By Steve Burnside, Director of Business Development.

In the world of small business, it is often the case that most employees are wearing multiple hats meaning that there is not a single dedicated Social Media Manager, but instead a group of people working together to get the job done.

While teamwork can be an efficient way to accomplish the task of Social Media, what happens if someone leaves the organization?

I have seen a significant number of social media accounts that still have administrators and editors on the accounts for employees that have not been with the organization for a year or more.

The impact of this can be disastrous. Imagine a disgruntled employee that still has Facebook access and starts posting erroneous and reputation-damaging posts. This can all become a big mess that you did not have to deal with if you just took a few simple steps to safeguard your online properties.

So how do you make sure your online life is safe? It is easier than you think.

Social Media on a smartphoen

Past employees may still have email access on their phones, giving them access to change passwords on your Social Media accounts.

By making a list of online platforms that any given employee has access to, you can create a “leaving checklist.” This checklist allows you to go through and systematically remove previous employees from your Social Media (and other digital assets) with the assurance that you did not miss any.  When an employee leaves your organization, make it habit to remove them from the platforms they have access to.

Below is a starter list of platforms you need to consider when creating your checklist:

  • Facebook Business Page
  • Facebook Advertising Account
  • LinkedIn Business Account
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Trip Advisor
  • Yelp!
  • WordPress (Or any other website access)

Some of these accounts you can easily remove manager access in a dashboard, but others you will need to change passwords to since they do not offer a manager system (for example, Instagram).

Remember just because a past employee does not have access to their email, does not mean they cannot login with that email address.

Make sure you have revoked all email access and removed their email address from your digital properties. Past employees may have had email on their phone that will remain if you do not change the account info or delete the account, and with email access, they can change the password on a Social Media account that their email is associated with.

One last thought.

If you are not yet, please consider using a universal password manager such as Lastpass. Password managers are an easy way to control passwords within an organization while limiting access to only those who needs specific passwords.

Bonus Tip!

If you own a company, you need to have administrator privileges on every digital platform your company has (Social Media, websites, ad accounts, etc.). I cannot emphasize this enough! An administrator account is a “master” account that allows you to add and remove managers as well as perform all tasks offered to you through a certain digital platform.  Often owners will have employees or sub-contractors set up online accounts, or even design a website and end up without administrator access, which can handcuff you if a situation is to arise that an employee needed to be removed or added to the account.

We often think of protecting our internal I.T. networks when employees leave, but just as damaging can be public facing social and review networks. Make sure you have a plan in place to make it simple and protect your reputation!