The Importance of Owning Your Digital Assets
As a business owner, the digital assets that you should have ownership to are:
- Social media pages
- Facebook pages
- Instagram profile
- Website domain
- Business listings
- Google My Business
- Google Analytics account attached to your website
- Content management system that powers your website
- All images and content written for your website
Why Owning Your Digital Assets Should Be a Priority
There are two main reasons why you should own your digital assets.
- If you don’t own them, you can’t control them; and
- If you don’t own them, you may not have access to them when you need it.
Owning these assets is vital whether you’re working with a third party vendor, you have an in-house team, or you’re allowing your facility managers to help with your marketing efforts.
Third Party Ownership
It’s fine to have a third party claim, manage, and have ownership of your business pages, but make sure you, as the owner, have access to all of the necessary information.
For example, if you’re working with a third party vendor, one of their services may be to claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing. This sets them up as owner of the page. In Google’s eyes this third party vendor is the owner of the business.
If in the future, you decide to end your relationship with that vendor and you haven’t taken ownership of your GMB listings, you won’t have access to those pages to allow you to give it to a new vendor or manage it independently. You’ll have to go back to the original vendor, hoping they will give your ownership and access to those pages that they claimed for you. Or, you may have to go through the complicated process of trying to reclaim them. Remember, Google still sees the original vendor as the owner of the business because they are still listed on the account.
In-House Marketing Team or Facility Manager Ownership
Even if your internal team or facility manager is setting up and managing your digital accounts, it’s critical that you are set up as an owner.
If you have a manager set up a Facebook page, it will automatically be linked to the personal page of the person who set it up. This means that this person is the administrator of the page and has the authority to add additional administrators and editors and give access to as many people as they need for that page. Again, be sure that you’re also being added as an owner because it’s even harder to get ownership when a digital asset is attached to an individual’s personal page.
Don’t Wait – Check Your Digital Asset Ownership Now
As the owner of a business, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your digital assets aren’t as important as your physical assets. You may not need to access these pages, but that makes no difference to the eyes of the software giants. Whoever is listed as the owner of the accounts is seen by them as the owner of the business.
Take a few minutes to check and see what you have access to. Make sure you can log in and share information on your Facebook page, your GMB page, your website, and all of your other digital assets.
Ask for access now, so that you don’t have to worry about it in the future.
Final Thoughts – Leaving a Digital Legacy
A plan that considers the digital assets of a business is a challenging but necessary consideration for small business owners. According to The Journal of Financial Planning, “Without a well-defined and managed succession plan that considers digital assets, these valuable business intangibles may perish resulting in irreversible damage.”
Unlike traditional business assets, digitals assets can be difficult to locate. As a small business owner, you need to be thinking about having a well-defined digital asset succession plan in place. This is a complex logistic challenge that could be limited by a digital service provider and needs the expertise of financial planners as well as attornies specializing in estate planning. Small businesses require unique and flexible plans that can evolve along with changing circumstances.
For more information on this important and complex matter check The Importance of Digital Asset Succession Planning for Small Businesses