We’ve talked before about using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to drive traffic and to generate leads. After all, nowadays they are the omnipresent platforms through which you aim to build your brand and engage with your audience.

However, it’s still surprising how many business owners don’t own or control their pages on these platforms themselves.

As we’ve said before, you wouldn’t own a shop where the only way you could get in is if the person you pay to be manager let you, or if the person whose job it was to change your window display wouldn’t let you have a key to go in and change something yourself.

Take, for example, your Google Business listing. If an internal employee manages it for you and they leave, taking the logins with them, you as the business owner has no control over it because you can’t get in. First of all, you have to work out why you can’t get in, then you have to contact them to ask for their logins – which they are likely to no longer have.

The one thing you can guarantee is that it will take a disproportionate amount of time and effort to recover control – and this is assuming that you parted on good terms…

And it’s the same with social media channels such as Facebook. If you are not the owner of your own social media, or you don’t have access to the hosting of your own website, or you don’t know where the URL is registered, or you don’t have full admin access, it almost always paves the way for difficulties.

As we said, when the employee leaves, they might not be able to help you even if they are willing to because they no longer have the information you need. And if they feel aggrieved in any way, they might be deliberately uncooperative.

Likewise, if you decide to change your agency, the old one can make things equally difficult by not giving the incoming agency the information necessary to take over your pages.

Naturally, it can depend on how and why you are parting ways – and often money is one of the main reasons. But whether you think they didn’t do a good job, or they think you haven’t paid them for what they did do, if they own the Facebook page, they don’t have to give it to you.

Regardless of the circumstances, it makes for an inevitable mad scramble to get the information as quickly as possible – together with huge amounts of frustration.

Knowing that if you’d created a backed-up central repository for passwords you would still have access regardless of staff turnover, or that when you changed your agency the new one could have acted quickly and seamlessly, is cold comfort during the crisis when you’re losing time and money.

The point is that your presence on social media pages are company assets – just like your cars or computers.

You own them and you can, and should, be able to manage them yourself.