New guidelines published by the Financial Conduct Authority have specified the importance of keeping a record of social media communications and interactions. Many industries have their own rules and regulations regarding the appropriate use of social media, and what systems companies and operators should have in place in terms of records keeping.
This new release from the FCA details some of the pitfalls of using social media to communicate with customers, and offers advisory remarks based on the different formats and norms of various social networks. On the subject of record keeping, we’d like to reproduce two of the points from the FCA document:
2.23 We remind firms of their obligations to have an adequate system in place to sign off digital media communications. This sign-off should be by a person of appropriate competence and seniority within the organisation.
2.24 Firms should also keep adequate records of any significant communications. As well as helping to protect consumers, these records enable the firm to deal effectively with any subsequent claims or complaints. Firms should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this: social media in particular may
refresh content from time to time, with the consequent deletion of older material.
The important point to pick up on here is that firms “should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this”. When you don’t hold the data yourself, you can never be 100% certain that nothing will happen to it, or that the ones holding the data won’t change the accessibility or ease of use.
Only by owning your own copy of the content you post – and any subsequent interactions – can you be fully in control of your data. SocialSafe is one such application that allows social media users to download, store, search and do more with their own copy of all the things they have said on their social networks.
Even if there are no legally binding regulations that apply to your business or industry, the FCA’s document is well worth taking a look at as it contains plenty of useful advice that can be heeded by any business, or indeed any individual. Click here to view the Financial Conduct Authority’s Guidance Consultation for Social Media and Customer Communications.