Facebook outage is a lesson not to put all your marketing eggs in one basket
For 6 hours on October 4th Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp stopped working. And the world lost its mind. How could services that so many people rely on for keeping in touch with friends and family, running businesses and sharing news stop working?
No, not a huge server outage. No, they weren’t successfully hacked. Someone at Facebook fiddled with their code, so the internet couldn’t find them.*
Over on Twitter, Netflix caught the mood perfectly!
Don’t place all your marketing eggs in one basket
What this shows is that over reliance on one, two or even three places to reach your audience is a risky marketing strategy.
Of course, you didn’t expect for the world’s largest social media company to go offline for 6 hours, but that’s exactly what happened, wiping Billions off their share price overnight, and causing the internet to melt down in horror. For those businesses who rely on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to deliver their marketing, 6 hours could mean a big problem.
Own your marketing space
The marketing landscape is changing, with social media outages and hacks growing increasingly more common, and ever-changing algorithms that could wipe out your efforts can be wiped out overnight.
The solution, is owning your own marketing space. Otherwise known as owned media.
Owned media are the spaces, content and tactics you have full control over, meaning that you can still speak to customers regardless of outside service providers like Facebook etc.
The obvious areas your businesses needs to control are:
Ensure your website reflects your brand, and holds all your content, e-commerce, images, downloads, and contact information etc. If you don’t have a physical store, your website is your shop front so, take care of it.
Search Engine Optimisation and PPC (Google AdWords)
We know that Google is another service provider with the same potential risks as Facebook. But ignore using it well at your peril. Most people still jump to Google to begin a search, and if you control your presence there with good SEO and/or PPC, you’ll be found if social media isn’t working.
Customer data may seem old hat, but email and post still work really well. We regularly see open rates of 25% plus on email. Direct mail is very expensive, but if it’s well created and targeted, the return on investment can be far higher than social media marketing.
PR is technically ‘earned media’ – the journalist gives you coverage if they feel the story is worthy. However, you can control your story, and how your brand is portrayed in the media, so ensuring you have a clear story and point of view is vital.
Should you abandon social media because it’s too risky?
Absolutely not! Social media should be a part of your marketing mix. The danger comes when you’re too reliant on it.
Our client Enviro Clean were very reliant on Facebook for their marketing when we initially spoke to them. They paid no attention to their website because it wasn’t working for them. We proposed that placing all their marketing eggs in one basket was risky, and luckily, they listened. Two months before the Facebook outage we launched their new Search Engine Optimised website, along with Google AdWords campaigns, and now they are receiving leads independently of their Facebook marketing.
Enviro Clean haven’t stopped their social media marketing, they have spread their bets. And it’s paying off.
*For a more detailed answer take a look at this Gizmodo Article