Social media has become the de facto marketing channel for businesses of all sizes. Because it offers wide reach and direct interaction with customers, there’s no better way to sell your services or build your brand.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering how to protect your social media data. After all, you don’t sign an SLA when you open an account with a social network, and they don’t guarantee their systems won’t fail. If you don’t back up your social media data, you could incur unforeseen costs, miss out on crucial business opportunities, and put your business at legal risk.
Here are four reasons you should care about backing up your social media and some ways to do it.
1. Social media content is priceless. Just like your hard work.
Social media campaigns succeed or fail based on the quality of their content. Businesses invest thousands of dollars in YouTube videos, infographics, landing pages, and other rich media. If even a fraction of your content was lost because a social network went dark, re-creating that content would be prohibitively expensive, and in some cases impossible.
Videos for your YouTube channel are probably your most costly content, but unlike Twitter and Facebook, YouTube does not offer a backup tool. In order to back up your videos, you’ll need to learn enough code to use BackupTube or hire developers to write backup code for you. Alternately, you could subscribe to a service such as YouTubebackup.com, which lets you back them up one at a time, or, ironically, learn by watching how-to, home-grown videos on YouTube.
2. Marketing without ROI = a lost opportunity
The conversation with your customers on social media is never ending, and expanding it is likely central to your marketing plans. If successful, your Facebook likes, tweets, pins, posts, click-throughs and scoops will rapidly grow into a mega-mountain of data, which if analyzed, could shape your branding and marketing efforts.
However, if you don’t backup and secure your social media data, you can’t take advantage of it. You can’t measure the return on ALL of your social media marketing investments if you’re missing data on all your interactions from 2012.
3. Your business is made up of your blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t cut corners protecting it.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re the CEO of a Coca-Cola or the owner of a food truck, your business story is now a timeline, a story that unfolds as you share it with customers. What happens if you lose the thread? Some social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, give you a way to preserve your stories – kind of like prepping your business for a future Harvard Business School case study.
In the Account Settings on both Twitter and Facebook, there’s an option to download your data. Here’s how it works on Facebook. Go to Account Setting and then click “Download a copy.” You get to choose between two types of backups – the basics, which is your content, messages, chats, and your friends’ names; and an expanded version, which includes additional information such as cookies and logins.
Backing up Facebook this way for an individual is fairly painless, but for a business? Whose job will it be to remember? Which computer or server will it be stored on? Is there a redundant copy? Only a holistic social media backup solution will help you properly resolve these issues.
4. The New Age of E-evidence
We’re used to reading about emails that became smoking guns in lawsuits and scandals. What you might not know is that social media content can also be used as evidence in a legal dispute. According to a recent court ruling, businesses are now required to preserve such content in case it becomes part of a legal discovery process.
Now, imagine that, as part of a legal proceeding, you have to manually sift and sort through years of social media chit-chat to fulfill an opposing side’s request? The price tag could torpedo your business – unless of course you’ve already backed up and indexed your data via a comprehensive solution.
Tell us what you think. Is your social media activity worth backing up or are you willing to start all over again in case of emergency? If you’re already backing up your social media, share your tips in the comments.