I’m going to make this post, short and sweet. If you have a social media account that represents your company’s (or law firm’s) brand… safeguard it like it is important. Because it is.

For the second time in a few days, a company’s Twitter account posted inappropriate content under the company’s brand name. The reason this happened is actually quite simple, and we’ve all seen it happen on much smaller scales. The person responsible for the “Company Twitter” account simply forgot that he or she was logged in to that account and fired off a personal message thinking that they were on their own account. The result was most likely that both of these folks no longer have to worry about the confusion, because they have lost their jobs.

There are a few simple guidelines that every company needs to put into practice to make sure this doesn’t happen:

  • The People Part: Train Your People and keep the number of employees that have access to these accounts to an absolute minimum. Set up strict rules, and make sure they understand the top two rules of social media when it comes to representing your brand:
    Rule 1: Don’t post anything stupid
  • The Technology Part: If someone is going to post on behalf of your company’s brand, set up a computer that where the only thing that computer is used for is updating social media sites related to your brand. Under no circumstances, ever, should anyone log into a personal account on those computers, and if necessary, set up scripts to block employees from logging out of the company account, or set up monitoring software to alert you if they log in to any account other than the company account. Do not mix personal and company accounts (which can happen very easily if you use things like HootSuite or TweetDeck that allow for multiple log ins at the same time.)
When it comes to social media, your brand is only as valuable as the weakest link in your chain. Kitchen Aid and StubHub learned the hard way that allowing their social media representatives to mix business and personal accounts on the same computer costs them dearly, and made them scramble to shore up the damage caused. If you are in charge of your company’s social media brand, take advantage of Kitchen Aid’s and StubHub’s errors to prevent your employees from breaking any of the top two rules of social media and your brand.