Is your council backing up on social media?

February 6, 2020

From building awareness to crisis communication, social media is a powerful way for local government and councils to interact with the public. Social media hosted on external servers with third parties such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and more, are all subject to community expectations and legislative requirements for the appropriate management of information.

If your council need to retain and store records shared on social media depending on the business, reporting or legal requirements, it may be an unacceptable risk to rely on social media platforms to maintain this information for you. For more information, please visit the NSW State Archives and Records website.

What tools can I use to capture regular and scheduled downloads of social media information?

There are a variety of tools you can use to export full records of much of your council’s social media engagement.

Cloud Backup for Social Media

There are only a handful of cloud storage tools that include scheduled social media backup but using these tools can save your council a lot of time.

Social Safe

SocialSafe backs up your social data to your own computer instead of the cloud. Facebook profiles and Pages, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all backed up. For more information, please visit the SocialSafe website.


PCloud is another backup tool that allows you to back up photos from Facebook and Instagram along with regular schedules. For more information, please visit the PCloud website.


IFTT is a free web-based service that works by creating chains of simple conditional statements for a range of different social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For example, if an action such as a new post is created on Facebook, that results in a trigger action, such as storing the post on Google Drive. For more information, please visit the IFTT website.

Manual Backup for Social Media

While automation and cloud work best for backup, most popular social media platforms also have manual options for downloading all your data. These can be stored locally or remotely.

Facebook backup

Facebook makes it simple to obtain a copy of your backup data.

  1. Click the downward arrow near the top of your account, then click settings, as per the screenshot below. facebook-backup-1

  2. In the left column, select “Your Facebook information”.

  3. Find the “Download your information” section and click on view.

  4. View all your information including posts, photos, videos, comments, likes and more that you would like to download. Select “Create file” to download your data.

Instagram backup

  1. Go to your profile page and click on edit your profile or the cog icon.

  2. Select the “Privacy and Security” link on the left column.

  3. Scroll down and click on “Request Download” under the “Data Download” header.

  4. Input your email address and Instagram will let you know when your download file is ready.

Twitter backup

  1. Click on the “More” icon on the left column.

  2. Under your account settings, select the “Setting and Privacy” link.

  3. Under the Data and permissions section, select “Your Twitter data”.

  4. Scroll down to the bottom to find a button for “Request archive”.

LinkedIn backup

  1. Click on your “Me” profile and select the “Settings & Privacy” link under the Account section.

  2. Under the Privacy tab, navigate to the “How LinkedIn uses your data” section and click on “Getting a copy of your data”.

  3. Select your desired option and click on Request archive.

Just because the internet never forgets, it doesn’t mean that the messages, photos and videos on your social channels are safe forever. Like with all data, you need to take the necessary measures to back them up, whether it’s simply screenshotting posts when created or downloading the data directly from the channels at regular intervals or using third-party cloud storage applications.

About RE:NSW

In response to both the global COVID-19 pandemic and recent bushfire disaster, there are a range of resources being distributed by a variety of local, state and national organisations. Destination Southern NSW and Destination Sydney Surrounds South are gathering this information together on RE:NSW to assist tourism operators to respond, recover and renew their businesses and local tourism region during and after the impact of these events.