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5 Reasons Organizations Should Be Archiving their Social Media Accounts

In an era where a single social media mishap can spiral into a legal nightmare, social media archiving is increasingly becoming a safety net for organizations.

Social media archiving entails the capture, collection, and preservation of social media content shared by an organization, including comments and likes. Ideally, your social media archiving solution will also capture comments that have been edited or deleted by other users. 

Why Should Organizations Archive Their Social Media?

Social media archiving is a safeguard for your organization's digital footprint. Easy access to authenticated records of advertising campaign materials, customer comments, brand statements, and other communications ensures business are prepared to examine and produce records quickly, when they really need them. 

In this article we'll explore the five reasons why your organization should be archiving their social media data and what access to these kinds of records could mean for litigation readiness, reputation management, and maintaining proper data governance. 

1. Meeting Industry Regulations & Standards

Official use of social media is often subject to industry and government recordkeeping requirements. The specifics of these requirements vary by industry and state government. 

According to FINRA Rule 10-06, for example, financial firms are required to preserve their social media records – failure to do so can lead to significant fines. These regulations enable investigators and auditors from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to hold financial service providers accountable to their claims made in advertising and endorsements, preserving the integrity of the financial system. 

Social media archiving has also become crucial in educational institutions. It is easy for underaged students to have personal identifiable information (PII) posted on an official school social media account. With this in mind, more schools have started to archive social media communication records to help resolve privacy concerns of students into the future.

In most cases, regulations and requirements for recordkeeping are stricter than you may realize —social media archiving is a cautionary practice that could save you in future audits or investigations, and help you adapt as your industry's regulations and digital record keeping standards evolve.

2. Improving Information Governance 

Social media never sleeps. The expectation for businesses to appear omnipresent across all social media platforms is well established. Even for a company with a more ‘minimal’ approach to posting and online engagement, data can quickly accumulate and represent a substantial data source that needs to be managed.

Social media archiving helps businesses regain a sense of order while facilitating better access to the data for the purposes of review and improving business operations.

Having social media activity archived and easy to access means much more efficient and effective data governance. This is especially important in regulated industries, where your stakeholders may need access to specific information at a moment’s notice. 

Though social media platforms allow you to download data from the platform provider, this data is not organized, easily searchable, and is presented out of context, making it less useful for improving info governance.

3. Litigation Readiness

Litigation involving social media is growing and organizations need to be ready. Archiving social media data prepares you for eDiscovery requests for ESI examination, without the need to hire costly external experts for assistance. With a steady rise in the number of cases either centering on social media or relying on social media content as evidence, it's never been more important to proactively protect the data that you could find yourself relying on.

If you want control of all your social media data, archive the information — this cautionary practice will help you meet the challenges of future litigation.

However, when it comes to litigation, not all social media records are created equal, and without proper authentication and formatting, may not be admissible. Any social media archiving solution you employ needs to preserve data in formatting that meets the specific requirements of admissible digital evidence, including digital signatures and the preservation of metadata

4. Protection Against False Advertising Claims

Social media is an advertising platform. This means that the content you post will be held to the same standards as any other promotional content created for the purposes of furthering your business and held to the same compliance requirements. The more heavily regulated your industry, the more wide-ranging you can expect these conditions to be.

Claims of false advertising are on the rise, and the ephemeral nature of social media can often make it difficult to prove your innocence. By keeping an accurate historical record of all your data accessible, you’ll can disprove malicious claims about your business if they're backed up by edited screenshots.

By preserving your social media records, you can show an irrefutable, timestamped record of your social media activities and content to manage issues before they become larger legal matters or damage the organization's reputation.

5. Monitoring and Data Loss Prevention

Manual monitoring of every single post across all social media platforms is not feasible for modern businesses. However, with an increase in use, and a rise in the number of employees who may have access to your accounts, (or may be communicating with customers over official channels,) the risk of inappropriate use and data loss is elevated.

Effective, automated social media archiving can provide a layer of security. With automated keyword monitoring, you can spot potential risk of data loss and raise the alarm if sensitive information (insurance or healthcare details, for example) is being shared publicly. Your archive can then be used as evidence during an investigation. 

Keyword monitoring your archives can also protect your business from inappropriate usage— alerting you to misconduct or use that goes against your internal policies, and allowing you to act swiftly to remove the offending content.

A Note on Social Media Archiving Solutions

Though some platforms allow you to download data from your accounts, these do not necessarily constitute an archive or proper records that would help you prepare for any of the situations we described in this article. Not only that, often the data you can download from the platforms is not organized in such a way to make easily searchable or useful.

Taking screenshots of your organization's social media accounts isn't going to cut it either — especially if you need to search, organize, or produce documentation of a specific post or interaction. And if the screenshots aren't taken immediately, comments and interactions could be easily edited or deleted, leaving you with an incomplete record.

Finding a purpose-built, automated tool with features like search and authentication that also let you review the data in it's native format and context is your best bet.

Ready to take control of your social media data?

Regardless of your industry or business size, if you’re maintaining a social media presence, accurate archiving of your data is a modern-day must. From litigation preparedness, through to information governance, and more effective monitoring, social media archiving can bring peace of mind and dependable defense when it comes to the ever-changing demands of the digitized business environment.

Contact Pagefreezer today so we can help protect your social media data.

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Miranda Pang
Miranda Pang
Miranda Pang is the Director of Marketing at Pagefreezer

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