The following is derived from an article from Information Management (an ARMA int. publication) entitled “10 Things to Know About Preserving Social Media

1)Organizations Need To Use Social Media

“according to a 2010 report by the University of Massachusetts, “The Fortune 500 and Social Media: A Longitudinal Study of Blogging, Twitter and Facebook Usage by America’s Largest Companies,” 60% of the Fortune 500 had a Twitter account with a Tweet in the 30 days previous to the survey; this is dramatically up from 35% in 2009.”

2)Organizations need to preserve social media – and websites

“According to the recently released Gartner report “Social Media Governance: An Ounce of Prevention,” by the end of 2013, half of all companies will have been asked to produce material from social media websites for e-discovery. According to the report, “… in e-discovery, there is no difference between social media and electronic or even paper artifacts. The phrase to remember is ‘if it exists, it is discoverable.’

3)Social media files often involve more than posts
If you only capture the content and not what it links out too then that is the equivalent of preserving an e-mail and discarding the attachment.

4)Use APIs to capture, archive and review data from the web
Only by using an application programming interface (API) can you capture the richness of web content. Other means of capture may not grab all of the necessary metadata or cause for loss of functionality and context.

5)Social media archiving solutions need to be customized

Archiving solutions should involve an open authorization (oAuth) approach, which provides an open standard for authorization that simplifies API. oAuth allows third-party site access to information stored with another service provider without sharing their access permissions or the full extent of their data, thus organizations to preserve protected employee accounts.

6)Consider setup or installation requirements
Once a social media policy is in place, it is important to consider what the technical infrastructure needs are. The options to weigh when dealing with those are application service provider (ASP), software-as-a-service (SaaS), or a behind the firewall network installation.

7)Robust search capabilities of the preservation are necessary
The challenge is not only to preserve social media, but also to ensure that it is easily accessible, indexed and search-enabled.

8)Review and production from the preservation is critical
When accessing social media content, can it be done in such a way so as not to alter the data’s original state? If not, then you may face legal sanctions. Also, archived social media content needs to have restricted access so that the confidentiality, privilege and privacy of information is not compromised.

9)Aim for capturing data in real time.
Only way to know you are capturing everything is for real-time crawl capabilities. How often you crawl will need to be put in your policy

10)Think about how content for legal holds will be locked or excluded from normal RIM schedules.

Like other types of data storage, social media may be subject to legal holds, or an organization may otherwise need to deviate from the usual retention schedule. It will need to develop a strategy for executing legal holds, and it will also need to have the technology to execute this.