Your company social media presence is like a garden. Ideally, you weed and tend it daily. You tasks with the seasons and manage unexpected weather with aplomb. The result is a robust, fully integrated inbound marketing strategy with all of your social channels showcasing your brand at its best. However, not all companies fall into this category.
Maybe your garden looks a bit more neglected. It’s likely you have a Facebook page that never seems to gain any new followers. Maybe there’s a rarely updated YouTube channel, or a long-forgotten Twitter account. Maybe an intern once set up an Instagram and now nobody has the password. Does any of this sound familiar?
The marketing or communications department usually handles social media. However, like your website, these things rely on technology and security, so the IT department might play a part. You might also include public relations, graphic design, and individual subject matter experts. Whether you're starting with bare soil and seeds or trying to regain control of an unruly mess, work together to start growing a strong company social media presence.
Take Inventory of Your Social Channels
Do you know where your company name is currently represented? Scour all of the social media platforms, including those “nobody” uses anymore. (Yes, MySpace still exists.) Include review and location sites like Yelp and Foursquare. Don’t forget photo sharing sites like Flickr.
Now try and dig up a list of logins and passwords for those profiles. Hopefully, somebody kept one. If you have no way to access a certain profile, you may need to reach out to the platform and try to get it removed.
Next, decide which channels fit your current marketing strategy. Keep those. Update them to reflect your current brand standards.
Decide Who Will Have Access and Manage Passwords
First, do not let only one person have access to your social media accounts. Even if you take appropriate steps when that person leaves your company, things can fall between the cracks. And some sites, like LinkedIn, don’t have separate login credentials. Only the person or people listed as administrators can get in. So, if your only administrator leaves, you may be out of luck.
Choose your social administrator team thoughtfully. Many companies include a member of IT, even if that person never actually posts to the accounts. Compile a list of administrators and login credentials.
Many platforms use an email address as a login. Encourage employees to use their work email, not a personal one. If a person leaves the company, and the procedure is to disable their company email address, remove it from any connected accounts first. Create strong passwords, and decide who may change them. Keep this information in a secure location, where anyone who needs it can access it.
Figure Out What Technical Help You Need
Of course, you’ll want links to your social channels on your website. Whoever manages content for your website should be part of this conversation. Make sure those links go where they’re supposed to. (A best practice is to have them open in a new tab.) Just as important, make sure you don’t have links to channels that don’t actually exist or that you’ve chosen not to maintain.
Next, you may choose to embed a feed on your website showing what you’re posting on one or more social media channels in real time. This may require some cooperation with a programmer.
Finally, think through what you need to create quality images. Does the person or department in charge of posting content have the right tools to do the job? Whether they use their own phones or company issued devices, they may occasionally need help from someone especially tech savvy. They also need photo and video editing software. While many free options exist, the company should prepare to invest in a few basics.
Make a Disaster Plan
Stuff happens. Social channels get hacked. Posts go viral in exactly the opposite way you want. Bad news gets out. Handling any potential issues may require collaboration between public relations and IT. For example, that social media feed on your website that we mentioned above? You may want to shut that down on a moment’s notice if objectionable content suddenly starts flooding your feed.
Think through potential challenges in advance. Appoint the right people to handle the right tasks when they arise.
Once you achieve a company social media presence that you’re happy with, stay on top of it. Just like a garden, it will keep growing, and the world around it will always change. With the right people in place and plan for the future you will enable it to flourish and attract your target audience.