Keeping Your Social Profiles Under Control

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon…and those are only some of the biggest social networking sites out there! If you’re like many of us, chances are you’ve got a couple dozen social profiles floating around, spread across a dozen more social sites. Maybe you initially created a Twitter handle for the company, but also wanted to give your customer services team their own account; that’s two. Then your CEO wanted to get more active with social networking; now we’re up to 3. Now you’ve got the VP of Marketing who wants her own company Twitter profile (in addition to her personal one which she also uses to promote company content) that’s 4…see where I am going with this?

In the world of social networking there really is no barrier to entry (that would defeat the purpose after all) and there really is no limit to the number of social profiles a company could create for themselves. But here’s where it gets tricky—if you’ve got dozens of social profiles kicking around out there who is monitoring what is being said? Who is responsible for those accounts? Do you even have login information for all of them? Many “rouge” social media accounts might do nothing other than sit there, empty (which isn’t exactly the kind of image you want to portray). But it’s entirely possible your social community is trying to connect with you via a social profile you have no control over! That’s why it’s so important you don’t allow employees to create social profiles without going through you (or the social media/community manager) first.

Here’s what social media expert Kelsey Jones has to say about it:

Keep a master Google spreadsheet or excel sheet on a secure server and make it mandatory to keep track of ALL accounts any employee creates on behalf of the company. I wouldn’t even go above signing a contract about it: after all, what if your sole account owner of your company twitter account of 120,000 followers suddenly feels scorned and leaves the company, deleting the Twitter account in the process?

While you can’t control who links to you, you can control what social profiles you create so make sure you keep accurate login information for all of them! Trying to reclaim rouge social profiles can be a very frustrating process, especially when you don’t know/don’t have access to the email account that was used to create them. Should you ever need to update your social presence you don’t want to have to hunt down the login information for 15 different accounts?

It’s important to note that the line between personal and professional social profiles is getting thinner and thinner every day. Your employees are the voices and faces behind your company’s social profiles, so it’s important they have the training, tools, and knowledge on how to handle that responsibility. You don’t want employees taking it personally when a customer complains on Facebook because there is nothing worse than a spitting war between your team and your customers. You also don’t want your employees posting things on the company’s behalf that you haven’t vetted. What if what they are saying isn’t in line with the company messaging strategy? Personality is important but your individual employees are still part of the company at large and need to understand how social fits into the overall brand.

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