4 Lessons From the Day Facebook Went Down
So, on Monday last week there were people panicking in the small business world. Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram went down. People couldn’t access their accounts. They couldn’t access other things that they had set up in connection with their Facebook account. They couldn’t communicate with people. Chris and I didn’t notice until we saw it on a news website.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we use Facebook and Instagram as marketing tools for business. Sometimes we get enquiries through Messenger. We don’t use WhatsApp for business and we don’t rely on any of it at all.
We spend a lot of time trying to educate people about why they should have a business website that they understand and are in control of and also the importance of building an email list. We know that when we say this, half the people who hear it are glazing over. They’ve heard the stories of people earning millions just through their Facebook group or Instagram store and they think it’s stupid to spend time and money on a website.
But, how much money did those apparent millionaires lose in the seven hours that their social media was down? How many sales could have been made? They couldn’t even get hold of their customer base to apologise and offer discounts for when everything was back up and running as a goodwill gesture because they also rely on messenger and WhatsApp.
The money loss aside, I read comments from people once everything was back up and running again about how they were stressed and panicking (not as much as Mark Zuckerberg I suspect) and that’s a horrible situation to be in when you have no control over the resolution. A situation that could be avoided.
Here are four lessons to take away from the day Facebook went down to avoid the stress and worry in the future:
1. Having more than one marketing method is sensible
We use social media for our marketing and we used to use it more but we now realise that we don’t want to be reliant on other people’s algorithms and uptime. We also begrudge pouring money into Facebook ads.
We find networking, delivering guest workshops, speaking at events and appearing on podcasts work really well to get us known. We have also built up a great network of partners who promote our challenges and services and that has been instrumental in building our email list.
So if you can start getting yourself out there in these ways it can be a really fantastic for marketing.
2. Building an email list is important
Even if you don’t have a fully fledged website and you just create a landing page through an email system and start building your email list, that’s a good start. That way, if social media falls off the web again you can send an email out letting them know you are aware and give them some alternative ways to buy from you if they wanted to.
Also, I have written before about how emails get far more attention and clicks than posts on social media so you should be adding an email list into your way of doing business even if social media never has any problems again.
3. Creating a website sends the right message
There are so many reasons to have your own website anyway, regardless of whether social media is having a day off.
Having a website makes you look more professional, it helps your potential clients get more of a feel for who you are, it makes it easier for them to find what they are looking for about you or your service and it means that people who don’t use social media can find you too. There are more of them than you might realise.
Some people put off creating a website because it’s daunting or they imagine it’s going to be very expensive but it doesn’t have to be and when it’s done well the investment definitely pays off!
4. Keeping your email list and website separate is advised
Now, you may be reading this blog post and agreeing with everything I’ve written. You might now be thinking, “OK, so I will go and find a system where I can create a website and have all my emails hosted in one place so it’s nice and easy”. There are solutions that do that such as Kartra and Kajabi but we don’t actually recommend that you do that.
The reason is, if the system that you choose goes down, much like the Facebook universe did, then you lose access to both your website and your email list again. You are in the same position. We have our website and our emails separate so that if our website goes down, which it could very occasionally, no hosting company can promise 100% up time, then we can email our list to let them know.
You may think this is over the top and it’s unlikely to happen that Kartra and Kajabi will go down but it has happened. It happened to one of our business friends when she was doing a launch and she had about an hour before the doors were closing and she couldn’t let her list know that they shouldn’t worry and she would extend the time they could join once the website was back up.
We like to be very belts and braces and we also export our email list every month so we have an up to date back up should anything happen to our email marketing system as well. (That’s another little tip for you!)
Your business is important and the more you respect it and invest time and money in it the more it will reward you. We can all get drawn into the easy way of doing things through social media but when it goes wrong it can hit hard and when we explore other ways of doing things we realise social media wasn’t really as effective or easy as we thought it was.