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Why the Social Media Shutdown made a Case for Multi-Channel Marketing

After Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experienced outages of over six hours, the biggest brands in the world reacted.

Sophie Thompson
5th October 2021

Over 95 million Instagram posts are made every day, 750 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, and 52% of all online brand discovery still comes from social media platforms.

Those are some seriously heavy stats when the world (both marketing managers and normal folk alike) plunged into panic as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all went down in sync for more than six hours.

For many brands, that meant significantly fewer eyes on their products at the peak hours of the day resulting in loss of revenue. To give you an idea of the scale, during a previous Facebook outage in 2019, Wonghaus Ventures claims they lost over $10,000 of sales in revenue generated by ads.

So, what can we learn from this mishap?

1. The importance of a communication plan

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You rarely get much of a heads-up when your business is expected to respond to something unexpected. That’s why you need to get the planning done before an event changes how you need to communicate with your customers, prospects, and team.

Organizations should ensure they have taken time to plan for unexpected events, and anticipated their impact as much as possible before they respond.

Thinking ahead puts your business in the best possible position to manage the fallout, which is often more harmful than the crisis itself.

Download our free communication plan template to help you get started.

2. The importance of multi-channel marketing

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If this outage proved anything, it's not to put all of your eggs into one basket when it comes to your content marketing strategy. 74% of businesses with a multichannel strategy experience more sales. Furthermore, 64% see better customer loyalty.

Not only are you going to have a more cohesive persona from the top of the funnel all the way to the bottom through increased messaging, but it also means you're not losing out in the event of a wild social media blackout!

The single biggest way to save time when you’re doing multi-channel content marketing is to have the best content planning tools being collaboratively used...like ContentCal, of course.

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Note: We really think you'd love us!Sign up for a trial with ContentCal for free.

How brands responded

The best part about having that multi-channel approach to marketing is that you can make light of the situation through your other channels. Panic? What panic?

And that's what many came to do as Twitter blew up (and almost had its own problems as it ran way over capacity), sharing their hilarious experiences of every marketer's worst nightmare.

Embedded content: https://https://twitter.com/Twitter/status/1445078208190291973Embedded content: https://twitter.com/McDonalds/status/1445085439971430408Embedded content: https://twitter.com/Adele/status/1445143972318429187Embedded content: https://twitter.com/MicrosoftTeams/status/1445109486755123204

Even Instagram had to find a way to flip the worst moment for them on its head...

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/instagram/status/1445084977096314880

This incredible reactive thread generated over 4 million likes alone, showing that it's not just about having a solid plan, but knowing how to handle when things do go wrong!

First, it shows that you’re on the pulse. You’re aware of what’s happening in the world, and you have something to say about it. Even if it's not perfectly polished content, your audience will appreciate you acknowledging what's going on and having a human side. Speed comes before quality in these situations (so long as it fits with your brand's tone of voice and ethos). If it doesn't perform how you want it to? Easy, you delete it!

Innocent take this approach to a lot of their content, and in return, get a healthy 215% ROI. Watch the replay of our workshop with their Social Media Manager to find out how you can too.

We expect after this chaos, a lot more brands will be paying close attention to newer channels and securing a name for themselves on there ready for the unexpected.

Make sure you're following our brand new Confessions of a Content Marketer account on Instagram for the best marketing stories about when things have gone wrong. Because things do, and it's ok! We'll be expecting one from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp any day now.


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