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Reasons to Archive Social Media and Website Content

Spurred on by a question on “Archiving Professionals” group on LinkedIn some months ago, I’ve been asking clients to tell me their reasons for archiving their social media and website content. Here’s the summary / consensus:

  1. Best practice information management and governance – we see this across multiple industries, mainly in companies considered to be best in class. I.e. Actively manage information throughout its lifecycle, ensure it is discoverable, ensure proper end-of-life disposition, etc.
  2. Regulatory compliance – this is usually on top of (1) where regulations are really clear (i.e. FINRA on social media and websites). Archives that enable instant access to historic social media and website content save a huge amount of money where discovery and/or regulator requests are frequent, and where original content is complex (most websites and social media are complex in this context).
  3. Corporate cultural heritage – again, across many sectors, companies with strong online brand presence and online engagement need to archive their social media and websites to inform future marketers, preserve their valuable online brand presence and engagement as valuable corporate heritage.
  4. Litigation readiness (i.e. In anticipation of litigation) and litigation response (i.e. reacting to a litigation event by placing websites and/or social media in litigation hold) – This one is obvious.
  5. Cost savings – in all the above cases, native format website archives and social media archives offer cost savings over the whole lifecycle of the information. Something information managers, compliance officers, and CIOs know about quite well.

Again, the above are about websites and social media because that’s what Hanzo does and that’s all I do, so that’s all our clients talk to us about. I’m sure similar arguments apply to emails, IM, files, etc.

What are your reasons to archive? Let us know in the comments.

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