Blog article /5 MIN READ

The real cost of manually archiving social media

Generating an archive of social media records by hand is still seen as a viable option by some organisations, because they think it is ‘low cost’. In this blog post, we show you what manual archiving really costs and how Brolly can save you budget.

It might not be top of mind at your organisation, but archiving your social media interactions is more imperative than most people realise. And doing it by hand is not only time consuming (and frankly tedious) it’s also surprisingly expensive.

If your workplace needs to be compliant with state and federal recordkeeping laws, then you need to include social media communication in your organisation’s archives. 

“Business information created as a result of using social media is subject to the same business and legislative requirements as business information created by other means” 

— National Archives of Australia (NAA)

While keeping a record of contracts, emails and even phone recordings may already be part of your records management policies, social feeds often get neglected until it’s too late.

Will you be ready for FOI requests, audits, and internal reporting that requires you to reference posts and conversations made on the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

Can I archive social media by taking screenshots?

If your organisation is asking whether it is possible to archive social media with screen grabs and contextual notes, the short answer is yes. But the lesson many workplaces are learning the hard way is that doing this by copy and pasting to a spreadsheet is costing them more in the long run.

Want to find out how the cost of manual archiving compares to Brolly’s automated solution? Book a free, no-obligation, custom assessment now and find out how much you could save.

Generating an archive manually is still treated as a viable option by some organisations because it’s seen as ‘low cost’. Yet when you factor in the amount of effort and resources to do this, you’ll find that low costs are not what you’re in for.

As your social media feeds attract new comments and actions like edits and deletions all the time, keeping up with these real-time changes becomes challenging. 

Comments can be created, deleted or hidden outside business hours. How do you manage the fleeting changes that occur when nobody is at work to see them? You could miss information that could be important to your organisation, your staff, a customer or a member of your community. 

When screenshots become a long shot

A manual screenshot is a core part of manual archiving. Screenshots are gathered on a work computer or mobile device, then filed according to the organisation’s policy. A screenshot of a post or comment generally includes the date, time, who published it and whether (and when) it was edited. To provide context, a screenshot and the notes that accompany it also need to include information about the full conversation. This is extremely difficult when posts have hundreds or thousands of comments. Manual capture becomes very difficult with organisations that have more than the most basic, social media content.

Ten common issues when manually archiving

These are all issues that you need to consider before deciding to archive your social media manually.

  1. keeping up with large volumes of posts
  2. capturing posts and conversations that don’t all fit on your screen
  3. tracking where edits were made and when they were done
  4. managing multiple versions of a post when it’s edited
  5. knowing if and when a post, comment or message was deleted
  6. proving that the screenshot wasn’t modified or edited after capture
  7. capturing whole conversations within context
  8. storing screenshots and any accompanying notes in a location that complies with privacy legislation and is easy to access
  9. sharing the data across your organisation in a format that matches how people will use them
  10. comparing records across social media channels.

Brolly is a set-and-forget solution for when you need to access the important stuff. Simply sign up, connect your accounts and your archive is being created in real time, behind the scenes. Find out more now with a live 20 minute demo.

Does archiving social media manually even add up?

We’ve asked our customers to estimate how long it takes to create an archive of a single record. Estimates vary from 2 to 5 minutes, which matches up with our own tests.  For organisations with thousands, or even ‘only’ hundreds of records per month, the maths speaks for itself.

We’ve done some calculations to understand the effort required to archive a very basic social media offering of:

  • a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an Instagram account with one post each per day and an average five comments per post (some posts will have more and some will have fewer)
  • direct messages enabled on Twitter and Facebook, with an average of two conversations per week on each channel and an average of five posts per conversation. 
social media archiving infographic showing Brolly can save $5000 per year for even a basic set of social media accounts
Costs will depend on your organisation’s social media activity.
Contact us for a customised quote.

Manual archiving can easily take up your valuable time and leave your job’s real priorities to gather dust

If you’re still committed to archiving manually, we ask you to spare a thought for your social media or customer service team. What is their core value to your organisation? Is their contribution about connection, engagement and conversations? Or screenshots and filing? 

Brolly provides a bridge between the important conversations your organisation has with your customers and community, and the legal obligations that come with keeping records, while empowering your teams to do what they do best. 

Would you like to know
how much Brolly can save you?

Our team would be delighted to calculate the financial benefit to your organisation. Book a call today to start saving money and empowering your social media team.

Book a 20-minute call