Social Media Tip of the Week: Make a Digital Succession Plan

There are a lot of things to think about when someone passes away.  No matter what anyone’s station in life, the families are always left with a lot of thing to take care of when a death occurs.  However, we now live in a digital age and there are things that people do need to think about that they have not had to think about before.  So, both professionally and personally, it might be wise to think about a “digital succession plan.”


Yes, you read that right.  In a recent journalist inquiry this came across my desk and it got me thinking that digital succession planning is a necessity in this day and age where every person is plugged into a large number of different things that may exist only virtually.  What is digital succession planning, you ask?


Well, in the past, when a person died, you had to worry about paying for the funeral, closing out a home and selling it (perhaps), shutting down bank accounts and other personal things.  These days, though, what happens to a person’s Facebook page?  Twitter account?  Blog?  Email?  Think of the dozens of places that you are currently hooked up to right now.  What would happen to all of those if you were to die?  Strange to think about, right?


If you use any of those things for a business, then it becomes even more important.  If you are the only one with the user names and passwords for the company social media efforts, blogs and website, what happens if something happens to you?  Sure, perhaps you have thought about who would take over your business, handle the accounts and watch the books if something happened, but what about your company’s digital life?  You know, if you are on here reading this, that having such a life is critical for your company.  What do you do?


Well, these days, the idea of a digital succession plan has started to come into play.  That means setting up back-ups and letting people know what the various accounts and passwords that exist online are and how others can access them.  Yes, it means you have to trust someone, but if you trust someone to take over your business, you should be able to trust them to manage your company Facebook account. 


It may seem like a silly thing to think about, but when you pause to really consider it, it isn’t so funny.  Your company needs a website, right?  You have made strides into social media?  You Twitter and you update your blog and website regularly?  What if all of that stopped?  In the chaos and upheaval that can come from a death and a transition for a company, thinking about social media is probably the last thing on your mind.  That’s fine, it can be the last thing you think about.  The point is, though, that you DO need to think about it.


So, plan ahead.  Write out the passwords.  Make sure they are documented.  You can keep them secret, but make sure the person who is next in line is ready to take over EVERY aspect of the company, including the digital life.

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