Social Media: New Demands Placed on ECM

More than three quarters of companies in Germany use social media for internal and external communication, according to Bitkom. Consumers love to use Facebook, Twitter, and similar sites to contact companies as well. This state of affairs brings with it completely novel challenges for content management and archiving.

 

The old world was slow…

It used to be that customers picked up the phone, wrote a fax, or sent a letter. That took one thing above all else: time. Since customers didn’t want to sit on hold all day or spend time recording their complaints in writing, they thought twice before bringing up an issue – to make sure it was worth their trouble. Even sending an e-mail, later on, did require a certain amount of effort.

 

…the new world moves in real time

Things are different today. It is even possible to communicate with companies in real time in some cases. Customers can quickly place an inquiry via social media from anywhere and at any time, and do so on a platform that eschews formal communications. The result is that companies are receiving more incoming data than ever before, and inquiries are piling up. This isn’t just a challenge for workers who have to process customer messages. It also creates new demands for Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

 

The ECM must connect to social media for the purposes of research and archiving. This is true first because employees need to be able to find processes quickly here in case of customer feedback. After all: anyone who wants to communicate using our “social media” needs to be able to keep up with its quick tempo – otherwise, companies can expect to suffer damage to their corporate image. Additionally, it is always possible that compliance-relevant information could be lurking in all those reams of data.

 

A variety of risks

The most important risks influencing compliance are the loss of sensitive information, a violation of copyright or telemedia laws, and data protection. The latter risk is especially great when employees leave the company, necessitating a deletion of their information.

 

A modern ECM should help companies manage and trace social media content despite its immense scope. It should ensure companies are prepared to act and provide information. In consequence, this means that Enterprise Content Management Systems and archives that don’t take these requirements to heart – and don’t offer interfaces to social media – won’t be able to maintain their market position for much longer.