Managing social media

Social media enables you to collaborate, participate, contribute and reuse information online in the course of your business.

If your agency uses social media for business activities, the information created is an Australian Government record and needs to be managed.

Social media can be:

  • blogs
  • wikis
  • forums
  • social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram
  • media sharing sites, such as YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud

Social media includes sites that provide:

  • instant messaging
  • social bookmarking
  • social curation
  • collaborative editing

Australian Government agencies are accountable for their actions and decisions. When your agency uses social media for its business activities, it must keep accurate and sufficient information documenting these activities. This information needs to be kept in a usable and accessible form for as long as it is needed.

The Archives Act 1983 does not limit the definition of information and records by their format. Business information created as a result of using social media is subject to the same business and legislative requirements as business information created by other means.

Social media and information management issues

Capturing records created on social media

There are several methods available for capturing records created on social media. The most suitable method to use will depend on the volume of records to be captured and the specific situation, such as the type of social media or device used.

Case study

An Australian Government agency has a Twitter account, which is the only way a policy unit releases new policy updates to the public.

The policy unit consults with the information management team, which advises that the tweets must be captured and retained as they are Australian Government records.

The information management team also determines that this use of Twitter justifies fortnightly capture of official Twitter exchanges.

The policy unit exports the tweets in plain-text format into the agency's records management system on a fortnightly basis.

Help and feedback

The Agency Service Centre can advise on information management obligations arising from the use of social media platforms.