Social Media Ownership – simple rules if an empoyee sets up your accounts

Social media ownership is becoming a contentious issue. Are you are using an employee set up and operate your social media sites? Then it would be wise to take heed

Social media ownership - do you own your sites?

Social Media Ownership - do you own your sites?

of this warning from Silicon Beach Training.

The distinction between personal and professional accounts has never been more important. Why should a business invest thousands of pounds in salaries to build up profiles that employees can take with them, if and when they leave?

Social Media Ownership

There are three questions that need clarification to determine ownership:

Who set up the account?

What is the purpose or intention of the account?

Whose resources were used in maintaining and building the account?

My understanding is that if you paid an outside contractor to build up your profile on social media, ownership of the site(s) lies with your business. However there are reported cases were an employee has left a business and taken with them important social media data. Consider this, an ex employee of the BBC renamed a twitter account and ‘took’ 60,000 Twitter followers and this is not the only example. What would happen if an employee did something similar in your business?

Building up brand awareness via social media has become an important aspect of many small businesses. Consistency and maintaining the relationship is equally important so steps should be taken to protect the businesses investment. Here are some tips

You will need an agreement that includes the following:


It should be clearly stated that the brand owns the account and the employee does not

It should be made policy that employees store login details in a location accessible by the company.

There should be clear guidelines as to who is authorised to change the name of the account

There should be a clear policy in place as to who is authorised to change usernames, emails and passwords.

Social media ownership and management is a serious issue so thanks Silicon Beach Training for bringing this to our attention. The consequences of not getting is right could be costly in terms of both time and money, so it will pay to get it right the first time, from the get go. Start by following the procedure above, however, do get proper advice from your legal provider, or local small business association in your country just in case.

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  1. Louise Myers says:

    Wisely, the new FB Pages allow different levels of Admins so one of your employees can’t delete you as an Admin! Can you imagine? This is a reall issue that deserves attention. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is obviously the flip side of open source and social media. For sure it is important that things be documented as it is far too easy for someone to highjack things especially a disgruntled employee. I recently heard of a business partner doing this to the other around an internet training center they had set up. One of them got royally screwed over.

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