ask them to add you as an administrator so that you can take over the Business page and update all the relevant details. If you can’t get in touch with a previous administrator, your only option is to set up a new Facebook Business page and report the old one to Facebook – however this doesn’t guarantee they will delete the old one.

Lessons Learnt!

To avoid mishaps like these, and the extra amount of admin time and effort needed to fix them, it is a good idea to create accounts with a generic email (such as info@ or a standalone Gmail account). Make a list of all the online accounts and login details for the business, to avoid any being missed in the event of a change in business structure or team members. Remember to keep usernames and passwords stored securely but accessible to assigned team members when required.

Cal Partners is a marketing agency working exclusively with professional services businesses. Please get in touch if you think we can help you with a rebrand, PR or your social media management.

About the author

Alison O'Neill

Marketing Executive, Alison, is a former Forensic Scientist who moved into professional services marketing in 2008 and is a Chartered Marketer and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).

We are a specialist marketing, digital marketing and social media agency and business development consultancy working with you to attract ideal clients to your professional services firm.