What the Facebook and Instagram outage taught us about diversification!

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Google. Facebook. Amazon. These businesses have transformed the way society communicates, connects, works, and plays. We know we can use Google to search for anything and everything no matter the day and time — in fact, search, and Google are so connected “Googling” is now an all-encompassing verb. Amazon is the store that never closes, and as for social media, we take it for granted that we can sign in and share info with friends or consumers whenever the mood strikes.

But what happens when the resources we rely on are no longer reliable?

For businesses, leveraging networks like Facebook and Instagram is an essential part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Still, when the platforms we use fail unexpectedly, it highlights how important it is to diversify and always have a plan B.

The day Facebook and Instagram went dark.

On Monday, October 4, 2021, Facebook’s network crashed, rendering Facebook and other platforms owned by Zuckerberg and Co. (namely Instagram and WhatsApp) temporarily useless. Facebook released  a statement explaining that “configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this” communication.”

In a way, it’s like Facebook suddenly changed the locks to the front door, and millions of people could not get in.

For the average person, a day without Facebook is an inconvenience. You’ll have to return to the days of yore when the only reading material you had in the bathroom was the back of a shampoo bottle. But for businesses that use social media as their primary form of communication, losing social media access was like unplugging their phones, cutting off the store lights, and locking the front door. Without access to their social accounts, businesses couldn’t post happy hour specials, give customers a head’s up about upcoming events, or answer important questions that would have led to a sale or signup.

Is it time to ditch Facebook and Instagram?

It’s human nature to consider ditching something or someone who becomes unreliable. We don’t want to hang out with friends who flake on us, and we’re not exactly eager to trust a portion of the business to a company that just lost control of its network. But don’t expect a mass exodus from these top social platforms just yet.

Facebook has a staggeringly large advertising audience that exceeds 2 billion people. And it’s not just about advertising. Over 18% of adults in the United States bought something through Facebook last year, and just over 11% did the same thing through Instagram. Pinterest, while known for connecting users to merchandise, only has a 2.9% buy-through rate. Consumers use Facebook to search for local businesses, research in-person purchases, look at restaurant menus, and so much more. Businesses need Facebook.

Instagram is similarly impressive, with over 1 billion monthly users, 130 million who tap on shopping posts as part of their routines.

So, no bailing. Instead, businesses must learn to diversify and have backup platforms, people, and plans in place if an unexpected outage strikes again.

Why having a third-party agency on your side helps

A great marketing agency provides layers of assistance, including:

  • Creating a multi-pronged marketing strategy that includes not only social media platforms but also a substantial e-mail list and, depending on your industry and goals, other access points such as SMS
  • Running your campaigns and remaining on top of last-minute changes — like outages — so you don’t have to be on call around the clock or duck out of an important meeting to brainstorm solutions on the fly.
  • Staying up to date on next-gen developments in marketing, ensuring you’re always running the most agile, efficient, and informed campaigns possible

Four days post-outage, the team at Facebook was still reportedly trying to determine what went wrong. Was it a software bug? Human error? Corporate sabotage? One thing remains the same no matter the answer: putting all your marketing and communication eggs in one basket is a significant mistake.

To “oops proof” your business, reach out to the team at Aliste Marketing. Our experts can customize a plan perfectly suited to your needs, so you’ll be ready to react the next time one of Zuckerberg’s minions accidentally sits on the off button.


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