Cover Your Assets
A Business Owner’s Guide to Account Logins, Credentials and Employee Access
So, the employee who used to manage your social media channels has now moved on to their next venture. Maybe your website manager is off to a new company and no longer helping you with updates. Or possibly, you’ve had to let that one team member go who has access to all of your digital accounts and you fear the goodbye isn’t on the best of terms. We’ve heard it all.
When it comes to running a business in a fully digital world, it’s impossible to loop team members into what your company is doing and pass the torch on marketing, web or digital tasks without giving them access to the channels they need. That said, the ownership or access to your prized marketing channels is the key to speaking with your audience and if those are compromised, your entire company could be at risk.
While it’s good to remain hopeful and optimistic, believing the best in the team members you recruit to your company, putting parameters in place that safeguard your digital logins and credentials is key to taking good care of your business’ brand.
Whether you’re a nonprofit that relies on volunteers to take the reigns for Instagram or if you have an agency helping out with your website updates, it’s always of utmost importance to ensure that you hold the keys to your business’s digital channels. We’ve pulled together a few key guidelines to set you up for success and to avoid the “mess” when it comes to login credentials falling into the wrong hands:
Always be the admin.
Whether social media channels or website backend access, most digital platforms offer a variety of user access options to control the level of control an employee has to those platforms. For example, Facebook has various page roles that can be assigned that offer different levels of access.
It’s always best practice for the business owner to be the “Main Admin” of any digital platform and assign additional roles accordingly. If an agency or employee assists you with setting up accounts, always ensure that you have access right away to eliminate future risk of holding accounts “hostage” or losing access altogether.
Plan to change passwords.
As employees change jobs or agency relationships shift, plan for password updates in advance. Pulling together a list of all channels that a team or individual has access to and scheduling a time to update passwords or eliminate access is crucial. Timing is also vital. It’s usually best to have another team member assist with password and access updates while the transition conversation occurs. This way, should things go south, no harm is done to your digital channels as a result.
Document your policy.
Every team leader knows that setting expectations and guidelines on the front-end typically leads to a better outcome. As you form agency partnerships or welcome new employees to your team, ensure that a legally binding policy is in place. For example, clearly stating that you have full ownership of your social channels or that an employee isn’t allowed to withhold credentials from leadership provides parameters to avoid issues down the road. In this case, if a partner or individual wishes to act against the agreement they signed, while it may not be preferred, you do have the right to take legal action to gain access to your business’ accounts.
Deep clean regularly.
Do you have a running list of everyone who has access to your digital channels? It’s best to keep this list short and sweet and easy to find should you need it. Reviewing your list regularly and removing access for those who no longer need to log in to your digital channels is also best practice. This ensures you have more control over who plays critical roles in your marketing messaging and avoids any lingering users that should’ve been removed ages ago.
Ask for help.
If you find yourself bogged down by the technicalities of digital asset ownership, updating passwords and taking charge of your channels, help is just a call away! Consider partnering with an agency to “get things in order” and assist with aligning your digital assets so everything is updated as it should be. Be sure to have an open dialogue with your partnering agency and ask for transparency surrounding their policies. To name a few, here are some digital channels to consider ensuring you have ownership of, even with an agency partner:
- Social media channels
- Website logins
- Google My Business pages
- Google Analytics accounts
- GoogleAds campaigns
- E-communications software (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot, etc.)
When it comes to your business and your brand, your digital presence plays an important part. Whether you’ve learned the hard way or you’re looking to safeguard your assets in advance, these tips can get you on the right track. And if you’re ever in need of an expert, you know where to find us!
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