This article was recently publsihed in Office Technology magazine.
I’m going to dive right in and shake you up in order to get your attention. As a dealer principal you wouldn’t give complete and total control of your financial books to one individual -- especially a third-party service provider -- without knowing yourself how to access them, or be able to take control of them at any point if need be. It’s not a stretch to say that could be a potentially detrimental move to the longevity of a business. I’m sure thoughts of mismanagement, improper billing, and the opportunity for embezzlement may come to mind. Any of these things could be certain death to an otherwise successful and healthy business.
While this is an over-the-top example, this is exactly what you could be doing to your dealership and your dealership’s reputation when you allow someone else to create and hold the “keys” to your dealership’s social media accounts like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google My Business.
As the Social Media Director for Convergo Marketing, I work with dealers that want to get active in social media. However, when we go to set up their social media pages we learn that someone else in the company has set up the pages and has admin rights. Sometimes this is a former employee who may have left the dealership under adverse conditions. Sometimes no one knows who set up the pages. Sometimes this is an ad agency that you previously hired to manage your social media.
Regardless of whether you have someone internally or externally managing your social media, as a dealer principal you need to have administrative access to each of your company’s social media accounts. These accounts are your online, digital face to your customers and prospects. In the wrong hands, imagine the reputation damage that could occur.
3 Reasons You Better Have Control of Your Social Accounts:
There are three reasons you need to have administrative control over your social media accounts:
- Maintain control of your business’ voice
- Avoid the dangers of rogue or disgruntled employees
- The Need to Act Quickly
Control Your Voice
Your word is one of the most important things you have as an individual and as a business owner. The voice and personality in which your company’s message is delivered is important and has to be consistent with your vision as the owner but also consistent with the dealership’s personality.
Social media is one of the most effective platforms to deliver a message and to engage with everyone in the world, including, of course, your customers. It is the quickest medium for delivering your thoughts on the latest technology and news that affect your industry or quickly responding to a customer service issue that may arise.
Regardless of what is being said, you want to make sure that the way that message is delivered is consistent with who you are as a company. This may require that a social media policy be implemented company-wide for your leadership team and employees. That’s a topic I’ll write on at a later date.
Beware of Disgruntled or Former Employees
Consider a scenario where you have an employee that manages the social media accounts for your business. This individual may be a contract employee, or maybe one of the IT guys that seems really social savvy. You asked this individual to create social accounts for the business, to brand the social pages appropriately, and to begin posting for the company. (S)he agreed to do so and as far as you’re concerned, that task has been successfully delegated and it’s not something you have to worry about doing yourself.
Now, let’s fast-forward a year or two and that employee has found an opportunity to advance their career with another company. Or, heaven-forbid you had to fire them for some reason. Now that former employee is gone and gone with them are the login credentials to your social media accounts. If you and the employee parted on favorable terms then it may be as simple as giving them a call and asking them to please give you the user ID and password to the accounts (and then quickly changing the passwords).
The scary thing can be, if you didn’t part on such good terms, now the “keys” to your social mouthpiece are in the wild and in danger of being abused along with your company's reputation. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!! DANGER!!!! Sure you can reach out to support for the various social channels you’re involved with and they can help you but in the time it will take to get something done, some terrible things can happen. I’ve experienced this first hand with copier dealer owners nationwide. It is not a situation you’d like to encounter, trust me.
There is nothing inherently wrong with having someone else in the company or an outside agency manage and strategically post to your accounts, - it’s actually advisable if this isn’t your area of expertise. However, as the business owner you have to make sure you retain control of those accounts.
The Need To Act Quickly
Recently our agency had a client that had an incredible video produced that showcased some of the services that they provided. This video obviously had great production quality and told a great story and they wanted their customers and prospective customers to be able to see it. They wanted a YouTube channel put together where they could easily point people to this video and share it through their social media channels and be able to see some backend analytics.
The best practice approach of setting up this YouTube channel would be to connect it to their Google+ page, which they already had. The problem was that the owner of the company didn’t know how to login to Google+ page in order to connect it to the YouTube channel and the IT manager that he’d put in charge of creating the Google+ page never actively managed the page and he couldn’t remember the login credentials to get into the page
This began a painful process of having to reach out to Google directly - and if you’ve every tried to get support for Google+, you know that finding the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant can be easier than tracking down a phone number to call. After exhausting every angle I could think of (even reaching out to a friend of mine that works at Google), I went to Twitter to try and find a resource and BINGO!
Many people today use platforms like Twitter and Facebook as a means to reach out to a company for customer service questions and support, so if you were thinking about NOT having a social presence, I would strongly advise against it. Its just as frustrating to not be able to find the company you want to engage with on a social platform. I’ve personally reached out to companies like ADP and Google via Twitter when exhaustively scouring their websites for support contacts and coming up frustrated and empty handed. In both instances when I reached out to these companies I received a response within the hour with helpful directions.
How To Get Administrative Rights for Your Dealership’s Social Sites
Click on the icons below for step-by-step instructions on how to get admin control over your dealership's social media pages.