Closing a small business - what to do with social media accounts?
May 31, 2016 4:33 AM   Subscribe

We will soon be closing a small retail shop. I'm wondering what to do with our social media pages and web domain. We have Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus as well as our domain address. I'm not too sure what should be done with those and I couldn't find any good information about this on the internet. Delete them? Leave them up with a final post/thank you? Thanks all.
posted by Jackie_Treehorn to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is the name of the business pretty generic? You could sell the domain(s) or the website(s) and include the social assets as part of the sale.
posted by third word on a random page at 4:41 AM on May 31, 2016

It's pretty specific with the owner's name. I don't see selling any part of it to a third party.
posted by Jackie_Treehorn at 4:54 AM on May 31, 2016

I'd delete the social media accounts and let the domain expire. Abandoned accounts on email and social media sites can become a source of spam - no-one's there checking that everything's secure, changing the passwords or anything and spammers take advantage of that. The less abandoned accounts there are, the better.

The domain and website hosting would cost you monthly or annually to keep running so it's a no-brainer to let that lapse, unless you're planning on doing something else with it.
posted by winterhill at 5:05 AM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

Assuming your Google stuff is attached to the business entry that appears in Google Maps &c, it'd be nice to explicitly mark the business as "permanently closed" or delete it entirely or whatever option they provide for ex-businesses, to prevent people in the future from accidentally being directed there on the expectation it's still trading. (This has happened to me, and it sucks).
posted by russm at 5:20 AM on May 31, 2016 [10 favorites]

Considering (IIRC) Facebook has been very wishy-washy about not allowing likes or comments on pages and I'm not sure if that option is available now, I'd leave a final note thanking everyone for their patronage etc and telling that in 1/3/6 months all social media presence will be deleted.

Not knowing how large the costumer base or how frequently they visit the place, it might be a case where people will learn faster of its closure directly from the counter, or from social media. If it's the first, there will be no harm done on deleting quickly, but I was shafted a few times by stores that close out and delete their presence right away and there's no way of knowing what happened.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:38 AM on May 31, 2016 [5 favorites]

I would consider keeping the domain and having a simple page that thanks customers and announces the closing date for at least a few years. Otherwise someone will scoop it up and it could be unfortunate if a scammy business moves in and sells similar merchandise as the original business.
posted by missmerrymack at 5:55 AM on May 31, 2016 [12 favorites]

I always hate it when a small business I enjoy goes out of business without posting on social media. I used to live in a different city, and I had a bunch of stores and restaurants I liked there. It's been a few years since I've been back, so I use social media to keep track of them. I found out that one of my favorite restaurants ever closed this way, by looking at their Facebook and seeing the goodbye post. Without that, I would have no way of knowing. I've had places in my current city close with no notifications, and it takes a lot of googling, with a lot of associated rumor-mongering, to find out whether it's actually open or not. I think it's generally a good idea to put up a goodbye post on your social media accounts, to let everyone hear that it's closed straight from the proverbial horse's mouth.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:18 AM on May 31, 2016 [5 favorites]

Leave at least the domain up with a goodbye/thank you message. There have been times when I've seen a small online business recommended in an old thread, or wanted to reorder from them a few years after first doing business with them, only to find they'd closed up shop. The easier and quicker it is for a customer to find out you're closed, the better, and it's always good to know that the business closed on okay terms instead of, say, the owner neglecting to fulfill several hundred orders and then faking their death (it happens).
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:23 AM on May 31, 2016

Make sure it exists in the Wayback Machine
posted by rhizome at 6:19 PM on May 31, 2016

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