What Happens When Your Social Media Administrator Leaves?

Your Social Media administrator knows everything about your strategy – your passwords, your posting schedules, your best content options, your analytics, and your customers. So what happens when they quit, or worse yet, get fired? Do you have a plan in place to handle this situation?

So many business owners leave the entire Social Media strategy in the hands of their Social Media manager and/or administrators with few or no updates on the process. This creates a lot of risk when those administrators leave the company.

In order to reduce these risks, there are some key fail-safes that should be implemented in every company’s Social Media strategy. These include:

  • Having multiple administrators
  • Changing ALL account passwords and removing access the DAY the administrator leaves
  • Storing all content in a common, secure location
  • Regular reporting and review of Social Media analytics
  • Requiring regular updates on Social Media utilization

I see numerous examples every day of companies that have failed to include these measures in their strategies. And I’m sure you have too. Let’s look at how each of these fail-safes can benefit you.

Inactive Accounts

These are those company pages that you can see haven’t posted anything in months. They used to post daily and have a strong number of followers. But now, nothing. You can even take it to the next level by emailing the address in the “Contact” section, and the email gets bounced back to you. If this is your page, what good is it to your business now? How does this happen? Because the company only had one administrator and one email contact. When that employee left the company and their email was disabled, so were the Social Media pages. Unless you can get in touch with Facebook (or other platform) and plead your case, and wait for them to send you reactivation information, you’re left in the dark. Many companies choose to just start a new page all over again – but they’ve lost the customer base that they spent all that time building up previously.

This is why you need multiple administrators. I recommend at least 3 for every business – even the smallest companies. This way, when someone leaves the company, there are at least two other people who have access to the accounts and who can continue the strategy.

“Hacked” Accounts

How often do we see the celebrity or business accounts apologizing for posts made my someone who “hacked” their profile. While some of these may legitimately have been hacked, there are many instances where it was actually a disgruntled former employee who decides to take out their frustrations on the public account of their former employer. The comments posted by these former employees can be extremely detrimental to a company’s brand and reputation. It can take a long time to rebuild trust and loyalty from your followers.

The best way to avoid these catastrophes is to immediately change all passwords and remove the employee’s access the same day they leave the company. If you don’t know where to go to change an account’s password, I recommend you make a cheat sheet with instructions for each site and keep it on hand. It’s also worth noting that if you don’t change your passwords, your former employee may just do this for you – thereby locking you out of your accounts until you can contact the support channels as mentioned in the section above. You should also realize that many Social Media administrators will link the company pages they manage to their personal pages for easy access and sharing. It is imperative that this access is revoked immediately so that they can no longer access the company pages.

Crappy Posts

This is always a dead giveaway that the administrator has changed for a company. You know, you’ve been following a company for a while and you love their posts, they regularly engage the audience, you know when to expect regular postings, and then all of a sudden it stops. The posts suck, they no longer respond or engage with their followers, nothing posts on a regular schedule, and you have no idea what to expect from them. Why? Because their administrator left and the person who took over has no idea what the previous administrator was doing.

This scenario addresses the next two points I made above. First, you need to store all your Social Media content in a common location. Consider a shared drive for larger companies, or use the cloud, or create a shared calendar in Outlook, or email the files. If the administrator had all their content saved on their computer and you don’t know where to find it, how do you know what they’ve been working on for upcoming blogs, posts, contests, etc.?

Second, you need to know what works and what doesn’t work on your Social Media platforms. This is why you need a regular review of your analytics. If the only person who ever reviewed this was your administrator, how do you know what posts worked best, how do you what times of the day created the highest engagement levels, how do you know what demographics to target? Make sure that multiple people are reviewing and understanding the analytics on a regular basis.

Abandon Ship

This is the accounts that just give up. They try to survive after their administrator leaves but they just don’t get it and they can’t seem to make it work. So they give up. The posts become irregular, they aren’t quality posts, there’s no engagement, and their fans stop following them. Worst of all, maybe you notice that their fans are now following a competitor…

This is why it is imperative that Social Media administrators regularly provide feedback and updates on their utilization strategies. The administrator is the one doing all the “dirty” work: putting in the hours of trial and error to find out what works and what doesn’t, creating content that the audience wants to see, and developing relationships with the customers. Make sure that you and other members of the team know and understand this key information. This way, when the administrator leaves, they don’t take all your success and followers with them to a new company and leave you hanging by a thread. Remember, people engage with people. And if you lose the main person that your followers have been engaging with, they’ll find each other when your administrator goes to a new company.

Take the time to learn what your Social Media administrators are doing. Make sure that you are learning from them and that they are providing you with regular feedback on the platforms, campaigns, and schedules. Make sure that when they leave, your strategy will continue successfully and seamlessly.

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9 thoughts on “What Happens When Your Social Media Administrator Leaves?

  1. Excellent summary! There have been so many recent events which you would THINK would make some of these topics and concerns top of mind for business owners and executives, but it’s not. HR, in particular, needs to have a better grasp of how social media now integrates and impacts employees. Thanks Jenn!

    • Thanks Mike! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reblogging it too. I am surprised how few companies have any policies in place to handle these situations – so many of them learn from a bad experience when they could so easily be prepared.

    • Great idea Carter! I hadn’t heard about the HMV situation but that could definitely be problematic for companies and brands. It would have to be carefully orchestrated, however. Imagine the person comes into work and doesn’t have access or has it disabled in the middle of working online… that’d be a pretty good indication to them that they’re about to get the axe!

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