How to Backup Social Media Content

Backup Social Media Content with Social Safe

Most of us have multiple social media profiles – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and probably more!   We update our profiles regularly and often store content on them that we don’t have anywhere else.  We’ve all heard the horror stories of people having accounts closed, or hacked – hopefully it hasn’t happened to you.

I was recently asked by a client

how do we backup our Pinterest Boards?

I did some research and found out that it isn’t that easy to figure out how to backup social media content so I’ve written this post to share what I’ve learned.

My starting point was a quick Google search to see whether anyone else had the solution.  I found a few recent articles like this one, but nothing comprehensive so I did my own investigating.

For each of the social networks, I checked to see whether there was any way to backup from within the site itself.  Here’s what I found.

Pinterest

I wasn’t able to find how to backup Pinterest from within Pinterest itself.  There is no support in the help section at all.

There are a couple of 3rd party, paid solutions that I found:

  • Pin4Ever – lets you backup all of your pins, boards, likes by creating an HTML website which you can access from your computer.  There is a free version offered giving 1 backup within a month of signing up.  Paid versions depend on how often you want to backup.  They require you to sign-up and pin their link to your Pinterest Boards to make it work.  It felt too messy for me so I abandoned it. [Since writing this post, pin4ever have updated their website and it is much cleaner and a better user experience – see more in the comments below].
  • PinBackUp – a backup and analytics tool “coming soon” – you can sign-up but it doesn’t work yet 🙁
  • IFTTT – IFTTT (If This Then That)  is a service that allows you to create ‘recipes’ that allow you to do all sorts of things like – save a photo you’re tagged in on Facebook to Dropbox,  create Evernote from an email, post starred RSS feed content to Buffer etc.  It’s a fantastic service and I use it for a few things.  There is a ‘recipe’ which allows you to send new content from Pinterest to a Dropbox folder but I couldn’t get it to work and it seems to only work for new content – not a complete backup.

I did find a solution but you need to read on to find out what it is!

Facebook

Backing up your personal Facebook profile is pretty easy.  Click on the the gear icon – upper right, go to Account Settings then click Download a Copy of Facebook data.

How to Backup Facebook

You have the option of choosing a standard download or an expanded archive which provides more history about your activities on Facebook.  Ever wondered why certain ads appear in your timeline, with the expanded archive, you’ll see the ad categories Facebook has worked out are most applicable to you!

When it’s done, you’ll receive an email informing you that your backup is ready to download.  Click the link in the email and then save your backup onto your computer.

Easy right?

Well not quite.  The backup only saves personal profile information, not your Facebook Page information.  For that you’ll need another method which I’ll explain further down.

Twitter

Dead easy.  Go to your Twitter profile, select the gear icon, then settings, account, scroll to bottom and click ‘Request your Archive’.  An email will then be sent with a link to download your archive.

Twitter Backup

Google + (and YouTube, Gmail, Apps etc)

This one is easy too.  Google allows you to download your data a few different ways.

First, when logged into Google (Google+, Gmail etc) select the drop down arrow located next to your photo in the top right of your screen, then choose Account.  From there select ‘download your data’ from the menu on the left, then either click the ‘Download Data’ button or select to download from the individual services you are signed up for.

Google

Google Backup

 

There is another way to download your Google data from other Google services including Blogger, YouTube, Drive etc.  It’s called Google Takeaway.  This allows you to download an archive of individual services or all of them at once.  It takes a litlle while if you use a lot of Google services (or have a slow internet connection).  When it’s done, you can save the archive to your computer, or wherever you like.

Google Takeaway

Linked In

Another social network that makes it difficult to download your data.  There doesn’t appear to be a way to do backup or download from within Linked In itself, other than manually downloading each section but that seems a less than efficient way to do it.

Services to Backup Social Media Content

After researching each of these to see whether it could be done easily, free of charge directly from the service itself, I then decided to test out a paid solution.  I looked at a two options including:

Backupify

This service provides automatic backup of your Google Apps, Salesforce and Personal Apps (Facebook & Twitter).  It backs up daily to the Cloud (Amazon S3), encrypts the data allows you to download it to your own computer and has a one-click restore for Google in case you need to restore your data.

Services for Google, Salesforce and Personal Apps are priced separately and range from free for Personal Apps (3 services) to $19.99 (25 services).  It doesn’t support Pinterest, Instagram or Linked In.

Backupify looks like a solid solution, especially for Google Apps, Facebook and Twitter.  It didn’t answer my client’s question about how to backup Pinterest though.

