Similar to email, business records are created on social media. The manner in which businesses communicate with customers has changed. In the past, customers may have sent an email to your customer support, today they often send you a tweet, or write a Facebook post. Today, social media has undoubtedly become a primary channel of business communication.
As communications increasingly take place on social platforms, you should remember that these communications make up business records, similar to documents and emails. These records could be quite useful for legal discovery, records management, or compliance.
The Retention Of Social Media Is Difficult, Unlike Email
The content in social media is completely controlled by organizations outside of your business. Even when you are able to access this data, there are large challenges, because this content is rendered in a number of interactive, complex and non-standard formats.
You should also be aware that conversations on social media take place in a public and unscripted manner. The importance of these conversations in the future is hard to predict, and it is not possible to control how others are utilizing this information.
You Cannot Depend On Twitter And Facebook To Keep Your Records
Communication on social media platforms may be deleted instantly. Even if you use care in the protection of your content, others may delete messages or comments they have sent to you in the past. Subsequent to deletion, that information may be forever lost.
Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook are not interested in keeping your business records. Social media platforms will not guarantee that any of this data will be accessible when you require it and even if you can get it, it is not recorded in a manner that you can use.
Saving This Data Yourself Can Be Quite Difficult
It is fairly simple to save emails and files yourself, however, this is not true for data generated on social media platforms. An automated social media data collection process that you create in-house would require a significant investment of time and technical expertise. Of course, you could manually save this information by copying screen shots, but this takes a lot of time, is prone to errors, not very efficacious, and these types of records are valueless when they are legally disputed.
Software For Saving Social Media Records
Social platforms, like Twitter and Facebook are much more than simple websites. Web crawling methods are rather cumbersome and only able to capture a portion of the data. There are native records that contain metadata behind each status update, tweet, message, and photo.
Social media archive software needs to have direct communication with each social media platform in order to capture the complete data record in its native format. In order to make sure of its authenticity for legal purposes each data record must be time stamped.
Social media data and images come in a large variety of sizes and shapes and this content is usually dynamic and rich. From Twitter timelines, to YouTube videos, to Facebook walls, each platform is interactive and unique. Consequently, this data cannot be converted into a static format and still be useful.
Your archiving software must preserve your social media data in a manner that behaves, looks, and feels just like the original data. You should be able to view the videos, play videos, and expand and contract comment threads, so you can utilize these records.
Continuous Real-Time Archiving
Social media platforms were designed for the communication of large communities in real time making use of a large number of differing devices that can access the internet. Content may be deleted and posted at any time, before it can enter a corporate network, and valuable data may be lost.
Your archiving software must record this data constantly throughout the day in order to keep time gaps to a minimum when data could be lost. This software needs to ensure that you have data records of outgoing and incoming communications, regardless of the device, network, or person that is transmitting the data.
Unlimited Data Access
Archiving software is not only useful for data storage. Social media platforms many produce thousands of data records in a very short period of time. It is also very important that you are able to locate a particular piece of content that may be produced in a large number of formats, at any moment that you need it.
You will need to be able to search through your data records using a number of different criteria such as participants names, ranges of dates, and keywords, and the be able to further refine these results using categories. Then, when you have located the pertinent data, you need to be able to export it in formats, like Excel or PDF.