The social media outage yesterday impacted online giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, shutting these sites down for a record time, lasting around six hours in total. Though this may have spawned jokes galore about people’s dependency on social media, it was no joke to business owners who primarily use social media to advertise and reach customers.
Though we would never advise lowering your prioritization of social media marketing efforts (we would advocate for the opposite, actually), it is imperative that any business owner with an investment in digital marketing is prepared for such occurrences. Though it may be tempting to brush off the site crashes as a one-time thing, a rarity, these occurrences are actually more consistent than you’d believe. Facebook suffered a site-wide crash as recently as 2019, and judging by the severity of yesterday’s crash, there is no telling how long and disruptive the next crash will be.
Keep reading for a few tips on how your company can keep your digital presence alive during a shutdown.
Visible Website Listings
Some small businesses exclusively work on Facebook and other social media, which we would discourage. A website for your business independent of social media is more or less essential to building a web presence. So, let us preface this section by saying that any business interested in staying afloat should invest in a website.
So, once you have your website up and running, it is important that your Google My Business page/profile has a link to that website, rather than just your various social media accounts. If a customer googles your business, sees your GMB page pop up, and only sees a broken Facebook link, then you may have lost a customer.
Expand Your Customer Outreach Avenues
Okay, you’ve got your website linked on GMB, but there’s still a big issue here: A lot of your customer outreach was done through social media. Now that it’s down, how are you to stay connected to your customers, to market to them and offer customer service?
Well, there are three suggestions we have for this.
The first has to do with your website. A conversational computing platform, like a chatbot that is visibly displayed in the bottom corner that can answer customer questions.
The second is to have a text messaging outreach effort. You don’t need to advertise specific products or services here, but could simply alert your customers with a short text advertising that, although the regular social media outlets are down, your site is up and running, and your business has not shut down.
The third is to expand your email list. The more customers you can get to be on your email list, the better. You can help grow the list by creating a regular newsletter that tells your customers the latest in your industry, along with other relevant and interesting information.
Hopefully this article shined a light on why a business’ dependency on social media for their online marketing efforts can be dangerous, and the ways that you can prepare for something like an outage so that your customers don’t feel like your business dropped off the face of the earth (or the Internet) whenever Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, or the like experiences technical difficulties.