More and more organizations are using social media to conduct business. Information is shared and collected on social media sites. Are these records you need to be keeping? If they aren’t now, they may soon be. It might be time to start thinking about how you make sure you don’t lose information shared on social media and that the information you save is managed properly.
Coordinating strategy for social media use
Many organizations don’t have an overall strategy for how social media will be used. Each department could be doing something completely different with it, potentially even doubling up on what’s being done elsewhere.
Without an implemented coordinated strategy, different departments are probably using social media without consideration for information management requirements. Employees might even be using personal social media to help make their jobs easier.
It’s important to identify all the ways your business is using social media and develop and communicate a strategy for using social media and managing that information. If you are creating business information that may have long-term value, without a strategy in place, you risk losing it all.
Keeping it private
There are risks besides just losing important or useful information, you also risk privacy violations if employees are using social media in ways that might violate privacy laws. Privacy laws could be violated without employees even realizing it. A coordinated plan for social media will reduce these risks significantly.
Putting a plan in place
As you begin an audit of your social media channels and uses and putting a records management plan in place, keep in mind that despite the form it takes, a record is a record based on its content. Some things you’ll need to consider include:
- Are the posts a public record?
- When are posts copies or non records?
- How long do posts need to be retained?
- How should posts be retained?
- For which type of records is social media appropriate?
Because you don’t own the social media platforms, capturing information might take some ingenuity. You may have to manually manage metadata so information can be found again. This challenge is probably a major part of the reason that many companies are not currently managing social media records and those that do find it inefficient and expensive.
To make capturing social media records and managing them as pain free as possible, your records management team should be working directly with your social media team. Social media policies should be put together with consideration for the type of information you can and will collect and share on social media and should incorporate a plan for record management.
Social media continues to grow in use and can make doing business more efficient in many ways. As business expand how they use social media, they need to have a plan for records management. If you don’t want to manage records of social media, you need to make sure your social media activity isn’t producing information you’ll want to retain. Is records management necessary with social media? Well, if you aren’t doing it, it’s a risk your business should at least be discussing.