Last week we published an article introducing the concept of social media archiving. Though we did touch upon who this might be most relevant to, it was only a brief introduction. In this article we’ll take a much closer look at the companies and organisations who need to be implementing social media archiving. We’ll also look at what relevance it might have for companies and organisations who are less accountable to regulatory bodies like the FCA etc.
Who Should Do It?
Social Media Archiving is worthwhile for any business or organisation who wants to protect themselves on social media. However, it is particularly important for four main groups:
– Financial Organisations
Any firm that publishes social media communications that could be considered a ‘financial promotion’ are subject to the most recent FCA regulations. This includes Lenders, Brokers, Financial Advisors, Banks, Building Societies and other financial institutions. The FCA’s most recent guidance consultation included the following statement in reference to social media record keeping (item 2.24):
“Firms should also keep adequate records of any significant communications. As well as helping to protect consumers, these records enable the firm to deal effectively with any subsequent claims or complaints. Firms should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this: social media in particular may refresh content from time to time, with the consequent deletion of older material.”
Should your company be questioned, audited or investigated by the FCA, these records are legally required.
– Public Organisations
The Freedom of Information act requires any organisation that is categorised by a public authority.
- Government departments, legislative bodies, and the armed forces
- Local government
- Public authorities under FOIA 20150309 Version: 2.1 3
- National Health Service
- Maintained schools and further and higher education institutions
- Other public bodies
If your organisation falls under FOI categorisation, this means that you must respond to any Freedom of Information Request by a member or the public or organisation. This includes social media messages.
In order to effectively respond to a request of this nature, you must be able to provide accurate records of original social media communications, complaints and replies. These must be entirely accurate (before they are edited etc), timestamped and traceable.
– Legal Firms
Any legal firm operating in the UK must follow the legal code of conduct. This now extends to their use of social media.
Something as simple as disclosing your location is enough to influence a case and have significant implications. As a result, all legal practitioners must have a robust social media policy in place for their employees, and make sure they protect themselves by keeping an accurate and reliable record of all social media communications (both professional and personal).
Claims Management Companies should also keep a record of their social media communications so that they can provide necessary evidence should they be audited by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR).
– Everyone Else?
So, you’re not regulated by the FCA and you’re a private company (so don’t have to fulfil Freedom of Information requests). Do YOU need to be archiving your social media content?
Though it’s not currently a legal requirement, social media archiving is becoming important for ANY company who uses social media. Social Media messages are important electronic communications. Just like email, these communications can have far reaching implications. Whether it’s through legal proceedings, internal HR investigations, security investigations or something as simple as an employee appraisal, social media evidence can prove critical.
Social Media is going to become increasingly integrated with business operations over the coming months and years. This means that any company looking to protect themselves and their employees should be looking at some form of social media record keeping or archiving solution.
How does your organisation handle social media archiving? Is this something you’re currently looking to implement?
Why not get in touch with our team? We’ll help you decide which solution is best for you. We also offer a ‘done-for-you’ social media archiving service to help our clients cover themselves, without the hassle of doing it themselves.