Securing Your Social Media Accounts is a Priority
Many small to medium sized businesses may discover they have a problem on their hands when they make the decision to fully invest in a social media strategy. A lot of people got excited and invested in social media when it first appeared and created accounts. Some businesses may have passed the task on to part time or temporary younger workers who expressed some enthusiasm for the job. Social media wasn’t taken seriously as an important part of a business’s reputation and the immense role it would come to play in marketing was still a few years away. As such, many businesses may have joined the various social networks without taking the proper care to secure their accounts or ensure continued access to them.
Social media accounts now, though, are an essential part of the face of a business. So many customers first discover a business through social media or attempt to contact them this way. As a result, great care must be taken to keep access to these accounts safe and put a process in place to make sure only the appropriate people have continued access.
Take an Audit
If you have just decided you want to put serious effort into your social media campaign, a great place to start is by auditing your existing accounts. In the case that a lot of management has moved through your company, some accounts might exist that you aren’t even aware of. So it’s an important first step to find those if you can and make a decision about what to do with them. Another important step is to figure out who has access to which accounts. Remove anyone who no longer works for you or anyone who doesn’t need access. Update passwords or restrict access as appropriate for the social platform. You may also want to take note of how frequently active accounts are being updated. Below are some suggested things to check for on each social media platform in order to secure it. Keep in mind these items are for securing your account and not optimizing it for use. A separate audit will need to be done for that.
How frequently is the FB page updated on average?
Are there any unverified FB pages for the business?
If yes, please list:
Verified Account: Y_____N____
Are there any other Twitter accounts that have been made for the business?: Y_____N_____
If yes, please list:
How often is the Twitter account updated on average?
LinkedIn Business Account:
Is there a company page? Y____N____
Is there a cover photo with correct dimensions that represents the business?: Y___N___
Is there a profile photo with correct dimensions that represents the business?: Y____N____
How often is the LinkedIn page updated on average?
Google+ Account Page:
How often is the G+ page updated on average?
Checking out each of the items above will give you an idea of your social media situation.
If you discover you don’t have access to any of the sites associated with your business, you can make some attempts to recover it. Some of the platforms are much more difficult to deal with than others and so you may need to consider that some of them will be a total loss if the steps you take fail to produce results.
The first step to take in every case is determining who DOES have access. Someone else in the company may have started the social media profile, and if so you need to find them to make arrangements to transfer control over to yourself. This will of course be easiest if that person still works with you. If not, you may need to attempt to get in touch with a former employee. It really depends on how much traction the site has and if it has a lot of followers whether this course of action will be worth it to you. In the event the accounts don’t have a big following or have been inactive for a long time, and initial efforts to source who has the password or who controls access are unsuccessful, you are not losing very much. Sure it’s a minor inconvenience and not optimal, but it’s far better to start putting your efforts into building new platforms with new followers.
Each platform’s recovery processes are different and are not necessarily friendly to having lost access of the account. For Twitter, you can try a password reset to see if you still have access to the email address associated with the account. For Google, you can request deletion of a Google+ page or if you have lost access to Google My Business you can request access. On LinkedIn, if you are connected to the admin you can also request administrative access to the page. On Facebook, you must know who the admin is and ask them to grant you access but there is no official method through Facebook where you can request access.
Secure Your Accounts Going Forward
Needless to say, you want to take the control of your social media accounts out of the hands of part time or temporary staff. While these employees may be granted access to perform functions, it’s not a good idea to have them in sole control. Document everyone who has access to the accounts. When an employee leaves, you want to make sure that access is revoked. On Facebook , LinkedIn, and Google+ it means taking them off the page. On Twitter, it means changing the password. Other options exist for granting posting access without granting absolute access, though. Think Creative has a social media management tool that allows you to connect your accounts and manage them from a single password. This simplifies necessary security steps when an employee leaves, but still gives them an option for posting. If simplifying your security protocol is important to you, this is an option you might want to explore.
When giving an employee access to Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, make sure to give them a reduced role so that they can’t take away your access should a negative situation arise. While you may have great relationships with all of your employees and trust them deeply, these are necessary security precautions that should be taken.
Securing your social media accounts may seem like a burden upfront, but it will pay off in the long run. Trying to recover access presents a huge burden and can result in loss. If you want more information about our social media management tool or have any additional questions, please contact us! Tweet any additional tips to @uthinkcreative1