In the digital age, social media platforms have become a valuable and effective tool as most companies make use of social media platforms to market themselves, interact directly with clients and to grow a company’s brand.  Such companies at times have social media administrators for the use of the company’s social media activities.  The social media administrators can either be the members of the company’s staff or third party service providers/consultants.  Such social media administrators are trained and have knowledge of the proper use of the social media platforms.

When outsourcing social media accounts to staff or third party service providers, it is imperative to define each party’s role.  One cannot go into this blindly with no clue on how to manage social media platforms as this can be very risky when the relationships terminate.  Essentially what the social media administrator does / has is the voice of the company, and management of the company would need to be able to have control of such voice.  In the event that this exercise is not performed well, it can have disastrous consequences.  This is especially the case if the relationship between the parties ends on a sour note.

An example of this would be a situation where management/employers do not know / have any training on the use of social media platforms, have no idea what the passwords to the accounts are or what is posted/shared on the various social media accounts.  In such instances, management/ employers simply give this very important function to the social media administrator.  Some guidelines on the effective management of relationships of this nature are as follows:

  • make sure that the employee/service provider who produces content is trained and has knowledge of this function;
  • make sure the company has a social media policy that will provide a guide as to what content can and cannot be posted/shared;
  • ensure that the company’s social media policy is forwarded to the social media administrator. This will ensure the social media administrator is familiar with the company, as well as how particular issues are dealt with on such social media platforms;
  • ensure that management is aware of all company social media platforms it is registered on, the passwords and usernames of all the platforms, and any necessary information;
  • include a clause in the employment agreement / service provider agreement which clearly sets out that the account, the followers, and content belong to the employer / company and that upon termination of the relationship, all passwords and all necessary account details should be handed back to the employer.

This guidelines will assist in ensuring that proper controls are in place for the online voice of the company.  Failure to implement these necessary guidelines may land a company in hot water when the relationship terminates.