About three and a half years ago, I wrote a post called Community Un-Managing: Cheat Sheet for Community Managers and Tips for Companies, because, while most companies have processes and procedures for employees who leave, at that time, at least, few had procedures in place to extricate employees from company social media sites when they leave the company. Maybe that’s changed now…fodder for a future post or article…but I’m guessing it most likely hasn’t for many orgs. Obviously, if you’re an employer and this is something you haven’t thought about before, now is a great time to think about it because I’m sure we can all agree that in this day and age of social media being in the limelight (hello election drama), nobody wants a rogue ex-employee having access to their social media accounts. And if you’re the person leaving, disconnecting yourself from the company’s social media accounts should be part of your digital exit plan.
Here are the updated steps to disconnect yourself or an employee from the major social media platforms:
Facebook is pretty simple, as admins access it via their own personal account so either they or someone else who is an admin of the page can easily remove them from the page by clicking Settings at the top of the Page, clicking Page Roles in the left column, clicking the “x” next to the person you want to remove, then clicking Save and entering your password to confirm the deletion. To remove yourself, follow the instructions above and click x next to your name. You can always remove yourself from a Page, but if you’re the Page’s only admin, you’ll need to add another admin first. Note to companies: be sure that the person who sets up or maintains your Facebook page isn’t the only admin so they are not the sole admin for the account.
Facebook Ads are a bit tricker to either extricate yourself from or remove an admin from. This is from Facebook’s FAQs about removing yourself from a Facebook Ads account if you are the owner:
Ad accounts are connected to personal profiles, not Pages, in order to protect the security of the ad account owner’s information. If you’re no longer the administrator on the Page, your ad account will remain connected to your personal profile and cannot be transferred to someone else along with the Page.
In order to continue to create ads for the Page, someone else with at least an advertiser role on the Page will need to create a new ad account. Anyone can set up an ad account by going to their Ads Manager (www.facebook.com/ads/manage) and adding a funding source as described in this Help Center article: https://www.facebook.com/help/132073386867900/?ref=u2u. Unfortunately the ad campaign history will remain connected to your account.
For Pages and ad accounts with multiple admins, we recommend setting up your Pages and ad accounts through Business Manager to prevent situations like this from happening. Here’s an introduction into Business Manager: https://www.facebook.com/help/113163272211510/?ref=u2u and a resource for how to set one up: https://www.facebook.com/help/1428785834029669/?ref=u2u
If you’re the person leaving, it’s easy to extricate yourself from the page’s ad account–just go to Ad Manager, click the menu icon at the top left of the page, then under Settings in the right column click Ad Account Settings. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and there’s a link on the lower left side Deactivate Ad Account. Click that and you’ll be asked to specify why you’re deactivating, then your account will be submitted for deactivation, which will happen once any outstanding balances are cleared. Before you deactivate the account, you could add another admin to keep the account active, but since anyone can set up an ad account and connect it to any page they’re an admin of, it’s fine to just go nuclear on this one…unless, of course, the company would like a paper trail/continuity of their ad account, in which case, before you deactivate, you can go to Settings and add an admin, then have them remove you or remove yourself once they’ve been added and they’ve added a payment source.
Companies/HR people: you’ll probably want to create a Business account, if you haven’t already, to keep things simple in the future. Once you’ve created the account with your company name, claim the company’s page by clicking Claim Assets on top right of the page, claiming the company page, and then taking it from there.
This one’s easy if you’re the person leaving–just tell your employer to change the password once you leave. If you’re the employer, it’s a little more complicated, since changing the password doesn’t revoke access to devices/third party applications that have already been enabled. Meaning that if the employee had added the org’s Twitter account to his/her iphone or connected it to any other third party app, they’ll still be able to access the account. This should automatically be fixed when you change the password, as Twitter should prompt you to revoke access to any connected accounts (according to their FAQs; I haven’t tried it yet). The easiest way to do this is to log in to the Twitter account through your desktop (not mobile), go to Settings, then Apps and revoke access to all apps. Then you can re-enable any you want to re-establish.
As with Twitter, this one could be as easy as changing the password, or, if you’re the employee leaving, telling your employer to change the password when you leave. But, also same as Twitter, if you’re the employer and the person managing the account left without granting you access…you want to prevent that from happening by, of course, having a list of all social media accounts and the credentials. Assuming you have that, log in via the desktop version, click the little person icon at the top right of the page, then Change Password, then Authorized Applications and revoke access.
I barely use Snapchat personally and haven’t worked for any companies that I’ve had to manage it for, so I won’t even profess to know what to advise with regard to this one. Here’s the best I can offer–their FAQs on how to reset your password.
LinkedIn is yet another that’s tied to a personal account so, if you’re the person leaving, you can either change your role as group manager or moderator to group member by clicking on Interests at the top of your home page, clicking Groups, clicking the group’s name from the My Groups dropdown, clicking Manage then the Members link on the left. Under your name, click Change Role then select To hover over the Member button at the top right of the page and it will change to Leave. Click and done. If you are the owner of the group, you’ll need to transfer ownership to someone else in order to leave the group–here’s how you do that.
To remove yourself from administering a company page, go to the page and hover over the down arrow on the Edit button and click Edit Page. Click the x next to your name under Admins, then click the Publish button and you’re done.
If you’ve run any LinkedIn ads, you’ll also want to remove yourself from those ad accounts. To do that, log into LinkedIn Ads and click the Create Ad button at the top right of the page to access the Ads dashboard. You’ll see all the accounts for which you’re an administrator. Click the link to the account you want to remove yourself from, then at the top of the page, click the wheel next to Account, then click Manage Access. If you’re the only account manager, you’ll need to add another user to the account, then designate them as billing admin. I think you then have to have them delete you as an admin of the account, as the only thing I was able to do was change myself to viewer, not delete myself.
For companies…you get the drill–just follow the steps above, assuming the person who left wasn’t the sole admin/owner of either your group/page/ad account. Also, if the person was using a company credit card for the account, be sure you either have them delete that card or transfer ownership of the ad account to someone else at the company.
Another easy one–just change the password for the company account and you’re done.
Private Community Platforms
As for private community platforms, I’m not currently managing any so not sure of the exact steps and considerations for the various platforms, but this is what I wrote back in 2013 and I’d imagine it’s still relevant:
You’ll want to make sure that you add changing passwords for the private community platform to the list of things IT will do as soon as an employee terminates, either voluntarily or not. As far as what you do with the community manager’s profile and how that may or may not affect their posts in the community–that’s something you’d want to address with the platform’s vendor and something you’ll want to consider from the policy standpoint: when an employee leaves, how will you treat their profile? The content they shared and discussions they were part of while they were employed? Will you or they announce the fact that they’re leaving and let community members know what to expect in the interim? If the community manager is terminated, how will you communicate that information to the community? Lots of things to think about, especially if your community manager is a highly visible part of your online community.
Whew–I’m sure there are others but I’m tapped out. Did I miss any? Any other advice you’d offer employers with regard to community un-management?