Companies are getting into Twitter in a big way. Whether they're using it for marketing purposes, customer service or even designing a TV series around it, companies have embraced the microblogging service as a novel means of interacting with the outside world.
As with any technology, however, Twitter has its pitfalls. In a recent post in FindLaw's Strategist blog, I pointed readers to a list of Twitter dangers compiled by an attorney at Howard Rice. Since things on Twitter happen so fast, it's possible that a company could fall into one of the dangers on the list, and then lose track of the offending tweet, before it was even aware that anything had happened. Regulated industries, like financial services companies, also need to
fastidiously track and store communications over Twitter in order to
comply with regulations.
Not to mention the fact that Twitter is
still fairly unreliable. And who wants to trust their company's
records to a company whose "fail whale" error message is so ubiquitous
that it has its own cult following?
That's why it's good to know
that there are Twitter archiving options out there. You can find some
helpful lists of small scale Twitter backup systems here, here and here.
Or, if you want to advise your IT department to institute an
enterprise-level Twitter archiving system, there are options
available. Several companies that currently offer data archiving
systems and services are expanding their capabilities to include
Twitter accounts across a company.
So remember: Twitter can be
an effective, fun way to communicate and spread your company's message,
but it's important to manage the data the same way you would with any
other form of communication.
In other words, if you're gonna tweet, don't be a twit.