Yesterday’s global shutdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp caused businesses to refresh their computers and question their network connections. It was not until Facebook tweeted about their outage that the world learned that the largest social media platform was halted in their tracks.
So, what do digital brands do? Here at the Belfort Group, our team has come up with social media strategies to continue communication during and after social media shutdowns and preparing communications strategies for future social media blackouts or lags.
1. Check Other Social Sites and Join the Banter
Across Twitter, the trend was “What have you been doing without Facebook.” Taking the opportunity to engage on other accounts can help increase followership and be a tool to interact with followers. Organizations highlighted this trend with activities; both with virtual links to networking events and social events.
Pro Tip: Drive more viewers to your website and encourage followers to use their “Facebook free time.”
Tweet: “What to do with your new founded #FacebookDown time: Join our #VeteranNetworking event today @3pm and learn about our new #Veteran scholarship programs.”
2. Use Time to Engage with Email
More than 3.9 billion users interact through email accounts. While social media platforms are down, pivoting time to email marketing can fill in the gaps. In 2019, the software firm, Adobe, conducted a study on their employee’s email time. The study explained that employees spent more than five hours per day on email. However, social media can cause interruptions from email views as reports show that the average social media users spend about 145 minutes every day looking at their accounts.
Updating customers and contacts through email with a unique subject line related to the shut down or recent social media news can increase open rates. According to an article by Business2Community, 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.
Pro Tip: Organizations can use unique social media news-based email subject lines to drive open rates.
Subject: “Wait Instagram is down? Guess it’s time to finish your Common Application to (College).”
3. Welcome Back Facebook and Instagram Posts
It’s important to ensure once social media is up and running again that organizations reengage with their followers. The New York Times reported that more than 3.5 billion people worldwide were impacted by the pause in Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp’s service.When users were finally able to reload their feeds, many flocked back to the social media sites to catch up on the day and scroll through their feeds.
Pro Tip: Highlight what your team did during the shutdown and encourage followers to click “follow” on twitter “just in case.”
Facebook Post: “Good Morning, Facebook! Missed you guys during the #ShutDown.”
“Our #BGTeam spent our “Facebook free time” with our furry friends (cat photo). “
“What did you do while you were Facebook free?”
“Miss us that much? Make sure to follow us on twitter @BelfortGroup.”
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Service timeouts are not uncommon for social media sites. In 2019, Facebook experience more than a 24-hour break of their social media service. During these times, it is important that organizations have strategies when social goes down.
Like crisis communication tool kits, it’s more prevalent that organizations diversify their platforms and engage with customers, students, and residents interactively with multiple touch points to ensure while one platform is down others can be used to effectively continue conversations. Here at the Belfort Group, it is our goal to ensure content is continuously flowing and organizations have social media strategy plans that include opportunities to flourish when social media is interrupted.