Social media has become such a normal part of life that it is almost weird when you’re not on it. This applies to both churches and organizations as individuals. There’s an expectation that, even in limited terms, it is a way to contact and connect with you. The novelty has worn off, and more people and organizations are reconsidering use of social media. Reasons vary. From mental health to giving energy to more core activities. For these and other activities, people and organizations quit social media and delete their accounts. Before doing that there are things to consider before deleting social media accounts.
These things might be worth your attention before erasing yourself off platforms.
Embeds and References
Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram allow you to embed content on websites and blogs. Deleting your account obliterates any embeds of your content on other platforms. This can be a problem when you and other people have used your content in different areas.
I can think of instances where you create content around a post or thread on a different platform. Without those references content might not make a lot of sense. Deleting your account could take away from the content.
For this reason, it might be a good idea to only stop using your account and leave it inactive.
Alternate Ways To Connect
Even with good SEO, people search for individuals or organizations on social media. For a church this will matter especially when you want to be as visible and accessible in your community. On the Internet there’s more than one way to find you or get to your website or contact details.
Will people still need to get in touch with you? On Twitter, for example, consider not deleting your account completely. Instead leave a pinned tweet about where people can get in touch with you. Edit your account bio to let people know that you’re not active on the platform and alternate ways of getting in touch with you.
Corner On The Handle(s)
Don’t forget the reputation risk. If you delete the account someone else can get your handle or unique URL. Keep in mind that it’s possible that other people might have made reference to your church’s social media account. And, you don’t have control on when someone may stumble on that link. One of the best ways of doing this is to not completely delete your social media account.
You might have to be a “handle squatter” especially if it has to do with your brand or church’s reputation. It might be a good idea to just hold onto your handle as a way of managing your reputation risk.
I wasn’t sure if I should include this one but thought someone might wonder about it. So here we are. One of the things I’ve noticed is that you can still get traffic from old social media posts. This is not likely to be true for many websites. But, I have seen social media accounts like Pinterest continue to generate traffic.
Consider impact on website traffic before deleting your social media accounts.
One of the other things to consider before deleting social media accounts is your data. If you’ve decided that none of the above is a thing and are proceeding with deletion, download your data. I make it a habit every few years to download data on my accounts, so that I have a copy of it. I also do it to see what data of mine is stored / collected. (This is for another discussion on another day).
You might have deleted or considered deleting your account. What are some of the things you’ve done or thought of before getting rid of them? Your thoughts on any of this?