3 Things to do Right Now if you Don’t Have a Corporate Social Media Account
October 3, 2016 by Andrew Symes
Before diving into the world of social media, we always encourage clients to take time to develop a strategy that’s appropriate
for their business.
While we never want clients to rush into social media, we DO think that organizations should secure accounts with the most
popular social media properties at the earliest opportunity.
Don’t Let a Random Employee Create Your Accounts
Social media accounts are sometimes launched by a keen employee, intern, or even “friend of the family”—with or without the company’s consent. While this is normally done with the best of intentions, the results can be
dangerous. Just as you would never let a random employee register a mailbox on behalf of your company, you shouldn’t allow an employee to launch your social media accounts simply because they are eager to do so or are young and familiar with the web.
Picture this scenario: an employee opens a Twitter account for your company, populates it for a few weeks, abandons it, and then leaves the organization. Not only have you lost your social media “manager,” that person may have taken the account username and password, too. In addition to being locked out of your own account, you risk having a disgruntled employee tweeting on behalf of the company.
Reserve Your Online Properties Today
If your organization currently doesn’t have any existing social media accounts, we would encourage you to do three things as soon as possible:
1) Create a Google e-mail alias
Social media accounts require an e-mail address for login/authentication purposes. You DON’T want this e-mail address to be limited to one person within (or worse, outside of) your organization. And, you don’t want someone to use a personal password to register/access the account.
We recommend that you create an email@example.com e-mail address. This address can be used by specific marketing/communications people within your organization when signing up for social media accounts, and can then be shared with anyone assigned to manage the account. It also comes in handy when using other marcom tools such as MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, and Google Analytics/AdWords! In addition to functioning as a social media username, this e-mail alias should forward any e-mail messages it receives to a designated marcom employee or team.
2) Secure Your Social Media Properties
Once you’ve created this e-mail address, use it to register placeholder accounts on the most useful and popular social media accounts for business. We recommend reserving a Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn account as our clients regularly report these to be the most useful business properties. If your business is (or could be) particularly visual – for example: retail, food, events, cool technology, interesting people – also register an Instagram account.
Reserving your accounts will allow you to “own” your username on these popular platforms and prevent someone else (either an internal employee or an external competitor) from scooping your corporate name.
3) Create a Password file
We cannot stress the importance of having a file that lists the following information for EACH of your corporate social media accounts:
- The link used to login to the channel i.e. twitter.com/login
- The username
- The password
This file can simply be a Word document or .xls file that is saved in a shared folder accessible by anyone with permission to manage the account. We can’t count the number of times we’ve worked with clients who have been locked out of their Google Analytics or social media accounts because the usernames and passwords have been lost over time. The person who sets up the account is rarely the one who manages it over the long term, so you need to record this information for future reference in a safe but accessible place.
Take the Time to Map out a Social Media Strategy
Once you’ve reserved your accounts, don’t feel that you need to jump directly into the world of social media. You’ll want to determine whether your target audience is on social media, clarify your goals, create a strategy, and determine whether you have both the ability and capacity to manage multiple social media properties.
We’ve helped many organizations get their social media efforts off the ground and understand the effort required to develop and maintain a strong social media presence. If you have any questions about what it takes to succeed in social media, contact us!