Congratulations! Your company just acquired another business, and now it’s time to think about how to successfully merge or sunset the acquired company’s social media presence. 

Leadtail’s account managers have experience navigating company acquisitions from both sides of the deal. We’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the social media aspect of a merger or acquisition with best practices and tips based on our experience.

So, what are the essential items for a social media manager to consider as two B2B companies come together?

To Sunset or Not to Sunset? Evaluating Your New Brand Handle

When deciding whether to merge or sunset the acquired company’s social media accounts, you need to assess the value they bring. Consider the following questions:

  • How many followers does the new brand handle have? If the acquired company has a large following, it may be worth keeping the handle to continue reaching that audience. A large following doesn’t automatically mean you should keep the brand’s account. However, it’s something to consider as you develop marketing and comms strategies for the newly merged enterprise.
  • How is engagement? Engagement is a critical aspect of a successful social media handle. If the acquired company’s handle gets a lot of engagement, it might be worth continuing to build and engage with that already strong community. As you develop an overall post-acquisition strategy for the brand, consider what audience you are trying to reach and whether the new brand handle will help you with this goal.
  • Is there a thriving community here? Similar to engagement, having a thriving community on the acquired company’s social media handle is a good sign that it’s worth keeping. If there are active discussions and conversations, it might be worthwhile to continue fostering that community.
  • Is there any paid social happening on either handle? If the acquired company is running paid social campaigns, you’ll need to take a close look at their performance. If they’re successful, it might be worth keeping the handle to continue running those campaigns.
Weighing Your Options

After evaluating the acquired company’s social media presence, you have several options to consider:

  1. Delete the newly acquired handle and move its content strategy to the existing handle. This option is best if the acquired company’s social media presence is relatively weak or the main goal is to consolidate the brand under one account. To make the transition less abrupt, you can pin a post that tells people about the change (for example, a link to the press release about the acquisition) and encourages people to follow the existing brand handle.
  2. Delete the existing handle and move your content to the newly acquired handle. This might be the best choice if the acquired company’s social media presence is more robust and established than your current account.
  3. Keep both handles and change the strategy for both handles. This option works well if both companies have a solid social media presence and you want to maintain separate brand identities while leveraging each company’s strengths. We recommend this if the handles cater to different audiences or buyer personas and already have a thriving and engaged community. Keep in mind: do you have a large enough team to support a content strategy for multiple social media accounts?
Platform-Specific Considerations

Each social media platform has unique features and options you should know when merging or sunsetting accounts.

  1. Twitter. Evaluate the acquired company’s Twitter presence and decide whether to maintain separate accounts or delete one. Because Twitter doesn’t support merging accounts or migrating followers, you will need to ensure that the deprecated handle’s followers are informed and give them the option to follow the main account.
  2. Instagram. Assess the content and engagement of the acquired company’s Instagram account. Meta also doesn’t offer the option to merge two Instagram accounts. So you’ll need to decide whether to delete one handle or maintain separate accounts with distinct content strategies. If you choose to delete the acquired brand’s account, consider archiving or reposting important content on the main account.
  3. LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers multiple options for dealing with the acquired brand’s presence on its platform. Of course, you can merge pages. But LinkedIn also lets you create an affiliate, acquired business, or showcase page. Using one of these options may help maintain separate brand identities while showcasing the new relationship between the companies.
  4. Facebook. Meta allows you to merge Facebook business pages, which can be a helpful way to consolidate your online presence. The process for merging pages differs based on whether the page is in classic mode or has been migrated to the new page experience. Meta offers detailed instructions on how to perform a merge in either instance.
Finding a Voice

A merger or acquisition offers a golden opportunity to evaluate your social media strategy as a whole. This is an excellent time to assess what is working and not working on the acquired brand’s accounts as well as the existing accounts.

Revisit your brand voice and social media goals. Is there anything about the new brand’s approach to social that you want to incorporate into your updated strategy? Do things need to change immediately after the acquisition to align the new social media accounts with your brand standards?

Lay out the timeline so the entire team is on the same page. Give yourself enough time to evaluate the newly acquired handle’s audience, review your social strategy and goals, and implement the changes. Keep in mind this process may take several months.

Successfully navigating a corporate merger or acquisition on social media requires careful consideration of the value each company’s social media presence brings. By evaluating the new brand handle and considering platform-specific options, you can make informed decisions on how best to merge or sunset the acquired company’s social media accounts.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a cohesive online presence that showcases the strengths of both companies and sets the stage for a successful partnership.

Need help navigating a new acquisition on social media? Let’s talk!