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How to handle the next outage of a major Social Network?

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

As digital marketers we know the 'panic' that happens when a social network goes down. Your social engagement, calendar, sponsored posts, all goes to limbo. And the not knowing when, or if you will be able to get back on the network is quite frightening!


On March 13th, Facebook had the longest outage ever. The outage also affected Instagram and WhatsApp.


“Outages like the one from last week are rare,” said Jon Mottel, director of social strategy for the digital marketing agency Undertone, “When they do occur, they almost never last longer than a few hours.”


Well, that certainly wasn't the case for the March 13th outage! So here are a few tips to assist you next time that it happens. And yes, it will happen again!



Before the crash. . .


1. Diversify your Social Networks


Make sure you have a platform set up that is not related to all other platforms. For those with a Facebook and Instagram only, there was no way to reach at least part of their audience during the March 13th outage. Having other platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, is not only a good marketing strategy, but will give you some peace of mind when one of the networks crash.


2. Back up!


So many people have their photos and such on Facebook Albums only. What would happen if your account was gone for good? Whether you have a personal account or a business account, make sure to have a backup of the things that you post that you don't want to lose. Anything that you may need to refer back to one day needs to be saved in an alternative location. Just in case. . .


During the crash . . .


3. Verify the issue


The social network is down. Breath. Check your internet connection. Try to connect with your phone and tablet as well. Once you have verified that the issue is not on your end, go online and do a search on keywords. Chances are there will be discussions happening already on twitter, sites like Reddit, Yahoo questions and answers, etc.


4. Keep communications open


If you are managing a social platform for a client, contact the client immediately and let him know what is happening. If you are managing for your business, find other ways to communicate with your clients- Email blast a quick announcement, use another social network. Being transparent about issues that arise is the #1 customer service etiquette.


5. Create a plan of action


Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. If you don't have a plan B already in place for when this happens, then you need to dive head first when it does happen. It is important to have a plan for when (and if) the platform comes back online. Maybe you have a social calendar, and skipping a day won't matter. However, maybe the content and engagement on the outage day was crucial and you will need to have a plan of action to remedy the situation.


6. Breath and don't act in haste


Don't act in haste and switch all your ads to another platform, as you don't know how long the initial platform will be out of commission.


After the crash. . .


7. Checking on active campaigns/ads


Campaigns that were running may be eligible for a credit, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or other. Paid campaigns should be the first thing you check, not only for the status of the campaign itself but also to gather any leads that may have been generated.


8. Communicate with your customers


This is damage control. Most of your customers will understand but others may not. You need to be ready to take responsibility and layout a clear plan of action going forward. If you are a leading man for paid campaigns on a social platform and the client is mad that he lost business for a day, suggest to diversify the advertising by spreading a certain amount of the total spending in other unrelated platforms to the one that had an issue.



Want to discuss more about how to diversify your social platforms/ engagement and paid ads? Contact us today!

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