Guidance for Closing Social Media Accounts

If you are planning to close or decommission one of your social media accounts, follow the best practices below.


Before you start deactivating your account(s), consider the following:

  1. Have you notified and discussed the strategy/approach with your Unit Social Media Lead?
  2. What is the best time of year to begin this process?
    • Determine whether there are any critical printed materials or other collateral referencing your social accounts that will need to be adjusted, and consider how/when to make this change in order to best minimize the impact
  3. Have you identified an appropriate shared or partner UB account to direct your followers to in order to stay connected to UB after your account(s) close?
    • Consider your target audiences and key messages
    • Consult with your department and Unit Social Media Lead
    • If there isn’t a suitable partner account to direct your followers to following the closure, consider encouraging users to stay connected by following UB’s institutional accounts and #UBuffalo for news and updates

Once you have made the decision to close your social media account(s), it is recommended that you deactivate them over the course of four weeks to ensure your active followers have seen your communications and allow them time to migrate to any new or existing shared/partner account(s), as appropriate. 

Recommended Schedule and Actions

Use the following workback schedule as a guide to communicate the account closing to your followers:

Post 1: One month prior to closing account: 

  • Announce that the account will be closing in one month and encourage audience to follow any shared/partner accounts to stay updated on your given subject matter (see sample message for example)

Post 2: Two weeks prior to closing account: 

  • Post a reminder that your unit/department will no longer be utilizing the account and again encourage your audience to follow any shared/partner accounts, as appropriate, for news and updates
  • Change the bio/about section of the page to acknowledge the close of the account and direct followers to go to the shared/partner account's page for updates/news

Post 3: 48-hours prior to closing the account: 

  • Post a notice that the account will be permanently closed as of [DATE] and will no longer be accessible. Include a final reminder to follow any shared/partner accounts, as appropriate
  • Remove branding from the accounts (in the cover photo or profile image etc). Leave the bio intact
  • Do not post any additional content from the account

Close the account: 

  • Follow the instructions outlined below to prepare and deactivate your page/account
  • Remove or update references to the social account from other sources, as outlined below

Notify all stakeholders:

Sample message:

Important news for our followers! 📢 The [NAME OF TEAM AND SOCIAL ACCOUNT] channel will be closing [DATE], but there are PLENTY of ways to stay connected with #UBuffalo. Follow [TAG APPROPRIATE ACCOUNT] now so you don’t miss a thing! We’ll see you over there. 👋

Account Closure Best Practices by Channel

Additional Sources to Update

In addition to closing the accounts, be sure to remove or update references to the social account from other sources, including:

  • Social buttons or feeds on your website(s)
    • Tip: Use Siteimprove to search for references on your pages
  • Email templates
  • Social media directories
  • Printed materials

Be sure to also log out of all devices.

Finally, notify your Unit Social Media Lead and University Communications that the account(s) has/have been closed to ensure all directories and listservs are up to date