If you used Facebook over Christmas you will have seen the incredible response to the Boxing Day floods.
Hundreds of new pages, groups and appeals were launched and an army of local volunteers sprang into action.
A strong group of interested parties can move quicker than any corporate entity and some groups achieved in one week what it takes a business years to normally achieve.
Some groups passed 6,000 members in a heartbeat and managed to do some great stuff.
The downside of speed can be unexpected consequences though, especially around security and general management of the Facebook page or group.
Some users found themselves locked out of their groups without notice and unable to keep the groups momentum going.
So just who was this mysterious entity that locked them out of their own group? Was it Chinese hackers? Anonymous? The government? No, it was probably Larry or Louise from down the road.
95% of issues like this are not caused by hackers, but by another person designated as an administrator, also known as Admin, deciding they want to take the group in a different direction.
Often it can actually be as a result of a fall out or something as simple as not paying a bill. The amount of pages who come to Snowflake Media asking for help when their designer or social media has locked them out grows each month.
So how do you avoid or minimise your risk?
Be clear from the beginning
In a crisis, it’s all hands on deck. You need lots of help just to manage the flow of information. However, a week or two down the line it’s not so labour intensive. Make sure you let people know that you’ll appreciate their help but will only need them as Admin for a short period of time.
Especially with those that have helped you at the beginning. Often the groups creator will simply switch off all the other Administrators privileges without warning.
This can cause panic and for people to assume the worst. If they suspect hacking, they may start to notify Facebook en-masse which could get your group suspended or deleted.
Always have two or more admins
If the only Admin account is suspended the group cannot operate and could be lost.
If you don’t want an outside person having access, then set up a secondary email and profile. Just make sure it is not linked to the same email address. If you lose access to that inbox, you’ll have trouble.
Encourage the group users to share their contact info with you away from Facebook
Losing a 5,000 person group due to a hacker can be soul destroying. Consider asking people to register their details with you away from Facebook, so if anything ever happens you can start up fast. Just remember to stay compliant and only use the contact details for the reasons you promised.