I was staring at my PC screen recently.
Staring at an owl wearing a hard hat. Hootsuite was down for maintenance and it was darn annoying.
It brought home the fact that I rely on Hootsuite a great deal to manage multiple social media accounts. Many of us do it now – we’re using Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Facebook, YouTube, FlickR, YouTube, Blogger – for business.
When our telephone line goes down, we call our phone provider. If the electricity fizzles out, we call the building manager. If the newspaper doesn’t get delivered to the office on time, we can call the newsagent and ask what’s going on. They’re all being paid by us. They’ve got service agreements with us. And there are consequences to those services being unavailable.
But when happens when our free online tools fall over?
Services like Hootsuite, quite rightly, do not promise they’ll always be there for you. In its terms, owner Invoke Media states in part:
“Your use of the Service is at your sole risk. The service is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis … Invoke Media does not warrant that (i) the service will meet your specific requirements, (ii) the service will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free, (iii) the results that may be obtained from the use of the service will be accurate or reliable, (iv) the quality of any products, services, information, or other material purchased or obtained by you through the service will meet your expectations …” http://hootsuite.com/terms
But it’s no fickle matter if these services are unavailable. Increasingly, we’re relying on free social platforms as main communication channels. We’ve all read about major companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola, Ford and Holden devoting more resources to sites like Facebook, rather than official sites. When these online tools are gone, it’s an interruption to our services.
Imagine a world where social media is ‘taken away’ (hideous, isn’t it?) The Social Media God decides the experiment is over, and we all need to go back and play on our standard dotcoms.
Boom! In an instant, you’ve lost your thousands of Fans – their names, locations, likes and dislikes. You’ve lost all the comments you’ve been gathering, all the interaction you’ve built up. You’ve lost photos and videos. Not to mention search engine listings.
That’s why it’s important to back up that information. How many of us do that? When was the last time you archived a social media account? (I’m making a mental note …)