Yesterday morning, as many Facebook users worldwide discovered, the site -- both its desktop and mobile versions -- went down for a while. (Admit it, you were one of those who panicked when this occurred.)
Despite the temporary glitch, the social media powerhouse was back up and running not too long after the issue first arose -- and thus, a billion people across the globe (including a considerable number of inbound marketers) exhaled a simultaneous sigh of relief.
No marketer out there would say they were happy the downtime happened. However, every marketing pro and agency can use the situation to serve as a reminder that when things like this happen, the world doesn't end -- nor are their campaigns ruined.
Allow me to elaborate.
Options Abound When Facebook Goes Down
Think about it: Would Facebook (or Twitter or Pinterest, for that matter) going down for a short period -- or even a full day -- have that great of a negative impact on your marketing efforts? Would you really see a drastic, marked decrease in leads generated, site visitors, or even sales?
Let me state this before I go any further: Yes, Facebook is undoubtedly a huuuge part of marketers' strategies. When the site goes down, it feels as if your own site goes down. You worry about all of the issues that can come up when Facebook's not operating as normal, and understandably so.
But there's one big difference between your Facebook page not working and your own website not working -- you own and control your website. If your site goes down, you have the power to get it back working properly. And you have the capacity to adjust anything and everything on your site that you want, whenever you want, so you can leverage its capabilities to power your marketing.
This, without a doubt, should make you feel pretty reassured of your marketing plans if you're using your website now to its fullest abilities -- like, say, starting a business blog, building landing pages that house amazing offers, and optimizing your site for SEO and lead generation.
In other words, I'm here to tell you that there are a number of ways your marketing campaigns can endure social media outages that may feel like a huge punch in the marketing gut. Because while Facebook experiencing tech issues for an extended period may considerably alter your campaign's progress, when you look at the bigger picture of your efforts -- blogging, email, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, and SlideShares -- Facebook stalling for a short while doesn't have to be the end of the world.
How to Refocus Your Marketing Efforts
Using these aforementioned content types, there are several ways you can alter your campaigns accordingly to make up for the lack of traffic and leads generated while dilemmas like this come up. Take your blog, for instance.
If you're blogging the right way, you've developed a hefty amount of evergreen content and informational posts that will continuing to drive traffic and leads for you from search engines. And if you need a boost immediately, guess what -- you can blog right now!
Additionally, if you have, say, a brand new infographic you were planning to roll out on the site, you could publish it on another social outlet (they can't all crash simultaneously ... I hope and think). Create a blog post centered around the graphic, use it as an opportunity to promote on some other social networks, and even email it to some of your contacts who you think would find it useful. (Just remember not all of your subscribers are the same, so segment your emails and send content only to those you think would find it useful).
It's Possible to Capitalize on Social Media Outages
While it will likely take some hard work by you and your team to adjust your inbound campaign on the fly when things like this happen, just remember a negative can sometimes be turned into a positive.
Just take a look at some brands took advantage of the outage -- a worldwide issue, and one that many, many people were searching online around the time it happened.
As Mashable points out, some companies, such as Gillette, were very quick to take to other social outlets to not only express their own frustrations with the issue, but also to promote themselves in a unique way.
While it's anyone's guess if this tweet provided a boost to Gillette in some form, keep in mind that playing off these types of situations offers the potential to bolster brand awareness for all kinds of companies and organizations.
The bottom line is this: Just know the next time something like Facebook going down occurs again -- and this kinda thing will happen from time to time -- you've got other facets of your marketing efforts that can help you ride out the storm.
Do you prepare a "plan B" for your marketing efforts in case crashes like Facebook's happen? Tell us all about it below!
Image credit: Ivan McClellan
Originally published Oct 22, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017