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HEY COMPANY! Ban Social Media or Embrace It?

May 26, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook PrivacySocial media has been taking a lot of heat recently, and when I say social media has been taking heat, I mean Facebook has been taking heat. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on social media, “public is the new social norm,” was not well received by much of the public, as more of peoples’ “private” information on the ‘Book went public without many people even knowing. This lack of privacy is becoming an even bigger issue in business. According to a post by Davey Winder, 75% of companies represented at a meeting of the UK’s leading CSOs had chosen to ban social networking, even though social networking was viewed as the most over-hyped security threat. According to that post, the consensus amongst the CSOs was surprising: Ban social networks, but not LinkedIn. That is a pretty drastic measure that would alienate the younger members of the workforce. So what do companies do about social media and social networking?

Embrace it. Archive it.

The amount of content generated every day is staggering (see the infographic below), and the number of companies that are using social media is increasing as well (link is to another cool infographic). This is a wonderful evolution in business, but one that needs to be documented and archived. If we have learned from our mistakes, failure to archive JUST ONE important document can have dramatic results (read: Piper Jaffray fined $700,000).

For a long time now, Email has reigned supreme as king of the business communications empire, and many companies have benefitted from archiving that email. However, now that social media is quickly rising to share the spotlight, businesses need to recognize the need to archive these communications as well. As the way in which businesses communicate evolves, so do the companies that archive these communications. Very recently a number of companies have launched social media and instant message archiving to keep up with this evolution. It will be interesting to see whether companies choose to take the extreme, “ban all social networks” approach, or adapt – by embracing and archiving social media content.

Social Media and Internet Usage Infographic

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