Some people are wondering why ABC Family has decided to change the name of their channel. Well, the short answer is because their audience has changed. They had to make the decision either to stay with the Millennial audience or target the upcoming younger audience. The network’s executives decided to remain focused on telling stories capturing viewers who were “navigating the wonderful, fun, exciting, and scary time in life when you experience the most firsts – first car, first apartment, first job, first love, first heartbreak – all the firsts that exists between who they are and who they want to become.”
However, one thing to remember, no matter how big or small a company may be, there are good ways to rebrand and there are some not so good ways. You must make sure your new brand story resonates with your new audience. Here at Elevate Digital Media, we’ve gathered…
Create a list of your social media accounts and online profiles so you know exactly what needs to be updated. Find out which custom URLs can change, and which sites require a new account (some won’t let you update that branded URL). Pay attention to your audience size and engagement to determine which are most critical to a smooth rollout of your new brand.
I’m sure you’re aware of the variety of size requirements for the different social media pages. Use your audit to create a list of what you need. Think beyond the logo and have your graphics team create the right brand images for a fast and smooth transition.
Updating the description for each of your platforms is vital. Remember optimizing your description is very important to target your audience.
Work with your PR team to craft the messages you’ll share on social media about the new brand. Make sure the tone is right for your social community and that it addresses any unique concerns they may have. What will you say and who will say it?
Since you’re a large company, there will probably be a significant team working on rebranding. Make sure your social media team is engaged from the start. Schedule updates ahead of time, plan who does what and when they’ll do it.
Coordinate your announcement carefully. Make sure public communications and employee announcements are coordinated, and that your staff has talking points for social media if they tweet and post on your behalf.
Just in case you are working with limited resources, you may not be able to update every account and profile in one day. Include in your plan a prioritization of which sites to update first, and those that will follow as time permits.
It takes a while for a rebranding to sink in with customers and prospects. Be ready to tell your story over and over again in different ways as the message sinks in. Ask your advocates to share it, too.
People ask lots of questions when you rebrand. You may even have backlash from people who don’t understand the potential positive impact of the change. Answer patiently and consistently. Eventually the dust will settle.
In closing, I feel going after younger viewers is smart on ABC Family’s part. I’ve been watching some of the new shows as they transition into FreeForm and I must say they are shows my 17 year old and I both enjoy. One of my favorite is “Job or No Job.” Keep doing the great work ABC Family/FreeForm, you are stepping into the right digital marketing direction.