5 Ways to Practice ‘Safe’ Use of Your Company’s Social Media Accounts

By: Sofie De Beule

May 7, 2015

Beyond social media privacy concerns, social media security issues have been and continue to be a hot topic in the news. Social media accounts have been hacked, profiles and followers have been lost, and the list goes on. However, that’s obviously no reason to pull your company off of social media. More and more people continually turn to social media to reach out to brands and companies.

So, how do you practice safe social?

One of the most important aspects, that is also within your control, in lowering your risk on social media use is your own employees. Your employees are the voice of your brand, and businesses place a lot of trust in their staff by allowing them to engage with their customers. That’s why practicing safe social boils down to empowering your staff to undertake social media on behalf of the entire organization with the help of training and a comprehensive policy.

Engaging with your customers on social media isn’t without its risks.

What can you do to ensure risk-free use of social media? Which elements in social media security are crucial in making your employees feel more empowered and safeguarding your social media efforts?

Here’s a list of 5 key ways to ensure your use of social media is secure:

1. Give Employees the Right Permissions

Social media involves people from within the entire organization. Take note of which people in your company manage your social media accounts, and consequently, determine who should have access to them. Moreover, delete platforms that are redundant, and revoke permissions for anyone who no longer should have access to your tool to manage your social media presence.

A social media team leader has entirely different responsibilities when compared with a social customer service agent. Be sure to adjust their user roles within your social media tool accordingly.

Furthermore, for the people that do need access to your social media management tool, decrease risk by regulating access for specific users (e.g. interns or entry-level employees should have different permissions than managers or directors). That’s why you need to create relevant user roles within your tool to limit the responsibilities and determine precisely which responsibilities they have. For example, you can create a ‘Viewer’ user role for someone that is only allowed to view but not allowed to post or make any changes within your tool.

In Engagor, the different levels of permission can follow the natural hierarchy of your company: Contributor, Manager, Administrator, etc. You can also introduce Custom User Roles to help define user roles tailored to your brand’s needs.

Don’t want your employees logging into your account from home? Tools that incorporate high level features also make it possible to directly enter a ‘whitelist’ of IP addresses from where access to the web app is allowed.

At Engagor, one of the things we have seen customers do is monitor for profanity (i.e. swear words or offensive language) as well as illegal or immoral content. They’ve created their own, special policy not to answer these types of incoming social media messages. Although they reply to these conversations, they still want to have them logged in their account. That’s why they have created special, dedicated folders so that they can still use this data in their analytics.

2. Introduce Approval Workflows

Make it clear for your social media team members what their responsibilities are when engaging with your customers. No one is immune to making a mistake. The likelihood of a mistake happening only increases when your company is bigger and your social media team is growing.

Are your employees afraid of making a mistake by replying to a social media message that might hurt your brand’s reputation?

Two sets of eyes are always better than one. Introduce approval workflows, and narrow down the risk of a social media failures.

Approval workflows make sure messages don’t get published unless a manager or fellow social media team member has given their approval. So, imagine that when a team member creates a message, he or she still needs another team member with sufficient rights to approve the content (e.g. edit posts for spelling errors, double-check links, etc.) before it gets published. Moreover, this can also be used when a user has sufficient publishing rights but simply wants a second opinion on what they’ve written.

To make sure you have all the details covered, you can, for example, use an approval workflow to respond quickly and effectively during a crisis situation without having to fear that messages that are being sent out are inappropriate.

3. Protect Passwords

On social media, it’s key to bring all social media profiles under one central administration, or one tool, to be able to extend access to more parties. As you scale your social media presence, maintaining control of the multitude of the accounts on social networks becomes more difficult.

Luckily, passing around passwords to your social media accounts is a thing of the past. There’s no need anymore to distribute passwords to every employee within your company from your intern to your CEO. You no longer need a direct login to your social profiles if you’re working with a social media management tool. You can simply log into your user account of the tool from anywhere for instant access to your social media presence without having to log into each social media network separately each time.

4. Go For an Effective Employee “Exit” Strategy

When someone leaves the company, gets promoted, or obtains a new role within the company and no longer requires them to have access to your social media accounts, make sure that the process for revoking access is straightforward and decided upon in advance.

This is obviously one of the biggest ways in which using a social media management tool with individual user accounts can help. Users can be simply added to, or removed from, the tool and their access to all your social media accounts comes or goes with it.

5. Monitor Your Account History

On social media, accountability is essential in taking responsibility for your actions on social media. That’s why you need to be able to continuously track your employees’ actions within your tool. Transparency is key to ensure safe use of social media and knowing who should be held accountable.

If a user makes changes in Engagor, you’re able to see this in your Account History to help you keep track of all the alterations made to your account. In our Publisher section, you’re able to grasp a complete, in-depth overview of all the posts made by every user separately.

Conclusion

Brands are unable to hold back the flow of social media or simply ignore it. Even though it happens with unprecedented speed, external communication happening over social media is no different than that over other channels. As your presence grows as a company, so does the need to find the right policies and technology to manage it.

Use the feedback your receive from social conversations to improve security processes and enhance performance. By monitoring and analyzing public conversations, you can easily identify those possible threats.