Reconnecting and Refreshing Channels

After you have connected your channels to Social Media Management, they shouldn't require much maintenance. However, there may be times when your channels disconnect and you will need to reconnect your channels to reestablish the connection between Brandwatch and the native network.

This article offers instructions on how to reconnect your channels in the event of a disconnection as well as some best practices for optimizing your channel connections in the platform.


All features in this article are only available to Social Media Management users with the user role of Team Leader or Admin.

Reasons for channel disconnection

Your channels may become disconnected for many reasons, either from changes initiated by the native network or changes you may have made to your account(s).

Authentication token limits

Brandwatch is able to pull information from your social accounts into Social Media Management with the help of authentication tokens, which are granted to Brandwatch after you authenticate, or “connect,” your social channels. An authentication token may expire or become invalidated for a number of native network reasons. For example, a network may have authentication token limits and require you to reauthenticate your account on a periodic basis for security purposes. Or, a network may detect security concerns with your account — such as inactivity of your account or using a shared login — and invalidate the token sooner, causing your channel to disconnect from Social Media Management. Visit Meta’s Developer help center for more technical details on access tokens.

Password or permission changes to your social account

If an Admin of a connected social account changes the account’s password, a disconnection from Social Media Management can occur. While it’s a good practice to update your passwords regularly for security, please note and plan accordingly that changing the password to your social account after you’ve connected it to Social Media Management may result in a disconnection. If your channel isn’t disconnected immediately after a password change, we recommend that you proactively refresh the channel in your Social Media Management settings to prevent a potential disconnection.

User change to your social account or Social Media Management account

Please note that user role changes within Social Media Management or your social account(s) can result in a channel disconnection if that user was managing a channel for your organization. Take care when planning to edit or delete users in either your Social Media Management organization or your social accounts so your team can prepare for any associated channel disconnections. We recommend that your organization have a transition plan in the event that one of your team members leaves your organization and designate back-up Admins to your account(s) in case you must transfer ownership of the social account to another user.

Native network disruptions

Brandwatch connects with social networks via an application programming interface, or “API,” which is a piece of software that allows two applications to connect to one another. From time to time, social networks may experience either planned or unplanned breaks in service, which can result in your channel disconnecting from Social Media Management.

While we can't account for outages on the native networks, we do endeavor to notify Social Media Management Administrators via our status page when API interruptions occur and when service is restored so you can reconnect your channels as soon as possible. We also strive to keep you informed about planned API changes so you can prepare for any reconnections needed to minimize the impact to your team’s daily workflow.

Reconnecting disconnected channels

In the event that one of your channels disconnects in Social Media Management, the user that connected the account will receive an email notification and see a Disconnected notice beside the channel in their channels list. This means that Brandwatch has lost access to the channel and can no longer index content for it until the channel has been reconnected. To reconnect a channel to Social Media Management, please follow the steps below:

  1. From Social Media Management's left-hand navigation sidebar, click on the Settings (cog) icon > Channel admin.Screenshot
  2. Find the disconnected channel in your channels list and click Reconnect to the right of the channel.mceclip2__1_.png
  3. When prompted via the pop-up screen, log into the native network and accept any authorization requests.
  4. When redirected to Social Media Management again, you’ll see this channel already selected under the heading New and Disconnected Channels. Check the box beside the channel (or check off multiple boxes to connect channels in bulk) and then click Connect Channel(s). mceclip3.png

Best practices for optimizing channel connection

Unfortunately, we can’t prevent every channel disconnection, such as those due to authentication token limitations or service disruptions from the native network. However, you and your team can minimize some common reasons for disconnections by following a few best practices in Social Media Management.

Refreshing your channels regularly

If your channel has been connected for a long time, Social Media Management’s connection to your channel via the network API may become faulty. In such cases, your channel may not instantly become disconnected, though you may experience minor issues such as post publishing errors or missing comments. Over time, your channel may eventually become disconnected if not refreshed periodically.

Since we regularly update our platforms to stay current with network features and bug fixes, we recommend that you aim to refresh the connection of your channels every 2-3 months to keep your channel authentication fresh and minimize connection issues. Refreshing channels is a quick process that any Social Media Management Administrator or Team Leader can do.

  1. From Social Media Management's left-hand navigation sidebar, click on the Settings (cog) icon > Channel admin.Screenshot
  2. Click Add Channels in the top-right corner. mceclip0.png
  3. Select Connect under the applicable network.
  4. When prompted via the pop-up screen, log into the native network and accept any authorization requests.
  5. When routed back to Social Media Management, you’ll see three tabs. Select the middle tab, Connected channels administrated by your organization.
  6. Find the impacted channel, select it and click Connect 1 Channel.mceclip1__1_.png

Be familiar with each network’s authentication requirements

To protect your social accounts, networks have different requirements for authenticating and integrating your accounts with third-party tools like Brandwatch. Please visit our network-specific channel connection guides to learn about each network’s requirements before connecting your channel to Social Media Management.

In particular, Meta has strict guidelines for authenticating Facebook and Instagram accounts. Visit our article on Resolving Facebook and Instagram Account Disconnection in Social Media Management to learn more about the potential disconnection issues you may encounter with Meta accounts.

Designate back-up administrators for your accounts

To plan for team changes or user departures in your organization, we recommend that you have a transition plan in case you need to transfer Administrator permissions or ownership of your social account(s) to another team member. For example, for Facebook accounts, you can grant additional users Full Control access to your Facebook Page(s) via the Meta Business Suite.

When you delete a user from Social Media Management, we recommend that a new Admin or Team Leader refresh the connection to any channels the deleted user had previously connected. Visit our Managing Users article to learn more about the impact of deleting users.

Any back-up users you designate to connect your channels will need to have the appropriate native access to the social account as well as be an Admin or Team Leader in Social Media Management. Visit our network-specific channel connection guides to familiarize yourself with the user access required for each network.

Was this article helpful?
5 out of 9 found this helpful
Brandwatch Academy

The Brandwatch Academy is here

Access on-demand courses on the Brandwatch product suite, plus live events to enrich your knowledge.