Many of us have long heard the well-repeated mantra to “backup our files.” And still many of us have cursed ourselves for forgetting to backup files and invariably losing a document once in a while when our computer freezes. But what about backing up social media data? While it might seem like a tedious task for personal accounts, it makes sense for businesses that depend on their social media activity for part of their company’s growth.
Any number of things can happen. If a company has a Facebook page that is very engaged with a large following, it could be bad for business if their page gets shut down for some reason, or a bug deletes their followers on Twitter. A lot of valuable data could be lost and it could take a large amount of time and resources to re-build an online community that might have previously taken years to build. Backing up social media exchanges can also be key for businesses that might find themselves needing documents for legal reasons. Or on a simpler note, an Instagram picture uploaded one year ago or a Tweet sent last month might need to be accessed quickly and easily.
There are a wide range of backup options available for businesses on social media sites. Some of these options include:
TweetBackup, is a service powered by Backupify. It creates a daily backup and also asks that you follow @tweetbackup on Twitter. For a cost ($5 per month), Backupify will also backup data from five different social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr.
BackUpMyTweets, does exactly what the name suggests and is free if you Tweet about the service. Businesses can also pay $12 a year to download their Twitter data for analysis. To backup Facebook data, users can download a copy by going to their profile and clicking on “Account Settings,” and then “Download a copy of your Facebook data,” which will reflect data at that particular point in time.
SocialSafe.: There is both a free version and a Pro version which costs around $7 for the year. The backup happens automatically and covers Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and Instagram photos. Most importantly for small businesses, the service can back up a Facebook business page, which includes wall posts, notes, active fans, etc, with a functionality that can search by date, person, photos or wall post. What’s interesting is that while most services will only provide backup activity from the time the user subscribes to the service, SocialSafe will retrieve as much old data as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn API (etc..) will allow.
Businesses with a Twitter following can export a list of their followers with a .csv (Excel) file, which can give them valuable information including a follower’s name, Twitter handle, when they joined Twitter, their location, the number of followers they have, how many people they follow, whether or not you also follow them and how many times they’ve tweeted since joining Twitter. Business owners can also easily identify their most important and influential followers and categorize them by geography and level of activity, meaning a company can schedule their Tweets to the time of day when those followers are most likely to see them… very valuable indeed!