There has been a lot of buzz lately about a Twitter account belonging to a US National Park. It seems that a person who had been fired decided to take over the Twitter account, using the platform to lambaste President’s Trump’s apparent anti-environmental stance. People who were anti-Trump absolutely loved the barrage of snarky tweets. The Park itself was embarrassed because they had to admit they had been compromised on Twitter. Pro-Trump folks were of course not amused.
There is an issue here besides the obvious ones of environment and politics, however. It’s that whole bit about the Twitter account getting taken over by an employee who had been fired.
The Transient World of Social Media Marketers
Many companies still believe that social media marketing is the domain of the internet or the marketing assistant. Usually these are younger folks, maybe in college or just out of college, who want to get their feet in the door. They don’t stay long, but while they are with these companies, they get access to any social media platforms the company uses.
The world of social media marketing pros and agencies can fluctuate just as much. Often a social media marketer will be asked to end his or her services because the company understands the approach. Sometimes the social media marketer will move on of their own volition.
No matter what the case, if someone has your log-in information when they arrive, it is essential to make sure they don’t have it by the time they leave. There are a few things to look out for in this regard.
• Change your password for ALL platforms. Also, change it to something that would not be easily hackable. Do not use the same password for all platforms, either.
• It’s probably a good idea to change the email address to an employee who is still with the company. This should be done before deleting the previous person so that you don’t end up in a hole with no admin privileges.
• If someone is an admin on a Facebook page but no longer an employee of your company, they need to be removed. This seems obvious, but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget this step. The same holds true for LinkedIn and Instagram. It’s common for these accounts to get accessed from personal accounts, so the bond needs to be broken swiftly.
What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
The case of the National Park is probably an example of a boss’s worst nightmare. Particularly if someone is leaving in a not happy circumstance, it would be extremely easy for them to jump on to any social media platform and send inappropriate updates as your company. Fixing a mess like that can take a long time, and ultimately, the point is that your company did not prevent the event from happening in the first place. That’s the rough part.
We are entering an age where social media marketing, and social media presence in general, should most certainly be incorporated into employee handbooks. Are your employees allowed to access social media platforms on the premises? This is getting harder and harder to implement, but you should still get the word out. Are employees allowed to network on Facebook with people from competitive companies? How can you police that? Should you? Given this post, of course, it is also important to cover in your employee handbook that upon leaving the company, you lose all access to the company’s social media presence. That should be a given, but hey, you know what they say about people who assume.
The times are volatile. Don’t let a situation get out of hand when you can very easily control it and prevent any issues before they even start. If you have any questions about how to do this, just let us know.
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/umdnews/7562831366/ via Creative Commons