5 important lessons the Facebook blackout taught us

For us digital marketers, it was dark times during the Facebook and Instagram blackout in April. Down for almost 24 hours due to technical difficulties, Facebook blamed it on a “server configuration change”. While it was a thumbs down from us, it shed light on just how much we depend on social media. Here’s 5 very important lessons we can take away from what happened and apply to our strategies moving forward.

Lesson 1: It pays to be prepared

Preparation is key in all facets of life – including the World Wide Web. In the fast paced social media world, you never know when a crisis may occur. So it’s important to be ready for any situation that may be thrown at you. This means having your strategy (or at least the backbones of your strategy) actioned in advance.

A great way of staying organised on social is using a marketing automation platform to schedule in your posts. Some examples include Sendible, Later, Feedly, CoSchedule and Airtable. You can even schedule all your posts within the Facebook platform if that’s simpler. This way, you can easily stay on top of your content going in and out so nothing falls through the cracks.

Lesson 2: You need to be adaptable

While you should be ready for whatever comes your way, you also need to be agile. Your social media strategy needs to be flexible enough to stay reactive. Social media doesn’t sleep so you have to be on top of what’s happening RIGHT NOW to remain relevant.

The best way to achieve this is to remember to always post with purpose. In order to gain a larger and more meaningful social media presence, you need to remain active and post frequently. But when posting, don’t post just for the sake of posting. While it’s smart to use a post scheduler, the simplest mistake you can make is to schedule your content too far in advance. For that reason, we’d recommend scheduling your posts on a month-to-month basis.

Consistently work on your schedule to make sure your content aligns in a timely fashion with current events, the seasons, etc.. And if you notice certain content your audience is particularly loving – give them more! Social media and your followers are changing everyday so make sure your content is moving with them.

Lesson 3: Work smarter, not harder

Quality will always trump quantity – especially on social media. While it’s important to maintain a strong presence, there’s no point if it’s not adding value for your audience. Therefore, take the time to really think about the message you’re conveying on your social media accounts.

Social media is the perfect platform to give your business more exposure. So think about what you want to say and how you say it. And if it doesn’t add to your message, then don’t post it. Remember, less can still be more. Avoid content overload and focus your efforts on creating quality content that’s aligned with your brand.

And most importantly, know who your followers are. Using simple analytics tools like Facebook’s Audience Insights, you can get information on weekly impressions, posts with the most engagement and statistics about your audience. By knowing what your followers like and dislike and when they’re viewing your content, you’ll be able to post more efficiently.

Lesson 4: Be picky where it counts

Currently, there’s a wide choice of social platforms that you can use to share your content – but don’t spread yourself too thin. We doubt every single platform will align with your brand, so there’s no need to be on every single one of them and burning the candle at both ends.

Instead, focus on the platforms your audience are most likely to be on. A general rule of thumb would be to stick to the top dogs – Facebook and Instagram. However, depending on your business, other platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest might be of benefit too.

And try not to post the exact same content on each one. These platforms are all different for a reason. For example, LinkedIn is quite professional whereas Twitter is used for short, sharp commenterary. The key to successful social media content is to maintain a unique and relevant voice – because no one wants to hear the same thing twice.

Lesson 5: Don’t freak out

Last but certainly not least, never lose your cool on social media. These types of glitches happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. And if it’s happening to you, chances are it’s happening to everyone else as well.

But this mentality doesn’t just apply to a worldwide Facebook and Instagram blackout. The same logic can be applied to other scenarios on social. For example, customer management.

How you handle yourself on social media is super important and says a lot about your business.

Remember, you’re representing your brand and therefore need to remain professional at all times. If your follower comes across a problem, it’s your job to help them find the best solution. It might even give you the chance to win them back and turn their negative experience into a positive one, which is good for everybody.

Need help creating an agile social media strategy that ticks all the boxes? Bang Digital have a passionate and experienced social media marketing team here to help you succeed online. Get in touch today.