SOCIAL MEDIA BLOGS, NEWS & EVENTS

Social media password sharing: a threat for the reputation of marketing agencies

18 May 2012 | 11:56 am

 

When we started building corporate social media management software, the perils of social media were almost unknown to most organisation decision makers. Two years later, directors are slowly getting their heads around the internal and external social media risks and their potential impact on the organisation.

Given the numerous social media disaster stories circulated over the news, this lag in grasping the social media perils might seem surprising. What prompted attention towards these issues? While in the beginning social media was seen as solely the responsibility of marketing and customer services departments, IT is now getting involved. IT departments know a lot more about internet safety, and as they become aware of inter-departmental sharing of social media usernames and passwords they are signalling the dangers of this practice to company executives.

What does this mean for marketing agencies and why should they be worried?

Are agencies sharing their clients’ user names and passwords around their offices? Agencies are the first to become up-to date with the latest moves in social-media. As organisations are shifting their focus on social media risks, their agencies also need to become security conscious.

In February, someone at Chrysler’s social media agency NWS tweeted about bad drivers in Detroit from Chrysler’s official Twitter account. The Detroit-based car manufacturer had officially gone on Twitter record saying that no one can drive in their own city. Consequences? The employee lost his job, the agency got fired and Chrysler had to issue official apologies.

This case illustrates the dire effects a social media faux-pas can have on an agency. In the situation above the agency was undoubtedly to blame, but what happens if a rogue post goes out and no one puts their hands up? In most cases both agency and client share access to the same social media accounts – while the agency is managing social media campaigns, the client is responsible for day-to-day customer service. In the horrible situation when/ if something goes wrong and pointing fingers begins, and in the absence of an audit trail the agency can well become the scapegoat.

So how to keep the agency protected? What better way to do this than by not asking for usernames and passwords from clients, but asking them to set up security software in order to ensure that the activity of each and every individual can be tracked. Besides protecting the agency, this shows concern for the client’s security and might prove an advantage in the pitch process.

CrowdControlHQ enables the agency to work on the client’s social media while providing and accurate audit trail of activity sent through the system. The entire activity of a user will be recorded, leaving no room for uncertainty on who issued each message. The system also provides a suite of time-saving features for managing and monitoring multiple social media accounts which  range from post scheduling to complex analytics. If you would like to find out more about CrowdControlHQ and how it can keep an agency safe from social media damage, contact us.

James Leavesley,

CEO @CrowdControlHQ,

@leavesj