Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that last week on Wednesday 13th– Thursday 14th March 2019, the world seemed to lose their minds when there was a Facebook & Instagram outage and the two platforms went down for over 14 hours. There was also some disruption from their other app, WhatsApp, at the time. Leaving the world wondering what we ever did before the invention of the two social platforms.

But of course, they expressed their views, anger and worry for the app never returning, on another social platform. Twitter. 

The one social platform that everyone keeps saying is ‘dead’. I feel like it’s now been proven multiple times, that is not true. 

With lots of opinions being shared on the trending topics #instagramdown and #FacebookDown, the news being covered by CNN and Sky News, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama. However, I wanted to put together four key lessons that this outage has taught us small business owners. 

Lesson #1 

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, all of them – they are not your property.

They are owned by companies who are also ‘in it’ to make money. Therefore, be warned that if one day, something terrible happens, it can all be taken away from you. 

What happened to MySpace? Do you remember MySpace?

My point is, stop relying on these FREE platforms to increase your business. By all means, yes use them as a marketing channel. But, one of many. 

Also, I’m seeing more and more people complain about the reach on these platforms, expecting them to do more for them. When are we going to wake up and see that these platforms are businesses? They’re there to make money. Plain and simple. And they have been ‘FREE’ for you to use for a very long time. 

Where does this expectation of platforms doing things for you for free come from? Yes, maybe it’s frustrating that they have given so much in the past and now it seems unfair that they’re turning the tables. However, I think if you’re serious about growing and creating a successful brand and business you need to get used to paying for your marketing. 

Some people and brands have created a massive following on platforms such as Facebook & Instagram. Some have made millions of pounds/dollars. Great! But if you’re trying to turn your small business into something global, and you’re in it for the long run…

Why would you choose to only be able to communicate with your target audiences on just one platform?

Leading on nicely to,

Lesson #2 

Do not put all of your marketing efforts in to one channel.

One social media platform. Having a well-rounded marketing plan that takes into consideration all channels that would work for your business should be a priority for you. 

If you haven’t already, sit down and consider where your ideal customers will be, online and offline. Then get creative. Think of ways to attract their attention through your clever and creative marketing campaigns. Not sure how to? Maybe consider talking to a marketing agency or marketing consultant

Thought about using email marketing? I put together 6 simple segmentation strategies you could be using in your email marketing.

Lesson #3

Even the big tech giants have bad days. 

I’m all for a bit of positivity and I don’t know if it’s just me… but don’t you find it even relatively reassuring that the big tech giants of the world, worth billions, also have bad business days? It certainly makes me feel a whole lot better about having my own bad business days. 

The days of the server going down and therefore customers not being able to reach your website. Days when unfortunate, unexpected illness takes over and there’s nothing you can do about it, especially if you’re self-employed, the knock-on effect it has is tremendous. 

It’s worth noting and just reminding ourselves every so often that we are all human and things can and will go wrong some days. 

Lesson #4

Communication is key. 

I guess this really blends with the last point in that we are all human, so just communicate. If something goes wrong and it’s your fault, hold your hands up and admit you were wrong. If something breaks, communicate with your customer or clients and I’m positive, the negativity won’t be half as bad. 

Yes, you’ll still upset a lot of people, but when you show the vulnerability, that you messed up, it reminds people that you are human. 

In last weeks’ case, with the Facebook and Instagram outage, both platforms took to fellow social network Twitter to announce that they were aware of the issue and were working on fixing it.

Facebook and instagram outage 2019

Key takeaways from the Facebook and Instagram Outage:

  • All companies go through tough times, we’re all human
  • Make sure you have a diverse marketing plan using a range of marketing channels and you’re not relying on one social media platform
  • Communicate. Even when it’s tough or may not be a nice conversation, trying to hide it or cover it up will only make things worse in the long run

After reading this post, what will you do today to help your small business perform better? Let me know by dropping me a comment below.