Skip to main content

Get ready to put on your social media metaphorical marigold gloves.

Knowing what social media accounts you have, what they’re being used for, and who is managing them. It sounds like a ‘low bar’ for governance, right? However, many large enterprises can struggle to answer these simple questions.

It’s time to tidy things up once and for all, and prevent the problem returning.

Due to their size and nature, large organisations tend to have many social media accounts. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but all too often there’s a hotch-potch (technical term 😉) of global, local market, service/product line, customer service (and other) accounts.

Some are active, some are dormant, some use an old logo, some are verified, most aren’t.

When I’m starting work with a new client, my first step is to get a sense of their social media footprint. Much is revealed by simply looking at the structure of their accounts – including the ones the client isn’t aware of!

Why are we here?

Firstly, there are no real barriers to creating an account if you don’t have any governance in place. Of course, in 99.9% of cases these accounts were set up with the best of intentions, but often:

  • A single person was the driving force, and they’ve left
  • A new account was created to support a short-term objective/campaign with no longer-range view of purpose, or budget to support
  • Each part of the business wants representation (even if that doesn’t reflect how customers see the business)

Secondly, why haven’t they already been cleaned up?

  • The power of ‘legacy’ accounts is strong… “that’s the way it’s always been”
  • There’s a strong sense of sunk cost, especially in respect of growing followers
  • There’s no person responsible for social media governance – everyone is busy churning through campaigns and content
  • It feels like a lot of work

Does it really matter?

If these accounts have been hanging around without a problem, is this really a priority? I’d argue a strong yes:

  • You strive to present your organisation in a consistent, high quality manner elsewhere… so why should social media be any different?
  • Every extra account requires some form of comment moderation and management resource
  • Are you sure it’s not causing a problem? There definitely aren’t any questions sitting there unanswered for 18 months?
  • These days, there’s more scrutiny on having verified profiles
  • People are increasingly using social media in more of a search capacity, which means random accounts might pop up in these results

Best practice

At the other end of the spectrum, organisations with best practice governance have a strong hand on their social media account tiller. They have set:

  • A clear architecture and structure for social media accounts
  • Procedures for launching new accounts
  • Tight processes for removing anything that doesn’t comply
  • A social media management platform to oversee everything in one place
  • People responsible for the above

Time to spring clean and make it happen 

This isn’t an overnight process. It will take time to fathom out exactly what’s what and engage the relevant people. But it’s not insurmountable.

A simple list is all you need to get started on your journey to social media account paradise! 🏝

  • Every account on every platform
  • The purpose and target audience(s) of each
  • The account owner
  • The number of posts in the last 3 months

With this information in hand you’re set to properly assess what you have, what you need and what to dispense with.

Image credit: jeshoots-com-__ZMnefoI3k-unsplash

Leave a Reply