Small businesses are often started by someone who has an idea, runs with it, and will do whatever it takes to make it happen. For example, they will set up a Facebook page, then ask an employee, friend, or contractor to help manage it and set up other social profiles.
But what happens when your business takes off and your employee moves on, and you’re left with social profiles that were set up by someone else and the login information is nowhere to be found?
There's a temptation to set up a new profile.
Pause. Reflect. This may not be the best solution, even though it may seem like the quickest and easiest.
- Control. Someone outside your company may still have access to profiles with your company name on them, which means they can represent your company without your input.
- Confusion. Starting a new profile means you’ll have multiple (and often public) profiles under your name or company name and the public will be confused as to which is the ‘official’ account. (Adding ‘official’ to the title will not relieve this confusion completely).
- Perception. Having multiple half-managed public profiles may create a perception that your company is disorganized and out of control of its own brand.
- Losing your audience. If you’re considering setting up a new social profile, you may lose loyal followers from your original page and there’s no simple way to transport them over to your new one. You may also lose previous followers in the transition because of of the confusion and negative perception described above.
- Too much to handle. Creating a new email address for every need within your company may prevent you from being able to manage everything on your plate. You’ll need to remember to check all inboxes, after all.
So, what can we do before resorting to setting up a new online profile?
- Try to track down the login info from the admin or creator, even if it may be awkward.
- Submit ‘Forgot My Password’ information to try to reset your login information. (Note: Facebook is tricky to reach to reclaim a page. Try this forum. Google+ only allows one location/address on a business page, so instead of creating new profiles, add multiple locations in your Google Places profile.)
- See if you can work with the profiles you do have access to.
Stay tuned for part two on smart setup for online profiles.
Rebecca Otis is the Content/Social Media Manager at Digital Third Coast, a Chicago digital marketing agency. She started her own small business marketing consultancy at the age of 26 and has spoken at HP Catalyst and BlogHer events on social media and education and small business marketing on a budget. She is a member of the Chicago Blogger Network and Chicago Food Bloggers organization, also serving on the Social Media Club Chicago board. You can find Rebecca on Twitter and Google+.