Retaining and Managing Social Media Data

Social Media DataSocial media allows businesses to reach out to their audience and social media optimization is important for any business that wants to stay competitive. However, while using these platforms, companies need to adhere to regulations on managing their communications.

Social Media and Data Retention

Managing social media is tough and a serious challenge. While the convenience factor is really attractive and helps businesses reach out to potential customers in new ways, companies really need to be careful since the business communication they make through social networks needs to be recorded and retained. Not only is this legally mandatory, but it also helps in reputation management and social media listening.

While data retention and control of paper records and other data have always been core issues, the increasing use of social media by employees poses the new challenge of social media retention. It involves keeping a record of social media messages and communication with clients or prospective customers.

Recording of Social Communication Mandatory

The Financial Industrial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) urge organizations to develop innovative measures for managing digital content including blogs, Facebook posts and tweets.

Keeping a record of such online data is quite a challenge. One thing that’s vital is that your organization must have a strictly enforced social media policy, which may have to be refined down the line. The norms of this policy must be circulated among all your staff.

How to Craft a Successful Social Media Policy

One of the foremost steps is to ensure all social media business communications made by you and your staff are monitored and recorded. Companies already do this for social media as well as email communications. It’s probably the least burdensome way to keep track, though it’s only the business communication that really needs to be recorded.

  • Your organization must have a system for supervising each staff member in charge of social media communication and to ensure regulatory compliance. Any social network which the concerned staff plans to use for communication must be reviewed prior to use. Only after ensuring that the proposed social network and the employee in charge of it do comply with your social media policy and the applicable rules should the social communication continue. It is also important to ensure that there isn’t much of a time lapse of a few months or weeks between your approval of the site and the posting, since websites could change their policy in between.
  • Care must be taken when third-party links are being posted. Links to a website containing misleading or unreliable content should not be included in your posts. An easier way to ensure that would be to ban third-party links in your social media policy. Or else you’ll have to leave it to the discretion of the staff who handles your social media.
  • You must also check whether data feeds by third-parties have reliable information. Your policy must include procedures for managing such feeds. You must inspect these third-party data feeds regularly to ensure there aren’t any indications of inaccuracy. If so, immediate measures must be taken to correct the erroneous data. This will help avoid unnecessary issues.
  • Schedules that are legally credible must be created for data retention and destruction. An efficient schedule can help in e-discovery and satisfy all business, regulatory and legal compliance.

Many organizations do outsource social media optimization and management. The right company can help you use social media platforms to gain visibility for your business while complying with rules when using them.