It's 5:00 p.m. — do you know where the credentials to your social media accounts are?
As someone who has managed hundreds of digital accounts for a variety of clients, one problem I would love to see eradicated is missing logins and passwords for social media platforms.
As social media has grown from the thing you pay the neighbor kid to do into a core component of a brand communication strategy, it has been left out of tedious but important practices like succession planning. What would happen if, today, your social media manager left with the keys to the kingdom?
I've spent countless hours of billable time tracking down login details for clients who have lost the reins of their digital channels — all time better spent on engagement and promotion.
Are you an administrator on your company's Facebook page? How about your LinkedIn company profile? Do you know the login to your brand's Twitter account? YouTube? Pinterest? WordPress? Google Places? Instagram? SlideShare? . . .
The more channels your company uses, the more critical oversight is. The consequences can be serious: you could be rendered mute when a key marketing plan needs to go live, or worse — your accounts could be deleted or hijacked to post malicious content.
To avoid these problems, there are simple steps you can take:
1. Right now: schedule a recurring appointment on your calendar every few months (or at least every year) to do a quick evaluation of all your social accounts. Can you successfully log in? Are there any ominous notifications that need attention (e.g., YouTube copyright infringement notices)? Who currently has access to each account? Have you done a search recently to see if anyone has, without your approval, created a company account on the hot new social platform du jour?
2. Use a shared email account to register all of your social media presences. That way everyone on the team will be notified if the password changes — and you'll be able to email tech support using that account if you ever need to get your credentials back (which can greatly speed the process).
3. Invest in a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. In addition to their many other benefits, they use OAuth, Open Authorization, which allows you to grant access to your team to post and manage content, without giving them the ability to lock you out of your company's account. They also help preserve the security of your passwords by eliminating the need to share them with a large group of people (who then leave them written for all to see on sticky notes at their desks or email them around without encryption).
4. If your organization is large enough, you may wish to sit down with your HR team to see if you can make social media credentials an item on the checklist they follow for employees leaving the company. Below the checkbox for collecting building keys, ask if they will inquire whether a departing employee manages any social media accounts on behalf of the company and obtain the credentials from them if they do.