7 Best Practices for Managing Multiple Corporate Social Media Accounts & Domains
May 17, 2017
In the distant past, businesses typically had one or two social media platforms to manage — and some the more progressive and future-oriented organizations might have around five. Today, however, things are dramatically different and much more complex. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to have dozens of domains in their social media ecosystem, and a study by Jeremiah Owyang and the Altimeter Group found that enterprises with over 1,000 employees have an average of 178 social media accounts.
What’s more, for most businesses the expansion of their social media profile has not been part of a strategic plan, but has unfolded organically. New accounts have been added by various people — some in marketing, others in sales, others in public relations and so on — in order to connect with current and future customers, influencers, strategic partners, and so on.
While there’s nothing inherently nefarious or untoward about this kind of informal, unstructured journey through the social media world (i.e. everyone’s intentions are good and folks just want to make social media work for them), the law of unintended consequences is, unfortunately, making an appearance — because what many businesses are currently grappling with is messy and confusing social media footprint that puts their brand and security at risk. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that they can regain control of their brand on social media — and ensure that they aren’t vulnerable to reputation damage or hacks — by implementing a comprehensive, yet practical social media account management strategy. Here are seven best practices courtesy of social media governance and compliance firm Brandle (for more information visit www.brandle.net):
- Undertake a full discovery of all social media accounts, platforms, channels, boards pages, and so on. This process might take a while, but it’s the fundamental starting point.
- Establish strategic criterion and use them to evaluate which social media accounts (Brandle calls these “points-of-presence” or “POP’s”) should be kept, and which should be shut down.
- Create an inventory of all retained social media accounts, and ensure that it can be accessed and managed accordingly (or else the business will wind up back where it started within months, if not weeks).
- Identify the individuals or teams that own each social media account. For example, marketing may own the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, but legal may own a discussion thread on LinkedIn, and so on.
- Establish appropriate controls (access, permissions, privileges) for each social media account.
- Evaluate and confirm that all social media accounts align with corporate brand standards, and if applicable, prevailing industry regulatory rules as well.
- Strengthen the tool chain by securing (if necessary) tools to manage content with each social media account. Widgets, web dashboards and SaaS’s can be very efficient for populating social media with fresh content, but some of them can also be a security vulnerability; a fact that isn’t lost on cyber criminals who are exceedingly well aware of where the gaps are.
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter whether a business is about to celebrate its one-month anniversary, or has been around for decades. Taking a strategic and systemic approach to social media account management is not just the best to protect the brand and make sure social media is an asset rather than a liability — on today’s landscape, it’s the only way.