It’s not uncommon for employees or consultants to run a company’s socials media. But, without careful attention to the details, this arrangement can cause trouble for the business or brand if the person running the account decides to quit or gets fired in the future.
The nightmare scenario that we unfortunately see too often is that the employee/contractor creates a company’s Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc. under their own personal or business email address. Then, when that person leaves for whatever reason, they take the entire account (including any followers or leads the company paid to generate) with them. If the account was set up in this way, there is very little the company can do to force the person to return ownership, and all can be lost.
That’s why we always recommend that business owners take specific steps to protect their social media accounts and digital assets if they will not be the only one managing them. The following three action items need to be considered:
- Make sure all accounts are set up under a company email or an email address that is owned and controlled by the business owner. Even if you don’t want to provide employees with your personal address, at least set up a separate account that you completely control and use that for the login credentials if necessary.
- When possible, provide employees or contractors the ability to manage your page as a “co-administrator” or “editor.” This will give them the ability to post on your pages and respond to your followers without having legal ownership. If an employee already has ownership of your page, ask them to transfer it back to you while they are still with the company.
- Amend your employee agreements to include a social media clause. You should have language that states that all social media accounts, including usernames and passwords are owned by the company and must be turned back over to the company in the event the employee is terminated, resigns, or is simply asked for access.
If you follow these steps, you can have peace of mind knowing that your accounts will stay protected and won’t walk out the door with an ex-employee if something happens.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.