It was March 13, 2019 when Facebook went down. Not some unforeseen date in the future, but in fact, just last week. The public was shook as the day wore on and users still could not post content or update their newsfeed. Users ran to other social media platforms, finding that Instagram too had been affected for millions of users. Twitter was quick to capitalize on the rush of users discussing #FacebookDown on their fully functional platform.
It quickly became a test for businesses and their social media managers. As the day unfolded, it became abundantly clear to marketers that they could not rely solely on Facebook and Instagram. Businesses who didn't even have a Twitter account had no ability to use that platform to connect with their customer base. And businesses who have Twitter, but do not use it regularly to connect and engage with audiences were at a loss because users weren't used to holding a conversation with the brand on that platform.
Facebook Down was tough. However, as a business who helps businesses manage their social media accounts, I was pretty thankful that it happened. A message that I continue to relay to my clients is this:
"Facebook and social media are great. They are a free platform to gather and engage with your consumers and target audience in a space where they spend a lot of time. BUT, you do not own Facebook and therefore do not own any of your likes or audience there. It will not be THE platform forever and you need to be smart and have a plan in action to capture that audience on your own terms."
This message ran astoundingly clear last week. Clients who took our advice and whom have had us create robust websites and branded email marketing didn't even know that their social feeds had been disrupted. Why? Because their messaging was being delivered through their own, paid, platform. When you have email marketing, you own the rights and contacts for everyone who signs up. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube where you get to connect with your subscribers only on that platform, and only as long as that platform is fully functional and relevant.
Here are some important lessons and takeaways from Facebook Down:
1. As I mentioned above, FB is great, but it will not reign forever. What is your action plan to prepare you for the day it is no longer king?
2. How you connect with your audiences matter, and being able to connect with them is vital to your business success.
3. What is your overall connection strategy and what are your goals when you reach out to your target audience? Is it to inform & educate, to get bookings, to sell product? A mix? Writing out your objectives will help you determine the best way to create content, and the right paid platform to direct them to.
4. What platform do you already have that you use, or can use, to connect with your consumers outside of social media?
Consider email marketing, a customer portal, newsletters etc. Generate a monthly plan to connect with them here and brainstorm what content you'll share in advance so you can be thoughtful, relevant and build trust with your customers.
5. Drive traffic to the platform that you own.
When you are creating content, a call to action is vital. Consider making your CTA signing up for your newsletter or booking online, or visiting your website to learn more. Get your audience in the habit of going where you own it and if and when Facebook goes down again, you won't be scrambling to connect.
For assistance building an email marketing platform, campaigns, building your email list, website or creating social media content that drives action to your platforms, send us an email. Our team is dedicated to improving your brand visibility and how you reach and engage with your target audience.
Owner of the B Hive