Claim Your Social Media Accounts Before You’re Sorry
The Sprocket Report
Even if you never intend to use them, you should control your business’s assets on every platform – and sooner rather than later. Here’s why it is important:
Often clients tell us that their target audience doesn’t use Facebook or similar social media platforms so they don’t plan to do any marketing there. That may indeed be true, although you might want to first test the theory by looking at the actual data. Usually, however, folks just get busy running their business until one day they come to us in a panic:
“Someone’s posting horrible stuff on a Facebook page that has our name on it!”
Now the effort has to be focused on proving ownership, clearing away the mess and counteracting the bad publicity. Claiming your digital assets first, even if you don’t plan to use them, is a much better use of your time.
“Oh, we’re too small to be of interest to hackers,” people protest, but we’ve seen it happen too many times to organizations you’d think would be under the radar. It’s not worth trying to second-guess what a nasty mind with some computer skills will do.
And the hijacking sometimes starts very innocently. On Facebook, it’s usually someone who wants to check in at your business. If you don’t already have a page, Facebook will helpfully start one for you. Other people start posting and tagging because they think it’s the right page, and it starts to grow. Unfortunately, it will probably have the wrong information, will look out-of-date and may even have objectionable posts that you can’t delete.
This is called an “Unofficial Page” and you can claim and verify an unmanaged page to attach it correctly to your organization. Just follow Facebook’s own instructions.
Some businesses have more than one page, maybe because there were a lot of helpers and no general oversight. You can merge those pages into the official one by, again, following Facebook’s guidance.
To head off this extra effort, just go ahead and claim your business’s social media assets. Start with the most popular and useful platforms such as:
Take the time to set up each platform with accurate information, staying consistent throughout. For instance, don’t say your company name is “My Business, Inc.” on one platform and simply “My Business” on another.
Once you have the basics covered, set an appointment on your calendar to post on each platform maybe once a month, even if you’d rather not do any actual “social media marketing.” Otherwise you may lose your claim through inactivity. Also, keep in mind that people do most of their research online these days so it’s best for you that they see an attractive, consistent and fairly current representation of your business to inspire confidence.
This “stitch-in-time” will save you huge headaches later and it’s the kind of task you can easily outsource. In fact, we do it for clients now! Just give us a call and we’d be happy to help you as well.