While it might be difficult to imagine that you'll ever need to revisit a Facebook post from two years ago or see what a customer tweeted to you last April, there are certain times you might need to. And if you haven't taken steps to back up your social media posts, you might be out of luck.
Social media data essentially is no different than company emails or printed memos. In case of a dispute, social media records fall under the e-discovery process mandated by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Besides the legal issues, having a full record of your social media interactions can help you quantify your marketing efforts and follow up on customer service issues.
But what happens if your accounts get hacked and all your social data disappears without a way to retrieve it? Twitter and Facebook both offer links where you can download an archive of your site history but to get the full picture, you'll need the assistance of a social media back-up service. Here's a look at three tools you might consider trying:
Frostbox: This new U.K.-based company backs up data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and even Gmail and Foursquare. Frostbox pulls everything including follower lists, video and photos and keeps it in the cloud so you can access it from any computer. You can also back-up your own hard drive through Frostbox so everything is kept in one place.
Right now, Frostbox offers 1 GB of storage for free and will give you an extra 200 MB for every person you refer to the service. Paid plans start at $9.99 a month for 20 GB and go up to $29.99 for 200 GB. Or you can pay yearly and get two months free.
Backupify: Specifically aimed at business accounts, Backupify comes with a variety of service levels to suit every size company. It specializes in Google products including Google Drive, Apps, Calendar and Gmail. It also backs up Blogger, Flickr and Picasa, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
Nightly backups for up to five services costs $4.99 a month, rising to $19.99 a month for up to 25 services. Features include one-click restore for Google products, the ability to pull Google apps data from a single employee and phone support.
SocialSafe: This tool takes a different approach by backing up your social data to your own computer instead of the cloud. SocialSafe backs up both Facebook Profiles and Pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Viadeo, a social network for professionals. You can then access the information through a timeline calendar or search your social networks for specific keywords.
Yearly fees are based on the number of accounts you need backed up -- four accounts for $6.99 and up to 20 accounts for $27.99.
Which tools do you use to improve your social media experiences? Let us know in the comments below.