Frostbox [new addition]

After publishing this post, a comment was left by Maggie from Frostbox letting me know about their service.  I signed up for the beta and gave it a go.  It is really easy to use, offers backup for Facebook Profile (not Facebook Page), Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Flickr, Gmail, Instragram, Tumblr and Evernote!  It is easy to use,  displays your backed up content on a Dashboard divided into content boxes like Video, Photos, Mentions, Connections etc.  It is currently free to use and they are offering free storage while in Beta.  Definitely worth a look.

SocialSafe

This service is focused on social networks and supports Facebook, Facebook Pages, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Twitter & RSS blog feeds.  Each time you sync your accounts, SocialSafe adds any new data since the last sync.  You can automatically schedule it to sync your data every day or weekly.  Once you sync data, you can view it in a ‘journal’ style and even get insights into most popular items and activity by day so you can see when you are most active!

Backup Social Media Content with Social Safe

Price is determined by the number of accounts you want to backup ranging from $6.99 per year for 4 accounts up to $27.99 per year for 20 accounts.  I went for the $6.99 option and backed up Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and my main Facebook Page.  It was super quick and easy to do.  The only downside is that you can’t actually download your data or restore it as you can with Backupify, instead it is stored in the SocialSafe app on your computer.  If anything happened to your accounts and you had to restore data, then this service probably isn’t the best for that.  However, at least you have a copy of all of your data on your own computer which you control and hopefully backup regularly!

 

So there are a few different ways to backup social media content.  It was a great question and I hope you learned something from it.  I did!

Do you have any backup tips to share?  If you have found a better way, please leave a comment and let us know so we can all learn what works best?

7 Responses to How to Backup Social Media Content

  1. Suellen June 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    After publishing this post, Pascal from SocialSafe contacted me to point out a couple of extras that are good to know. Here’s what Pascall said:

    “Just wanted to point out that all content you download with SocialSafe is stored in a folder on your computer. It’s tucked away to avoid accidental deletion but everything can easily be exported to another location too.

    Also with regard to restoring – this is something that simply can’t be done for social networks as everything is time stamped and more often that not, enhanced with friends/fans interactions. We took the view that as long as you have a copy of your friends and a record of everything you’ve said and shared on your computer, manually restoring your account should be much simpler.”

    Thanks Pascal for taking the time to update us.
    Great service – thanks

  2. Emilia June 6, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Great post, very helpful. Socialsafe seems the best way to go. My main concern is to have a record of all the images I have pinned as I don’t keep them anywhere else and this does the job. Restoring the account is not a huge concern for me. Good solution. Will look into it. Thanks for all your research on the topic.

    • Suellen Hughes June 6, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks Emilia. It was a really good question – thanks for asking! Socialsafe does seem like a good, simple solution.

  3. Maggie Foggin July 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Great article, Suellen.
    I would like to point out one company you have missed when it comes to services to back up social media content: Frostbox.

    Unlike SocialSafe, offering backup to our personal machines, Frostbox offers an automated backup to the cloud for services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Foursquare, Gmail, Instagram, and soon Evernote.

    We have much respect for SocialSafe and for anyone looking for a backup of their data on a local machine, they are a great choice. Backupify however is moving away from social and more towards the enterprise backup.

    • Suellen Hughes July 10, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      Hi Maggie,
      Thanks for dropping by and letting us know about Frostbox.

      I’ve signed up and am testing Frostbox now. It looks really good. Easy to use and of course no fee – which we love 😉

      The only downside is that it doesn’t backup Facebook Pages 🙁 Is that a feature that will be added once you’re out of Beta?

      Once I’ve finished reviewing Frostbox, I’ll update the post to include it.

      Thanks again.
      Suellen

  4. Ray August 27, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    Hi Suellen,

    Unfortunately, SocialSafe only backs up the most recent 25 pins from Pinterest, and this is from their own website:
    http://www.socialsafe.net/faq#pinterest

    Pin4Ever has been completely redone as of August 1st, 2013. It is fast, clean, easy to use, has multiple styles, and now is a Firefox extension, plus it comes with a number of power tools to help you organize and utilize your pins also, and those features are free. It also comes with a free week of unlimited backups so you can get a feel for it, and backup multiple accounts with tens of thousands of pins, instead of 25. Head over to https://pin4ever.com and give it a try; you will not be disappointed!

    The new Pin4Ever can actually restore pins as well. Plus, pin things that are un-pinnable with our “Pin Anything” tool. Tired of scrolling to the bottom of long pinterest pages? Press the Pin4Ever “Scroll To Bottom” button! Those, and many more features, are now available at pin4ever.com .

    Thanks
    Ray

    • Suellen Hughes August 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Hi Ray,

      Thanks for dropping by and letting us know that Pin4Ever has had a revamp.

      It is looking so much better. Easier to use and navigate and the demonstration video (although long) is great and gives a good explanation of how it works.

      For Pinterest lovers this is definitely worth another look.

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