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barack obama the first social media president his presence will be archived

Preserving your digital legacy

Whether you’re reeling from 2016’s second major electoral shock, or applauding Trump’s triumph over the ‘establishment’, the big question is what will happen to the White House’s social media. After all, Trump’s advisers took his Twitter account away from him in the final days of the election campaign, whereas Obama has been hailed as the world’s first ‘Social Media President’ – and he’s left a great digital legacy.

The @POTUS Twitter account has nearly 12 million followers, and the digital output from the White House – Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden – has been prolific. As this article in The Smithsonian points out, between them, they have produced nearly 30,000 tweets, a huge amount of Youtube content, and heading for 500,000 We the People petitions.

Taken together, it’s going to be a valuable archive documenting Obama’s presidency. However, with Trump at the helm, it’s not surprising that there’s a strategy in place not only to preserve this digital legacy, but to leave ‘official’ accounts clean for the new administration.

So what lessons are there for business? Well, it’s about making your accounts and profiles streamlined enough and secure enough to preserve in the case of a staff exit, and also to hand on, for example if the business is sold.

Your digital presence is a valuable asset

  • Don’t underestimate the value of your business’s digital presence.

If you’ve invested in a website, social presence, paid advertising, SEO and are actively managing your digital assets, they will be a valuable part of the business should the time come to sell up.

  • Securing your digital assets is vital.

Unless you have control of your digital assets, you will be in a weaker position to realise their value. You could even experience damage to your business, for example if you don’t have control of your domain name, or if your social media accounts have been set up and are under control of an employee who leaves the business.

  • Carry out regular audits of your digital presence

This involves a regular check of a whole variety of matters – everything from your domains and hosting, your password security, and updating your online strategy (***plug*** it’s something we’re going to be blogging about in the near future, so watch this space)

Make social account set up ‘impersonal’

In the rush to get social, don’t forget that if accounts are linked to individuals, it increases the risks of being abused or of the business ‘losing control’ of your social brand at a later date.

  • Use a generic email address to create accounts

Think yourbusiness@greatbusiness.com- or ourbusinesssocialmedia@greatbusiness.com

  • Keep passwords secure

Make sure passwords are secure, but accessible to more than one person in the business; we’re not suggesting that Obama is going to start trolling using @POTUS but an aggrieved employee with access to your social media accounts can cause a huge amount of damage very quickly

  • Create a composite ‘personal’ account where appropriate

Where business pages are reliant on a personal account – Facebook and Google+; grant admin or editorial access to employees that require it, or use Facebook Business Manager where appropriate.

Have a robust internet and online policy

Set boundaries for staff involved in managing your online presence

Handing over control to employees is a great way to create vibrant online content, but make sure you set clear boundaries about what is (or more importantly what isn’t acceptable)

Make sure your online strategy aligns with your business strategy

It still surprises us how many businesses treat online as separate to other marketing efforts, and to the overall business strategy. They are all intertwined.

Hopefully, the circumstances in which you’ll need to be handing over your digital legacy won’t be as exhausting as a presidential election, but it’s always as well to be prepared so you can leave your online presence in the best shape possible for any successor. Get your house in order when you launch online, or spend some time auditing your digital presence and making sure you have everything under control; and if all this is a mystery to you, why not get in touch and organise a social media audit, book in for some training or consultancy or talk to us about your social media strategy.

WebAdept – call us on 01437 720033!