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How important are social media backup methods?

Social network backup tools are hard to find, but they are out there. Like with file data, your organization should make sure its social media data is protected.

Most organizations go to great lengths to protect their data, whether it's in the local data center or in the private cloud. However, comparatively few organizations perform social media backup.

Like any other type of data, social networking data is susceptible to loss. A social networking site could get hacked, go out of business or change its terms of service. It's important to save this data so that you have a way to reconstruct your organization's social networking presence.

Social media backup also helps to preserve a copy of anything you posted on social media; you never know when a social networking site might decide to reduce its storage costs by purging subscribers' aging data.

The problem with social media backup is that the networks aren't required to adhere to a standard architecture. Each social network has its own method of data storage. For example, Twitter stores and maintains data in a completely different way than Facebook.

There are a number of roundabout ways of backing up social networking data. For example, I have heard of people downloading photographs from social networking sites, or taking screenshots of their Twitter posts to maintain a record of their tweets. Some platforms, such as Twitter and Gmail, even feature data export capabilities.

In recent years, there have been several vendors that have attempted to develop tools for social media backup. At the moment, however, only one or two of these tools seem to be viable options.

The better-known and more comprehensive of these tools is Frostbox, which is an automated social media backup tool that can back up data from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr and Evernote. The software performs daily backups and lets you browse the data that you have backed up. (Note that, according to a posting on its website, as of July 2017, Frostbox says it is "currently not accepting new users.")

Another platform that may be worth looking at is digi.me, which markets itself as a tool for consolidating your social media data in one place. However, digi.me is designed to store a copy of all of your social media data on cloud storage, and this online library can essentially act as a backup.

Next Steps

Consider federal guidance on social media management

Include social media activity in business communication plans

The best way to approach social media monitoring

This was last published in July 2017

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