I recently overheard a conversation between a client and a Kalleo technician who was called upon to troubleshoot an access problem related to the client’s Facebook account. The client realized that no updates had been made to her company’s Facebook page in three months. All page updates had been made by an employee who was no longer with the company. At the time she realized her page had gone stale, she further realized that she had no idea how to access or administer her company’s account.
The situation got me to thinking about how often companies, particularly those with a small number of staff, create social media accounts, build a following, invest time into nurturing their pages with regular, relevant updates, but do not make efforts to protect their social accounts as the assets they become.
It is not uncommon for the creation and management of social media accounts to fall to one individual in an organization. This may be a marketing professional (if the company has one) or it may be a savvy staff member with a passion for sharing information and engaging with followers. Often when business owners grant permission or task employees to create these accounts, little thought is given to what will happen to the account if the person who is managing the account leaves the organization.
If you are not well versed in social media, you may not realize that pages for companies are often controlled exclusively by the individual who establishes the business’ presence within the social media site. In the case of Facebook, there is no company login that grants access to the administration of the company’s login page. To access the administrative console of a company’s Facebook page, an individual must log in with their own Facebook account to gain administrative access to the company’s page. These administrative privileges are granted solely by the person who initially built the page. (The same is true for LinkedIn company pages, incidentally.)
The person who built the page is frequently the person with sole responsibility for managing it. Therein lies a problem. What happens if that person leaves your organization? Worse, what will happen if they leave your organization on bad terms? You got it – your page goes with them.
That was the situation for our client. A former employee created and managed her company’s Facebook page. No one else in the organization had administrative privileges, and no one had spoken to that individual since the last day of her employment with the company. The company’s page was at the mercy of a former employee who no longer had a relationship with the company or its remaining employees.
Faced with a situation like this, a novice might decide to simply build a new company page. I caution you to think about the ramifications of such an action. First, you lose all the history associated to the prior page. Second, you lose all of your followers. Third, you confuse future followers who would search for your page, find two results and struggle to know which one was the real you. (This is akin to moving the physical location of your business but failing to take down the signage and turn off the lights at your old location.)
What should you do to prevent such a situation from occurring to you? Protect your accounts just as you would any other digital asset or digital content by ensuring you have a backup plan. Make sure that your company pages within your social networking platforms have multiple page administrators. Naming additional page administrators is as simple as adding a friend to your Facebook account or adding a connection to your LinkedIn profile. Facebook offers multiple roles for its page users. My suggestion for those of you with Facebook accounts is to set yourself as the administrator of your page and set your page manager’s role to “Content Creator.” This adds extra security to your page by preventing others from naming additional administrators or deleting your company account entirely.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that should your relationship with your page manager sour, your social assets remain protected.