Government agencies and commercial entities now rely more heavily than ever on social media to promote and share key messages.
Marketing and social teams create hundreds of posts weekly to ensure that these messages reach as many people as possible. Their goal? A positive viral social post that is shared thousands of times. But the more these posts are shared, the harder it is to manage and report on the subsequent conversations and comments.
The downside to big data
What happens if:
- someone wants to sue you over a comment on a social post that no longer exists, and only they have a screenshot of?
- or perhaps they ask for information under the Freedom of Information Act, about a conversation you had with them over 6 months ago?
- someone has been bullied or harassed online and you need access to the posts to take appropriate action, but they’ve been deleted or edited?
- or what if you just want to know how well a particular campaign performed last year?
Posting on social media may seem in the moment, but these sorts of scenarios demand rigor around archiving this engagement.
The reality is that most social media managers either ignore this responsibility, or they do it in an ad hoc manner.
Compliance is now required
Yet, in government, several federal, state and local legislations and regulations clearly demand social media records be archived, and some even specify how.
For example, under the Federal Archives Act 1983, government organisations are required to maintain records of business related activities.
As part of this, National Archives Australia (NAA) has identified three components of social media records management that organisations need to consider when drafting their social policies and setting up their workflow: create, capture and describe.
Put simply, when capturing social content, you need to make sure the information is complete and searchable, by those with a need for it, now and in the future.
What social media archiving solutions are available?
It’s not just federal government that recognizes the future potential for things to go terribly, as a result of today’s reactive social media engagement style. State governments have also updated their record management policies in an effort to reduce devastating fallout.
For example, the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) suggests
“Manually saving a screen shot of the post along with information regarding its context as a Word or PDF document”.
The Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO) takes this advice a step further: “Where social media platforms and applications in use do not provide the required contextual metadata as part of the export process, manual strategies will be required.”
The downside to ‘manual strategies’, such as archiving screenshots, is that it’s not only time consuming but can also result in incomplete archives, because engagement with one post can continue for days, weeks or even longer.
In Western Australia for example, City of Joondalup reported that manual capturing was taking at least one afternoon a week for a member of their communications team. This didn’t include metadata and it was prone to human error.
According to PROV, another option is to use ‘an automated application’ to capture posts– and it’s a solution that’s being embraced by a growing number of organisations.
Who is Brolly?
This (in part) is where the idea for Brolly came from. Founder Nathan Cram, Managing Director of Ladoo, works closely with government on web solutions and saw a gap between the tsunami of records being created through social media engagement and the need to access those records in future.
Emergency content such as posts by the CFA or Ambulance Victoria was particularly important to him.
“Government channels are sharing more information than ever before, including content that may encourage someone to make a safety decision in a bush-fire or natural disaster. Once that information is shared it has the chance to be spread far further than a website, in a way that’s not currently being completely documented.
“I was concerned about the lack of Australian social media record management tools and saw the opportunity to create Brolly. It ensures government agencies can track their conversations in real time and search past moments within the full context of comments, images and hyperlink capture.
“Brolly is Australia’s only records management tool created with compliance in mind. At Brolly we capture a post as soon as it goes live as well as having an accurate and complete image of any posts you have ever made.”
Without Brolly, it may take months to archive your key communications and they may be open to human error.
Yet there are more reasons than compliance to make sure you’re capturing and keeping your social media posts.
Quick and easy access to historical data also allows you access to critical insights that can help quantify return on investment (ROI) and measure performance against key performance indicators (KPIs).
If you’re looking for a tool that will help you make the most of big data trends with your organisation’s social media posts, let your social media professionals get on with what they do best and let us take the pain out of archiving your social engagement.
Brolly is an off-the-shelf, set-and-forget service that takes mere minutes to set up. It provides keyword access to all social media posts and comments. This data includes rich media and any edited or deleted posts, from the beginning of your social media presence, across all social media channels.
Get in touch with us and arrange a demonstration of Brolly. We’ve got you covered.