What Is Your Approach to Social Site Management?
Do you ever get tired of seeing Like Me on Facebook? Why do we need to do that? It’s bothersome and the outcome is just number crunching. It could also be embarrassing for an organization. I would say that it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t use some form of social marketing. Take your pick, or take them all – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest.
I suppose you could also throw in just plain old text messages, how ancient. Who knows what is posted on social sites by functional groups within a company. Is everything vetted before posting? Have risk or legal ramifications been assessed? It’s doubtful. Turnaround in most companies isn’t known for its speed and what I would think fine to post, the legal team may not agree. The best way for me to solve the problem may be to post something and deal with the consequences later, presuming someone in the company reads it. Now my boss will watch every move I make.
I am not against social sites. These outlets present organizations with real opportunities to connect more closely with customers, prospects, and partners. However, without understanding the potential implications, risk can escalate, making organizations vulnerable, and a profusion of records management considerations becomes challenging. According to Iron Mountain, 7 percent of businesses regard communications via social media as formal business records, but 46 percent have no idea that they carry legal responsibility for their content through social media channels. And, a third of the businesses surveyed described their management of social media as unmanaged and chaotic.
Unfortunately, many organizations simply save everything, instead of determining if social media communications have value or are high risk. Keeping everything can lead to costly and inefficient use of storage. It also can create delays during eDiscovery, given the volume of records to be searched, and expose organizations to the discovery of items that could have been destroyed or ignored. An additional problem is that social feeds do not necessarily have metadata, making it extremely hard to declare a record.
Consider this scenario in the for-profit context: A customer airs a grievance on a social media platform, and it turns into a customer lawsuit. The social thread needs to be captured as a record. But what if the conversation started on a different social media account days before and wasn’t captured as part of the record? Is the record incomplete? Should this portion of the thread be included? Individual records managers or other employees will often have to make these kinds of determinations. What if they are wrong?
Social sites are a hard nut to crack for records managers. There are tools for specific sites, but they are limited as they can’t be used by other social sites. At the heart of the problem is poor, unusable metadata, if there is metadata at all. Concept Searching technologies are based on the still unique use of compound term processing. Instead of identifying single keywords, compound term processing identifies multi-word terms that form a complex entity and identifies them as a concept. By forming these compound terms and making them available to any application that requires metadata, the outcomes are highly accurate, because the ambiguity inherent in single words is not a problem. The multi-term data is auto-classified to one or more taxonomies.
Regarding social sites, Concept Searching’s insight engine can auto-classify the social remarks either on the social site, if permitted, or when downloaded. The multi-term data is classified to one or more taxonomies where it can be managed within the taxonomy component. If the records plan is available in a taxonomy, the insight engine will automatically declare a record and route to the application, or staff member for review.
In any case, it might be a good idea to find out what is being posted and by whom, and save only what you need. Don’t ignore social output, it may come back to bite you in the you know what. Eliminate the risk and the legal repercussions. Someday you will be glad you did.
Join us for our Why You Need Metadata-Driven Records Management webinar, on Wednesday, October 17. Microsoft is continually adding new features to Office 365, and it is sometimes easy to get lost in information. This webinar explores records management in Office 365 and SharePoint. Understand the importance of metadata, in driving records and the synergy with classification labels.