4.48 billion people use social media across the globe. That’s roughly a little more than 1 in 2 people. So when the social media giants Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp (also owned by Facebook) went offline for over 6 hours yesterday, many people and organizations were left in the dark.
That got us thinking out loud. At Cape & Bay many of our clients use social media as a crucial connection to audiences. Creating everything from your run-of-the-mill communications, targeted ads, to event promotion and ticket sales. Social is heavily ingrained in a lot of digital-first businesses.
Those businesses that have cultivated multiple avenues for communication ranging from SMS, email, to custom-built, one-to-one applications were some of the least-impacted. While those relying heavily on social media were the most affected. One report indicates that hundreds of thousands of businesses lost revenue, customers, and web traffic during the outage and those hit hardest tended to be local brick and mortar-style businesses and social eCommerce-driven businesses.
This all begs the question – how bad could this have been? Social is so ingrained in many businesses and many of them don’t have the systems in place to adapt to a world where yesterday’s outage could be more prolonged or more impactful. Governments, societies, and technologies are always changing and what’s here today may not be there tomorrow. For example, Nigeria made the unfortunate decision to ban Twitter in 2020 (oops!). Nigeria’s ban on Twitter actually only makes it the 66th country in the world to ban some form of social media platform.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
If yesterday’s outage impacted your business or organization then right now is the right time to start brainstorming the next crisis event (well, actually, a couple of days ago would’ve been better). If the pandemic has taught the business world anything it should be that those businesses that are adaptable and better able to embrace transformation are more likely to find themselves thriving during crises events.
Of course, the first priority is to embrace more than one social media channel. Twitter was still going strong during yesterday’s outage. Usually a place for celebrities and popular figures, Twitter became the backup for many businesses and their customers to connect via social media.
Netflix didn’t miss a beat and tweeted an image from its new hit show “Squid Game” showing a contestant labeled as “Twitter” saving the life of a contestant labeled “Everyone.”
Motorola was quick to quip about Social Media Managers at work that day.
Those businesses that had Twitter accounts up and running were able to communicate with their customers and audiences more readily than those that hadn’t invested in the social media channel.
Aside from just jumping onto Twitter, creating your own ecosystem that incorporates email, apps, SMS, websites, forums, and many other solutions allows you to maintain your connection to your audience in the event one platform goes offline.
Do You Even Have a Voice?
If you found yourself without a voice yesterday, create an action plan for the next time a platform takes a hiatus. Our technology-driven world has opened so many avenues for brands to connect with audiences, by investing today in a content ecosystem that embraces various channels of communication will help your business remain resilient in the future. As we have done for so many businesses, let’s talk about how the social + digital gurus at Cape & Bay can help you better manage your channel mix to optimize your outreach and opportunities.