Most of us use social media every day, whether it’s to catch up with friends and family on Facebook or to tweet out something clever about a television show or a sporting event. But it’s also increasingly becoming part of standard business communication, as companies try to capture additional customers, giving both parties the opportunity for almost instantaneous feedback and communication.
Like any other business document or record, if you use social media as a business tool, there is more than likely a good reason to put a records management plan in place to not only determine what needs to be kept, but how those records are maintained.
Here are a few good tips for understanding the relationship between social media and records management.
- Is it relevant to your business? – If your company uses social media to do business, or if your social media accounts are the only place where this information is available, social media records are more than likely also business records.
- Treat digital records just like paper records – While a tweet or post can be easily deleted with the click of a mouse, the importance of those records from a business perspective shouldn’t be handled any differently than any other record. Put a policy in place that captures the essential business-related communications from your social media accounts.
- Capture is the key word when it comes to social media records – There are software tools designed specifically to export your business-related social media communications to your own records management system.
- Employees must be part of the plan – Whether you have a dedicated social media manager, or if those responsibilities are handled by your regular support staff, understanding the rules and enforcing them when it comes to social media should eliminate any confusion for your employees.
When it comes to social media the immediacy and impact of this new digital form of communication has truly transformed how companies do business. But in terms of records management, digital equals paper and knowing what the rules are can save you headaches down the road.