With social media becoming so prevalent in recent years it’s no wonder governments are taking rigorous measures to keep businesses in check.
Social media now constitutes official business records meaning companies have to pay attention to what information they share across their profiles.
This is especially important for businesses in regulated industries where inadequate social media compliance can lead to data leakage, hefty fines, and ruined reputations.
In this article, we’ll look into what social media archiving is and how to make it work for your business.
How Does Social Media Affect Regulatory Compliance?
Due to the nature of businesses in regulated industries and their influence, there’s a huge emphasis on regulatory compliance.
Especially when it comes to social media, there’s a variety of data like posts, comments, photos, and messages… all across multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…
There are three key areas where social media creates an impact and why compliance is mandatory:
- Data Privacy and Security – With regulated industries dealing with sensitive data from their customers or governments dealing with citizen data, they must comply with strict GDPR and HIPAA laws. These laws help organizations handle the data shared on their social media and prevent any private information from being used in malpractice.
- Recordkeeping and Transparency – Organizations in regulated industries often require data maintenance and recordkeeping of their communication which includes anything that happens on social media. This data archiving is mandated for any type of data request in case of legal or privacy violations.
- Reputation Management – Misinformation or inappropriate content on social media can damage an organization’s reputation which is very important when it comes to regulated industries where trust is everything.
The complexity of the social media trend in regulated industries is indicated by the 9,000+ regulations governing this field of compliance.
However, even with so many regulatory laws, fewer than 20% of organizations in regulated industries actually comply with these laws. (As shown by the fact that in 2018, financial companies were fined a total of $61 million for FINRA non-compliance).
One of the most prevalent reasons is their neglect to archive social media data.
What Does It Mean To Archive Social Media Data?
Archiving social media data is the process of systematically capturing, indexing, and storing social media data for future reference and compliance purposes.
Social media archives are built to capture different types of social media data like posts, messages, comments, and likes… and store them for long periods of time.
In most cases, social media archiving is handled by a social media archiving solution which provides all the necessary features for an organization to stay compliant.
The three most important parts of a social media archive are:
- Content Capture – Archiving tools need to automatically capture all social media data without exception on every social media platform specified by your organization.
- Timestamps and Metadata – The captured data must be retained in its original state without the ability to be edited or deleted. If the data is edited, the archive must create a separate edited copy with a timestamp of when and what was edited.
- Search and Retrieval – The ability to perform complex social media data searches and easily find the data you are looking for. As many laws allow individuals to perform data requests, these features will speed up your process.
|Related: Social Media Unstructured Data and How to Utilize It|
Why Is Social Media Archiving Important?
Social media have a large reach and can help employees better perform their assignments, gain insights into market trends, and communicate with their peers.
But on the flip side, a single bad comment on LinkedIn, or a Facebook post containing sensitive information, regardless of whether it’s posted from a corporate or a private account, can reach thousands of people and media outlets severely affecting your business.
There have been cases of employees engaging in harassment via LinkedIn messages, accidentally or intentionally revealing sensitive information about in-progress product features, or airing their grievances and slating their employers through corporate chat platforms.
All these posts can quickly be deleted, which leaves legal and HR departments without crucial evidence in litigation and eDiscovery processes.
So, to stay safe and protected, you need to set up a social media archiving practice in your business. That way you’ll ensure that all your vital information is protected and that you possess enough evidence for regulatory requirements.
How To Stay Compliant While Benefiting From Social Media
It’s almost a no-brainer that your organization needs social media for it to stay relevant, grow, and talk to your audience.
Comments on Facebook and LinkedIn, mentions on Twitter, and posts on Instagram, are all places where you can acquire new customers and talk to them.
But while social media are being increasingly deployed to improve business and communicate with the public, it’s key that organizations stay compliant with the regulatory requirements.
Otherwise, they could be facing significant fines and reputational damage to their business.
Here’s how you can ensure compliance in your business:
Have a Proper Social Media Archiving Solution in Place
As mentioned, most compliance fines happened because the organization lacked a proper archive for their social media data.
Even with an archiving tool in place, most aren’t designed to capture real-time content, which essentially leaves companies unprotected against corporate and regulatory non-compliance risk.
To ensure data is captured and stored properly invest in a robust social media archiving solution with real-time capture and storage features.
This solution has to store all social media data from multiple channels and keep it in its original state without a chance to be tampered with.
The tool you choose for social media archiving also needs to have an advanced search capability that will allow you to find the data you are looking for in case of eDiscovery cases, misconduct, or public requests.
Create an Effective Social Media Compliance Policy
After choosing the right solution for the job you will need to decide how you will work with data to stay compliant.
Your social media compliance policy needs to include:
- Which social media platforms will you be archiving?
- What social media data will you be archiving?
- What will your data retention policy look like?
- Who will manage your archive?
- How does the eDiscovery process operate?
- How will you iterate on your compliance policy?
Answering these questions will get you to the right set of rules and processes for your business and its compliance needs.
After developing the policy you will need to inform and train your employees on how data is being retained and what their role in compliance is.
Monitor for Insights
A social media monitoring strategy ensures that your legal and HR departments are notified of potentially risky behavior at work.
Prevent the sharing of sensitive information that could harm your brand and identify employees disregarding best practices, or violating company policies through social media disclosure, harassment, or misconduct.
With a comprehensive social media archiving tool you can easily search for information that might lead to misconduct or harassment, or go even further by setting up keyword monitoring that notifies you about danger in advance.
By implementing a comprehensive social media archiving and monitoring strategy, you will ensure you’re ready to put risk under control and use social media’s advantages to expand your business.
|Related: How to Create a Comprehensive Social Media Monitoring Strategy|
Avoid Social Media Compliance Minefield
Let’s say your company became implicated in legal proceedings involving a harassment incident between an employee and a consumer that took place on Facebook.
To substantiate evidence, attorneys or courts will likely request that you provide electronically stored information pertinent to the case.
If you didn’t retain inalterable, time-stamped social media records, you could be facing high fines for lack of regulatory and corporate compliance, as well as charges for evidence spoliation and damaged reputation.
With a sound social media management strategy and policy in place, one that includes both archiving and monitoring of social media content, you can ensure corporate and regulatory compliance, and preserve their information security.
This helps stay safe and preemptively manage potential risks from social media communication.
Social media provide many benefits for your business, but they are tricky to work with in regulated industries with so many laws and regulations.
Just one slip-up and you can find yourself in lawsuits and hefty fines.
That’s why knowing how to archive social media data is key to staying compliant with regulations.
|Stay compliant with social media compliance laws with Jatheon’s archiving solution. Capture data automatically, easily find posts, comments, and chats, and manage your social media data with ease.|