In the name of convenience, many businesses and organizations have a digital footprint set up by a third party. Whether it’s a website, a social media account, or any variety of online digital presence, you need to be cautious with your digital brand. As much as it may sometimes sound easier to let someone else do your setup, you’ll be paying for that “convenience” in time and hassle down the line when it comes to updating or changing your digital assets in the future. At Pink Jacket, we’d like to help you avoid experiencing shady individuals who are trying to profit off of your hard-earned work by giving you some handy tips.
When we partner with our clients to build their brands online, we use the analogy of building you a sports car. The exterior should reflect the beautiful brand and look/feel you’ve worked hard for over time. Your engine should be built in a way that gets you where you need to go quickly, easily, and without any breakdowns. Pink Jacket may build that sports car for you, but you own it! We can be your maintenance team, but if you have some of your own people in the pit to keep it running, we work hard to make sure you have all the tools your team needs.
HERE ARE 5 RISK FACTORS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
OWN YOUR DOMAIN.
The domain is essentially the online address people use to visit your website. Often, you’ll purchase multiple domains and redirect those to your main domain (usually a .com or .org). Make sure those domains live in a place under your own account or company account. Know the username and password, and make sure someone always has access to the email associated with that account. You wouldn’t give the title to your car to someone to hold it for you, would you?
GET ACCESS TO YOUR CORE FILES SO YOU ARE ABLE TO EDIT YOUR SITE.
Back in the early days of the internet, this was more common. However, every once in a while we see that a client does not have access to maintain or edit their own website. Again, this is your property that you have paid for in full. You should have access to log into the site and make changes – update photos, change copy, add a menu – it’s a regular part of keeping your visitors engaged and aware of your promotions. Think of it this way – would it be reasonable to ask someone to give you the car keys every time you wanted to go for a drive? No! You should have the keys in your possession.
MAKE SURE YOUR THIRD-PARTY APPS OR VENDORS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH YOU.
This can be as simple as your Google Suite not being associated with your personal or business Gmail account. Or it could be as complex as someone holding all the keys to the car – all your providers like email marketing, online ordering, appointment app, and POS integration. Don’t let one person (who may or may not work for your firm in the future) hold all the login usernames and passwords. Make sure an owner, C-level, or generic company email that can be easily moved has all your login credentials. You don’t want to risk a site breakdown and lost revenue because an employee left the company without transferring this information.
C-LEVEL OWNERSHIP OF YOUR SOCIAL CHANNEL.
Did you allow a former employee to create your social media channels? This happens way more often than you would imagine. Your Facebook Business page should be associated with the owner or other high C-level person in your company. Your login credentials for all other social media channels should be kept by the same person, in a safe location, and track who you have given access to at all times. Eliminating users when one leaves and changing passwords are also good habits to form. It can be an incredibly difficult road to travel if you lose access or have someone hijack your social media.
CLAIM YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS, YELP, TRIP ADVISOR, OR OTHER REVIEW SITE.
While it is a challenge to remember all the different paths a potential client can take to find you, it is vital that you or someone high in your organization take the steps to claim these listings. Often, it’s as easy as that – just going and claiming the listing in that channel. Verification steps are required but again, make sure this is kept in a system that allows easy access if or when that person leaves your employment. Maintaining a good response rate, checking periodically for the accuracy of your listing, and (when applicable) embedding in your website means these channels can lead directly to a new client.
If you have been through any of these scenarios, you probably already learned the hard way that these factors are now a part of maintaining your online presence. Make sure you have a person or multiple people who understand their roles and responsibilities when it comes to managing these aspects of your digital footprint.
If you do not have a team internally to manage these vital tasks, find an agency like Pink Jacket to hire for ongoing maintenance. Your digital presence management team should be reliable but understand that you own these assets. Think of it like having a warranty service agreement – we keep it running and are here to help with any maintenance.