How to Safeguard Your Company Social Media Accounts

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how-to-safeguard-your-company-social-media-accounts-1Even though social media is mainstream, there are surprisingly many companies who haven’t secured their online brand and the accounts that communicate it with their customers. How do I know this? Because on a regular basis, I’m asked about the best ways to safeguard your company social media accounts.

We’ve all witnessed one or more major debacles when companies don’t set up their social media accounts correctly…and some barely make it out alive.

Here’s how to safeguard your company social media accounts.

Let’s break this down into easy-to-digest parts. You can examine each one, figure out if you’re on the right track and make a course correction if necessary.

Set social profiles up correctly the first time.

Step 1: Always provide your social media manager (or really any employee) with a work email, one that you have control over, such as [email protected]

It’s fine to use something like, “[email protected],” as long as the email is hosted on your own server and your IT department controls it.

Step 2: Setting up Instagram. Make sure your social media manager uses that specific email as the profile login. If something happens (they leave, your terminate them, they become unable to perform their job, etc), you’ll have control over that email and you’ll change the password immediately.

Step 3: Setting up Facebook. All Facebook Business Pages are created and set up using a personal profile (you log in through a personal account to access the Business Page). I always recommend using something like I suggested earlier, “[email protected]” to set up the personal profile for the company.

Once that’s done, you’ll “Create a page” (as Facebook calls it) while logged into that personal profile. Once the page is set up, you’ll make at least three trusted people “Admins” of the page:

  1. Your social media manager.
  2. You, your GM or CEO.
  3. Your CFO or HR Manager.

Once again, the social media manager should only be able to use their work email address to access the page. If they ever leave, you’ll have control over it and change the password immediately.

If someone has accidentally or unknowingly made them an Admin using their personal email (their non-work email), you can easily remove them as an Admin if something changes.

Additional actions to safeguard your company social media

It’s important to cover all your bases when it comes to your company reputation. Ensure against common catastrophes by including these steps in your overall digital strategy.

Hire the right person.

I know that sounds obvious but I always mention it to reinforce the importance.

Here’s what nobody tells you: hiring a social media manager is a challenge.

During the hiring process, you’ll need to figure out who measures up and who doesn’t. Many business owners or HR managers don’t spend a lot of time on social networks so it’s quite a challenge to figure out who the best candidate may be.

When you’re ready to hire your social media manager, pose these 10 questions to your candidates. Their answers will inform your decision and help you pick the right person.

Implement a social media policy

Even good employees are capable of going to the dark side – which often reflects company culture, employee morale and job satisfaction. Most business owners and directors believe they are providing a safe, productive, supportive and enjoyable workplace. However, employee perceptions don’t always align with management assumptions.

Regardless of the reasons why, it’s best to have a clear cut social media policy that everyone agrees to and adheres to.

Should something go wrong – such has a disgruntled employee taking over your social media accounts – a social media policy itemizes the penalties for specific behavior.

Your social media policy should:

  • Set the parameters for employee use of social media
  • Describe the value of social media
  • Briefly outline each platform and best practices
  • Describe any unique, company-specific situations where a problem can arise
  • Establish protocol when a situation calls for escalation
  • How to handle a problem or crisis

The target outcome of a social media policy should help your company market itself successfully on social media while protecting it from precarious situations that lead to outright debacles.

The social media policy should be included in your hire package for all new employees, along with a signed acknowledgement from them to store in their personnel file.

For current employees, I would have a meeting explaining that you’re planning on implementing a social media policy and why it’s important. Pass out a copy of the new policy and allow a few days for each employee to review it (and for you to answer their questions). Then, within a week or less, require them to return the signed acknowledgement to the HR manager.

A word of caution…

Under no circumstances should a company ask for access (login and password) to employees’ personal social media accounts. The company has no right to this info but it’s actually more than that. It sends very negative messages to your rank and file that you don’t trust them. There’s no real benefit to asking and it does a lot of harm. Instead, let your social media policy do its job.

Every company has distinct and important needs.

To create the best possible outcomes, I believe it’s crucial to incorporate a company’s unique needs, specific daily operational situations, and employee relations into each social media policy.

If you don’t have access to a social media policy or need help implementing one, get in touch with me – I’m happy to help.

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