Did an employee leave with your social media passwords? Or did you outsource your social media and they never gave you the passwords or administrative access?
It’s happened to several of my clients. One client’s Twitter account was set-up by an employee using her work email address. She’s no longer with the company. Her email was eliminated. The password was never written down. They lost their company name as a Twitter username (“handle”). On Twitter, you can get in if you don’t know the email but have the password. That’s easiest because you have the “handle”. However, if you don’t have the password, you’re stuck. If you click “forgot password”, they’ll send an email to the email address on the account. If that email is no longer working, too bad. You can try to contact Twitter, but good luck with that. You basically have to create a new account with a new email address and handle. Pinterest works similar to Twitter.
Facebook is just as stupidly complicated. To create a Facebook page, you need to be logged in to your personal account. If an employee created it with his or her Facebook account and did not add you as admin, you have no access. You can’t just log into it. To be added as an admin, you need to either be connected to the person who created the page or have liked the page with your personal account and using the email address you use to log in to Facebook. (On Facebook, your personal account is not publicly connected to your business page unless you want it to be.) Make sure that you’re added as an ADMIN. Only Admins can add or remove people from page roles.
Google+ has a different procedure. The person who creates the business page is the Page Owner. Only owners can add or remove managers. Ownership of a page can be transferred to a manager after a manager has been managing for 2 weeks. (On Google+, you access your page with your Google account and it is not publicly connected at all.)
LinkedIn is easiest. You can’t create a company profile page unless you have an email address with the company’s web address. You can have several admins on the page, but you must be connected to them on LinkedIn. They do not have to be employees of the company.
Now, if you can’t get a hold of the former employee or service provider, you can try to contact the network. I have to say, the people at Google were the fastest to reply – within 24-48 hours. Twitter took 3 months. Worse case scenario, you’ll have to just forget that page or account and create a new one. Only problem with that is there will be duplicate pages out there for potential customers to find and it will be confusing — especially if the old page has outdated information or old branding.
How to avoid losing control of your social media…
- Make sure that whoever you hire to do your social media — whether in-house or outsourced — gives you all the usernames, emails and passwords for your accounts if they’re setting them up. Make sure the agreement includes provisions for having to change passwords, users, termination, etc.
- Make sure that at least one management-level person is an admin (Facebook, LinkedIn) or owner (Google+). Note: you cannot have a personal account under the company name. It is against the rules of the networks.
- Make sure that any passwords are written down on paper somewhere as well as online in a safe place and more than one management person knows where they are.
Think of this as the keys to your house or car. Who do you trust with them? What do you do if something happens to that person or persons?
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