Where were you during the Instagram and Facebook outage of October 2021?
For many folks, that 5-hour window served as a much-needed (albeit unnerving) forced break from our devices.
For others, who may not be slaves to our phones like the rest of us, maybe they barely even noticed.
As a social media manager, it was annoying, but I had no choice but to chalk that day up as a wash. What else was there to do?
But, for many business owners who use Instagram and Facebook as the primary way to communicate with their customers, market their business, build awareness, and grow their following, the reality of the day served as a major wake-up call.
Sure, we all figured everything would eventually come back online. But what if it didn’t?
Now before we go any further, let me remind you: You’re never going to find someone who believes in the power of social media like I do.
But you know what else I believe?
Relying on social media alone isn’t a sustainable way to market your business.
First and foremost, our social media pages aren’t our property. Facebook, Instagram, and all the other platforms ultimately retain control over when and how you can reach your customers. And when they go down, so do you.
So, how do you expand your reach and protect yourself from the effects of another inevitable outage?
You have to create a diversified marketing plan that’s well-rounded, well-planned, and well-attuned to your specific audience. Here’s how:
- Understand how social media plays into your larger strategy.
Social media is only a piece of your marketing strategy, so pay attention to where your dream client hangs out and market to them there. Your time and energy are valuable, so don’t spread yourself too thin trying to be on all the platforms all the time.
- Build a strong website.
Your website is the home base of your brand. When people search for you online, you want them to land on a page that’s professional, complete, and easy to navigate — and you want it to represent you and what you’re all about. Provide answers to the questions people may be searching for and give them a way to get in touch with you easily.
- Set up (and maintain) your Google My Business page.
Google Business is a fantastic and powerful tool (both organically and PPC) to market your business. Making sure your Google page is updated, that you’re regularly posting photos and content, that you have reviews, and that it links to your website is hugely crucial for reaching your audience when they search for you or your services online.
- Produce blog content regularly.
All those fantastic informational posts you’re writing? Turn them into blogs! Blogs on your website not only give you informative and engaging content to share, but they also boost the SEO you need for people to find you in an online search.
- Build up that email list!
Email marketing is a super effective method for getting your message out to the masses, and it offers one of the best returns on investment of all forms of marketing, averaging $36 for every $1 spent. This fact makes it well worth your while to collect email addresses (both from your clients, contact, and through your website), so you can reach your audience at any time.
- Be consistent and always plan ahead.
Like all things in life, you’ll need to stay consistent with your marketing strategy before you see results. Reach out to your audience even when you’re not selling or promoting a specific service or product. How? Simply share personal stories, allow your followers to get to know you better, and inspire them every chance you get.
Another social media outage is coming. We don’t know when and we don’t know for how long, but it’s inevitable.
So, will you be ready?
Take this experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. What can you do today to make sure you can connect with customers directly, even if there’s another social media shutdown?
Think about it, make a plan, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes next!