When Social Goes MIA

If you’re reading this, there are 2 options:

  1. The Great Facebook Freeze of ‘19 is over! Everyone rejoiced, and tried to ignore the fact that one of their major marketing avenues dried up for 3+ hours.

  2. Facebook as we know it is gone, and across the land, marketers, organization leaders, and business owners are wailing and gnashing their teeth. “I KNEW WE SHOULD HAVE INVESTED IN EMAIL!!”

Now you’re thinking: wait. Don’t you folks work in social media? Why aren’t you reassuring me?

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

Good question, fair reader. Good question. You see, this topic came up just last week at a conference that some of us attended-- that there are real and present difficulties, risks, and future unknowns in all social media platforms. Here’s what to be concerned about:

  1. We (marketers, organizations, or regular uses) don’t control these companies. They can choose to do whatever they want with their application, at any time. We use and leverage them- with time, staff hours, paid advertising, and valuable content-- but at the end of the day, our followings and posted content are at their mercy.

  2. The social platforms would really rather you didn’t send someone off their site. Outbound links are great for us (visit our website! Sign up for email!) but the major platforms are increasingly making this difficult. The longer someone’s eyeballs are on their site, the better. Why would they want anyone leaving?

  3. Users are getting cautious. Between being mindful of screentime/device use,massive data breach scandals, and an increasingly ‘noisy’ social environment, users are being increasingly careful about which sites they use, how long they spend on them, and who they follow in their social curation.

And honestly, today has been a case-in-point example. Facebook has been down for some users for upwards of an hour, for (as of now) unspecified reasons. Instagram and WhatsApp are also experiencing difficulties. Twitter just announced major changes to their platform, including debuting a camera function, hiding interaction stats, and more.

It’s not even 2pm on the West coast, folks.

You might be thinking-- as an organization, should we leave or downgrade our social campaigns? Not so fast. Assuming that some of the recent issues are resolved, social media is still going to be an important spoke on the content wheel. It does mean that organizations should redouble efforts to beef up the content under their control; chiefly, your own website and email marketing. By creating a robust website and email strategy, you’ll be able to stay in touch with your fans, followers, and customers-- even when a social platform decides to go MIA for the day.

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