Social media has become an indispensable part of our lives. Especially for those working in the marketing field, social media has become as important as having an actual phone.
However, as social media continues to grow, so does the potential danger.
To mitigate some of these risks, it’s crucial that companies archive their social media content.
Social media archiving is the process of storing content, either automatically or manually, from social media sites. It is imperative for any organization, big or small, to take advantage of social media archiving.
Social media archiving is not a new concept. However, it is something many organizations still struggle with.
So, what are the reasons organizations should archive social media data and how is social media archiving relevant to your organization?
Why is it important for businesses to archive their social media content?
To achieve regulatory compliance
Your organization’s use of social media must adhere to federal and state records laws as well as the First Amendment. If a company refuses to provide requested documents, or if they violate the right to free speech in any other way, they might face legal repercussions.
A searchable archive makes it easy to retrieve long-lost data that correspond to a certain subject, event, or person, regardless of how thoroughly they may have been buried.
Although hiding or removing posts may seem like a reasonable method of page management, doing so may actually be illegal under the First Amendment. The occasional need to remove comments or prohibit users may land businesses and their employees in legal hot water.
Some forms of expression are shielded on social media platforms while others are not. Social media managers can better defend the tough choices they make every day in the face of legal challenges if they keep a record of what was deleted, as well as the context in which those decisions were made.
In the case of a lawsuit, it is also essential to collect and save metadata. Metadata is data that accompanies digital content and may reveal a wide range of information, including the identity of the uploader, the type of device they used, the time the content was uploaded, and more.
The US judicial system has ruled that screenshots of online discussion threads and private messages cannot be used as evidence. Metadata always discloses the truth, whereas screenshots may be edited.
The information posted on social networking sites is deemed public knowledge
Keep in mind that what becomes a public record is based on the content, not the medium. Your company’s social media material may be deemed public information depending on your field of work, how you represent yourself online, and how you engage with the general public.
For instance, government agencies need to keep all records, including social media posts, for as long as they are obliged to do so.
Social media companies are not responsible for preserving data
Private companies that own and run social media platforms are not bound by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or any state public records legislation, and hence they are not required to save users’ material indefinitely.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the respective organizations to gather and archive social media material. Capturing posts and comments manually, which commenters can edit or delete at any moment, is not only time-consuming but also impractical in the face of these 24-hour platforms.
By using a social media archiving solution, companies may organize their online presence and meet record-keeping requirements.
Consequences of non-compliance
Companies lose a combined total of billions of dollars annually due to violations of various regulations. This trend is expected to accelerate as the enforcement of rules and regulations pertaining to data becomes more stringent.
In addition to the monetary costs of any penalties imposed, the business would suffer a far wider range of indirect damages. Companies that don’t play by the rules risk having their data stolen, losing employees, and getting a bad reputation, among other things.
Fines, penalties, civil or criminal responsibility, and regulatory scrutiny are all potential repercussions from a legal standpoint. Brand reputation lost productivity, and compromised security are just a few of the negative outcomes for businesses.
The benefits of social media archiving
Although the major motivation for maintaining a social archive is to meet legal requirements for maintaining records, doing so has additional benefits as well.
If you look back at your social media marketing achievements and failures, you may learn from them and make improvements going forward. New hires who will be responsible for managing your social media accounts will likely benefit from a review of your previous posts. Any new employee can benefit from seeing examples of earlier work and the community’s reaction to that effort in order to better engage and apply that community.
The following are made possible when a company’s social media content is easily accessible in response to requests for public records:
- Save everything posted to your social media accounts in one convenient location.
- Do not worry about losing your entire social media profile by simply preserving your posts, comments, media files, and communications.
- Retrieve and classify social media material Construct reports to monitor metrics and participation
- Protect against policy breaches by keeping an eye out for violations
- Record the history of conversation surrounding industry-specific, brand-specific, or campaign-specific keywords and hashtags.
- Keep track of the reasons why and when information was removed or concealed from social media.
- Disputes and legal matters are resolved, and risk and liability are reduced.
Social media archiving is a concept that resonates with a variety of organizations. In today’s digital age, social media archiving is more critical than ever.
As social media continues to grow in popularity and impact, archiving access becomes all the more crucial.
If your company does not archive content, you risk having to face legal repercussions, damage to your reputation, and damaged security.
Having a searchable archive of your business’s social content ensures that you retain relevant social content, respond to requests, and uphold your brand’s reputation. Archiving social media content is a crucial step in the process of meeting your record-keeping obligations.