Last week, Facebook and other connected apps including Instagram and WhatsApp were down for nearly a day. In fact, many users were left wondering if the platform was gone for good given the recent news coverage surrounding them. Although it’s surprising and frustrating when you can’t access frequently used apps, this isn’t the first time we’ve considered this issue. A few years ago, Callis President Cliff Callis wrote an article about ‘What Happens if Facebook Goes Away?’ After last week’s events, we are again wondering what it would look like if Facebook disappeared completely in today’s world.
Why Did Facebook Go Down?
Facebook went down due to internal updates that resulted in routing and network issues. The outage lasted so long because the issues also affected the internal systems at Facebook. This meant that the necessary teams couldn’t access servers and tools through their normal process to fix the issue. An in-depth article by Cloudflare explains the specifics of the technology behind the outage.
Why Facebook being Down Matters to Companies
Many people use Facebook many times a day for personal reasons, but it is also a core aspect of many companies’ marketing efforts. The outage reminds us that although social media is an effective tool, relying solely on social channels is a dangerous game for marketers. As Cliff put it in his original article, “Do you have so much invested in building out your social media channel on Facebook that it could become disruptive to your marketing efforts if it went away?”
Social media being unavailable negatively impacts companies in many ways. Companies depend on social media to interact with their customers organically through posts and videos. A day of no interaction risks customers not engaging with your brand. This lack of engagement has many brands worrying they’ll miss opportunities even after Facebook returned. Many also rely on social media to reach current and potential audience members through paid advertising. A day off means no ads being shown to customers. This translates to missed sales opportunities for businesses, especially in such a busy time of year. These effects have many wondering how their business will be affected long-term and considering their current marketing plan.
Any CEO or business owner knows it’s dangerous to put all of your eggs in one basket. If social media were to be gone tomorrow, would your audience still know where to find you? Incorporating a varied content strategy gives you more control. Consider opportunities for your audience to engage with you in ways you can control. Is it an interactive display in your business location? Is it by keeping in touch through email or first-party data? Are you driving them to your website to view content? These things and other owned media enable you to have more autonomy and security and be less dependent on others to do business.
Like social media, there are a variety of options for owned media and content. If you’re unsure of where to start with your plan, get in contact with our team. We are here to help you navigate the unknown and keep you in control of your brand. For more information on the outage, view Facebook’s official statement and updates as of October 5, 2021.