The quick and easy guide to backup your LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter & Pinterest accounts like a boss.
Photo credit: JD Hancock
This is more important than you think.
My Twitter account was once suspended by accident, during which time I had no access to it at all.
The Recruiting Animal had his Twitter account stolen/temporarily taken away from him.
I know people who’ve been banned by Facebook, or hacked on Twitter and more, and like any other business, websites can go offline or even shut down, taking your information with them.
Wouldn’t you want to have backups so you could restore the information later, or upload it to other sites?
Here’s how to protect yourself on the major social networks.
Free bonus: Download a PDF version of this article to use as a handy reference.
The LinkedIn export tool lets you download all your connections' data in addition to your profile.
I chose “Microsoft Outlook (.CSV file)”. The result included Title, First Name, Last Name, E-mail Address, Company, Job Title and much more.
You can export anyone’s profile as PDF. When you visit their profile page, look for the “Send InMail” or “Send a Message” button instead of the “View profile as” button.
The entire profile gets exported, including skill endorsements and recommendations, but only the latter are credited.
To download and view your Twitter archive, containing everything you've ever tweeted or retweeted, but nothing about your followers, fans, Lists or DMs:
If you would like to keep a backup of your DMs too, Twinbox is a free Twitter client that installs as a plugin for Outlook and lets you manage your Tweets like email, keeping copies of everything you tweet, DM or are mentioned in.
“Your Facebook archive includes sensitive info like your private Wall posts, photos and profile information.”
Sounds good but the last time I tried it, no email ever came, so I wasn’t able to download the archive. And as a relatively light Facebook user, compiling that archive should have taken no more than a few minutes.
Luckily, there are other options:
Archive Facebook is a Firefox add-on. This “is a free tool that allows you to save content from your Facebook account directly to your hard drive. Archive your photos, messages, activity stream, friends list, notes, events and groups.”
Google Takeout is the official way to backup information from Google+ and other Google services like YouTube or Picasa.
Frankly, it works great. The ZIP file is very logically organized and the files are named very clearly in it. My only complaint is that not many non-techies are going to know how to get information out of the JSON files exported from Google Profile and Google Reader, but the Google+ export files are in other, easy-to-read file formats such as VCF or HTML.
Pinterest doesn’t let you export anything 😠
But other sites let you export your Pinterest information: 😀
Pinback.it – “Pinback is a free, simple bookmarklet that allows you to backup and export your Pinterest data. It runs privately in your web browser and exports your pinned links to an HTML file.”
Pin4Ever (freemium) – “Pin4Ever is a set of power tools for Pinterest that help you quickly protect, organize, create, and upload your pins.”
All the above options are free but as you can see, they don’t always work or even back up everything there is to backup. That’s where paid services come in.
get.digi.me – “Digi.me is a PC & Mac application which enables you to download your online social life and unite your social networks. You can back up your Facebook Timeline, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Pages, Flickr, Linkedin, Google+, RSS, Pinterest & Viadeo to create a beautiful, searchable, digital journal..”
Which of your social network profiles is most important to backup? Tell us in the comments.
Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.