The struggle was real yesterday, as outages plagued users of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And that struggle impacted not just typical users, but brands as well; Recode estimates that $189 million of revenue were lost as a result of fewer eyeballs on ad content. We all (predictably) made it through alive, but it brought about some stark observations. Lots of communication, and business, is disrupted when these sites are down. Lots of users will flock to Twitter as a seeming last resort for broadcasting their thoughts. And lots of brands missed an opportunity to reach out through other forms of media:
If you were scrambling during yesterday's social media outage, you need to look at your email strategy / backup plans. I love social, but I'm super surprised I didn't get many fun / helpful emails taking advantage of the moment. pic.twitter.com/A9lyIR1ghF
— Trish Fontanilla (@trishofthetrade) March 14, 2019
Trish is right. We saw the blockbuster moment that Oreo had on Twitter, addressing a different type of outage—the 2017 Super Bowl power outage—with a beautifully timed tweet. But where were these moments on other platforms during the Facebook outage?
This has happened before, and it will happen again. How will your brand take advantage of the time to reach customers in other ways? We’ve got a few ideas to share:
Cultivating a strong email list is a major cornerstone of strategy; consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more than those that don’t receive email offers. And yet, like Trish, I saw regrettably few emails acknowledging the outage or creating engagement opportunities that would have otherwise taken place on social. A flash deal or coupon with a joke about the situation could go a long way in endearing you to your customer base (“we, too, are struggling without it!”) and keeps your efforts to stay present in customers’ minds current.
What offer could you present to your email list in a pinch? Keep a few options in your drafts, and when the directive comes down (or goes down, as the case may be), you’ll be ready to capture attention in another way.
Phone (yes, really!)
When was the last time you talked to your customers? Really talked? Sometimes we feel like we’re getting all the information we need from our social channels. And customers tend to feel the same, which is why social media is increasingly important to the resolution of customer complaints. But odds are, we’ll hear different details when we connect with people in new ways. It could be valuable to take advantage of this platform downtime to seek out these different details- to reach out, rather than waiting to hear from them.
No need to make it a long call, think of it as a “just checking in” opportunity designed to solicit quick feedback. Particularly if you have a segment of clients you’re curious about—power users, lapsed customers, etc.—it could be a good way to ask questions that you may not usually think, or make time, to ask.
Go With What You Know
As you post and engage on a regular basis, you accumulate data. And these records provide a wealth of information. Why not take advantage of an otherwise inconvenient break in the action to go through it all?
Check in with your team: what challenges are being reported en masse in their online interactions? Conversely, are there any comments or reactions to content that stand out? Even if you can’t see the interactions themselves for any reason, spending the time to take stock on what you’re seeing and how your strategy moving forward should be impacted by those observations. That way, when the platforms are back in action, you can be too- with refreshed insight and new ideas.
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