The one social media rule ALL businesses should follow

social media rule


By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for businesses when it comes to which social media platforms you should have a presence on or what times you should post, and many other areas that marketers will try to stuff down your throat (ugh, blanket statements!).

But the one social media rule I think EVERY. SINGLE. BUSINESS. should follow is this: Be the boss of your own information.

What I mean is, YOU should own admin rights to your social media platforms, Google Analytics, WordPress site or blog, and other assets and data.

And if you’re thinking, “Brooke, duh. Peeps know this already.”

NO, they don’t.

Just this week I’ve had two — one midsized and one enterprise (yes, enterprise!) — clients who have been locked out of their own accounts due to non-ownership.


Lessons from the one social media rule

Problem 1

The first example is for Google Analytics. Client #1 had someone running handling their marketing and metrics on their behalf.

That company set up their Google Analytics account under THEIR email and name and then gave Client #1 admin rights.

While this sounds kosher, it can (and did) cause problems down the road.

Like when Client #1 decided to sever ties with their marketing company, and suddenly lost access to their analytics.

And when they politely asked for rights to their data? Radio silence.

Long story short, we can easily create a new Google Analytics code for their website, collect future data and run ads.

However, we’ve lost access to old data and must rely on the (pretty crappy) reports the past company sent over for a baseline and historical mapping.

This, as any savvy marketer knows, is not ideal since you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.

Problem 2

Client #2 has just gone through a major overhaul of their brand and our new research shows that we need to be marketing to millennials.

Enter Instagram.

Now enter major headaches … because two years ago Client #2 had an intern create an Instagram account for an event they did.

Said intern is looong gone. In fact, the Hotmail address he or she used to create the IG account is, too.

And here’s a fun fact, straight from the Instagram website:

Unfortunately, if you can’t access the email account you registered with and didn’t link your Instagram and Facebook accounts, we’re unable to give you access to the account.

So Client #2 had to send in a ticket for help … and we’re still waiting for a reply.

By all accounts, we may we waiting FOREVER.


Other Issues

Talking about what we think is “common sense” reminds me of a client we had when I first launched B Squared Media.

Client #3 had a web developer design and manage his site — I do this too, and I’m sure MANY of us have a similar setup.

Well, Client #3’s developer passed away suddenly and we were locked out of the site.

No backend login, no FTP access, and no way to update the site.

Oh, did I mention we were in the middle of a site redo?

Yeah. It’s a little awkward having to call the widow of your deceased web developer to try and gain access to your website. Urgency is a little lost, let me say.

One Social Media Rule To Rule Them All

So if there were ONE social media rule to rule them all, one that EVERY business should follow no matter size, audience, or other, it’s to own your own sites, content and access.

Sure you can have your web developer set up your site and management the day-to-day changes, but YOU need a document will all of the information you need to access your account if he or she is hit by a bus.

In fact, it may be smart to create a Standard Operating Procedure for what do if a lock out happens.

Or better yet, get proactive and ensure that any third parties who have access to your data have processes and procedures around:

  • data storage
  • data management (who within the company touches your data, especially sensitive data, like passwords)
  • data disposal

Whether your BFF or a third-party company set up or manages your site, social platforms or blog, make sure YOU are the account holder and have a way to access and take control over what you own.

And if you don’t have that? GO NOW and get it!

Do you have any horror stories regarding third-party data ownership? I’d love to hear them! Or how you’re protecting your business from being locked out of your own accounts.

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & owner at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and  a purveyor of psychographics. Her mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter.

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