Imagine throwing all of your company’s hard copy files off the roof of twenty-story building in Manhattan. Tax returns, meeting notes, personnel files, all of it, gone with the wind.
That’s the brick and mortar version of the business data that’s currently speeding along the social media super highway. From public Twitter Tweets to private Facebook messages more and more of our daily exchanges are happening over the Internet and it means we’re losing track.
Sure, you probably don’t set out to send formal communications through Facebook but you’re on the site and Susan’s on the site, so why not just ping her chat box and let her know that deadline was moved up to Tuesday? And remember that customer complaint on Twitter? The one where you promised the guy a replacement part overnight? Forgot about him, didn’t you?
Web 2.0 makes it easy for us to pass information along quickly any time of the day or night. There’s no more 9 to 5, not when the Internet is always on. But this ease of communication can come with a high price tag. We live in a litigious world and if you get sued because of something posted on Facebook, you’ll need those posts to defend yourself in court.
The New York Times recently posted an article called Tools to Help Companies Manage Their Social Media.” In it, they talk with experts about social media record keeping, the reasons for doing it and the means behind it. Everyone agrees that it’s not a simple task but it’s got to be done. For some companies, archiving communication is a legal requirement. For others, it’s just good business.
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time to put your virtual paperwork in order along with the stuff made from trees. Worst case scenario, if you see trouble brewing on one of your social media channels or a great idea simmering below the surface, take a screen shot. Those few extra seconds could save you a lot of time and aggravation down the line.
What do you think? Do you archive your social media communications?