Social media pages are part of your business, especially Google My Business. As you set up pages, you may be focused on the photos you add, making sure the correct hours are listed, and writing a good description for your business.
But there’s one area you may not think much about: how you set up access to those pages. Let’s discuss how to set them up properly so that they are future proof, whether you’re the one managing them or if you hire an employee or marketing agency in the future.
Why Do I Care?
We have met so many clients or potential clients who can’t find the logins to their pages. Restaurants, especially, run into this because they have high turnover. A manager asks an employee to set up the page, and when he or she leaves, no one knows how to get access. If your page or account has hundreds or thousands of followers, you don’t want to start over. But now, you can’t reach that person.
An even worse situation we’ve encountered: the employee was fired. Now, they are feeling ugly about your company and have the only keys to your social media presence. Don’t put yourself in that situation. Instead, do the following:
Choose Credentials Wisely
Our first tip is to use an email address that belongs to the company and is under company control — not some random Hotmail address from your team member. That way, if someone leaves — whether happily or unhappily — you maintain control over your accounts.
Next, create a login and password and store that information securely. Make sure that you have it listed in two separate places and that more than one person knows it. (We like LastPass and similar password managers for remembering all these things!)
Setting up a Gmail account associated with the company to use specifically for social profiles is a good idea, but make sure you store that login information.
Troubles with Two-Factor
It’s a good idea to set up 2-factor authentication. This extra security measure makes it more difficult for strange people to log into your account, even if they have credentials. When you set this up, the page will ask for an email, phone number, or both. Be sure to choose an email and phone number under company control and that more than one person can access it.
Instagram and Facebook both use two-factor authentication if they see a suspicious login attempt: logging in from a new device, logging in from a new location, etc. This will require you to enter a code that they send in a text message.
If you use a phone number for the account that won’t be accessible down the road, you could run into some problems. We have seen situations in which an employee leaves the company. His/her phone number is associated with two-factor authentication. When someone new tries to access the account, it pings that former employee’s phone number, who ignores it. Now you’re stuck and cannot access the account.
The good news is that Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to change your phone number. Before the employee leaves the company, it is a smart idea to change it. That way, if you run into any problems, you’ll sort it out then. That’s also why it’s best to have two people with logins; if you abruptly fire a team member, they aren’t likely to cooperate with the process.
Levels of Access
You’ve probably noticed that on Facebook and Google My Business, you can add people at different levels of access, such as “editor, administrator” or “SEO manager.” It’s a good idea to limit the administrators or “primary owner” on GMB to someone who owns or manages the business. If your marketing agency or employee requests higher access privileges, it’s a good idea to ask why. You can decide to grant that privilege temporarily for set up or set up what they need on your own if you can.
What to Do When an Employee Leaves
When an employee who has access leaves your organization, here are a few steps to take to keep your accounts more secure:
- Change the password. Even if he or she leaves happily, it’s best to change the password just in case. This will also remind him/her to log out of things such as Instagram on his/her phone.
- Go through all accounts and remove him/her.
- Double-check all phone numbers and email addresses used for logging in and make changes if needed.