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Florida business says keep your social media records

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Social media networks are used by all ages and demographics. So it should be no surprise that social media use, such as tweets on Twitter and postings on Facebook, has become a normal part of doing business. But with the rise of social media, one Florida expert says it's crucial for all companies to include a social media policy as part of their records retention policy.

"Most companies have a record retention policy in place, but many don't include a social media component," said Marshall Stevens, co-owner of Stevens and Stevens Business Records Management, a full-service records management and storage center. "Whether it's an email, post or tweet, businesses need to get a handle on the information being created on social networking platforms. Without a policy in place for maintaining social media activity, companies can compromise their compliance efforts or be unprepared for a records audit or other legal action."

There are several things to consider when updating a retention plan:

  • Know your data. Identify the types of information your company creates. Social media content (email, posts, blogs, tweets, etc.) should be given the same consideration as traditional business communications. Don't assume "no one uses social media" in your business.
  • Keep records of social media content. Developing a comprehensive log of customer communications can provide useful information for future decision making.
  • Build a social media archiving policy. Electronic records are held to the same retention standards as traditional records. Online content, including social media, may be requested in e-discovery, court cases or audit situations.
  • A retention policy is only as effective as its implementation. Policies should be easy to follow and include periodic audits. Review policies on an ongoing basis to allow for changes in technology.

As businesses utilize social media tools to interact and connect with customers, they can't afford to postpone updating their record retention policies," said Stevens. "Companies that underestimate the importance of maintaining these records, run the risk of not being in compliance as corporate use of social media continues to grow."

Stevens & Stevens Business Records Management is a full-service records storage and information management center, providing services throughout the Southeastern United States, including, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. For more information, visit www.ssbrm.com.

SOURCE Stevens & Stevens Business Records Management