On Tuesday of last week, social media was a buzz because Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Oculus VR were down for over five-plus hours. Users frantically ran to Twitter and Tiktok for answers. However, I was laughing it up with clients because I am always harping on so many businesses would go under if social media goes down. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly lost $6 billion in that timeframe, but business owners who have put all their eggs into Facebook and Instagram marketing were hurt even more. Let’s chat about what lessons small business owners can learn from the Facebook and Instagram outage to leverage growth in their business.
Own Your Platform
What shocked me the most about the social media outage of 2021 was how many small businesses solely rely on social for their eCommerce and marketing needs—literally putting all the eggs in one basket and watching them fall immediately. You need your website where your audience can always find you. You can utilize platforms such as; Shopify, Bigcommerce, Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress to have a home for your community. Owning your platform helps you control everything from the front end to the back end of your website. You are also providing a place for your community to support you and share with others. It’s easy to send a quick text saying, “Hey, I love reading Tasha blog” or “Check out this online fitness community created by someone like us” it builds your brand via word of mouth marketing.
Invest In Site Backups
If you’re on a platform such as; WordPress, you are responsible for your hosting and much more, which means that you need to be backing up your site either daily, weekly, or monthly. You can hire someone that does site maintenance for you, which I highly suggest, or you can use third-party plugins. When my website was attacked by malware, I invested in some to help me and bring someone on to handle it monthly in the next year.
One thing I have yet to see is a statement from Mark or anyone on Facebook. I’m not looking for it either, but if one were made, it would’ve been everywhere by now. As we discussed in alternatives to social media marketing, having a PR team comes in handy not only to get you press but helps you with crisis management. We have all seen nightmare PR moments of the past handled with so much grace because of the crisis management that was put into action immediately. Several platforms reported Facebook went down because a whistleblower came forward the night before.
Diversify Your Marketing
I would rather not turn blue in the face, but I will say this a thousand of times: stop putting all your marketing eggs in one basket. First and foremost, understand your target audience and then market to them probably. I recently told a friend she would have more traction with her content on Pinterest over other platforms. As a business owner, it’s about being where your target audience resides, not the place you prefer to decompress.
One thing I knew that was going to happen was people being on two sides of the spectrum. Some people spiraled because they couldn’t be on social media, and others thrived without it. I am here to say create a happy balance. Personally, social media is limited to 3 hours per day, so I’m not spending all my time endless scrolling. To succeed in business, you need to be productive and utilize your time wisely. Invest in time management tools that allow you to grow your business in other areas such as; setting up canned emails, day designation, scheduling social media content, batching content, power hours, and much more.
In conclusion, small business owners can learn from the Facebook and Instagram outage by invest in owning your platform and building your community there. On Tuesday, both of my websites saw their highest days by my community going there to find me.