Explainer: 4 Takeaways From The WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram Downtime

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On October 4th, 2021, at around 4:30 pm, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp users started to experience a service downtime. All over the world, people were unable to send or receive messages from loved ones, colleagues or business partners. Global panic followed before Facebook confirmed and explained what was going on. 

“Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.

According to Bloomberg Business Index, his net worth dropped about 5% yesterday, totalling a 15% drop since September, and his net worth is down to $120.9 billion. He’s now at number five below Bill Gates. 

Zuckerberg was not the only one affected as several business owners who rely on social media platforms have also shared their frustrations as many lost money opportunities because they couldn’t reach out to their customers, post and update their clientele about new services or products. Everyone from the average social media user to influencers who couldn’t post about their products or make skits to persuade potential customers were also negatively affected.

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram came back online after seven hours but this downtime revealed a lapse in how most present-day business owners establish and run their whole business on social media. Yes, the internet has brought significant progress to companies, influencers, and small businesses. It has helped them grow at a very high rate, but we cannot ignore the benefits that exist outside social media. 

What happens when these situations come up and experience downtime for days and months. How are you going to keep up with your clients?  How are you going to constantly let your customers know that you are there for them?

Here is how to ensure that your business can survive outside the social media space:

Create an Email list and send out Newsletters

Email marketing puts you ahead because you can stay in touch with your customers and offer them great information about products and services that will keep them returning to your store. Emails are forwardable, and any customer that likes what you’re offering can become your evangelist. 

Email marketing gives you an edge with personalised messages that can help you build meaningful relationships with your customers and improve the response rates to your direct marketing campaigns. However, don’t overuse this form of marketing as you can easily lose your clients by sending too many marketing emails.

Host and attend events that promote your business

Before social media, we had a life, and even though it seems difficult to imagine, business owners got the job done through face to face interactions. They did this by hosting events to promote new or current products. This way they also got to meet their clients and create the kind of bond you can only get from meeting people in person. Hosting an event also help you can understand what areas to address. Most times, people won’t tell you or are too busy to say what is lacking in your goods or service online, so connecting face to face solves that problem.

It also doesn’t hurt to attend events. You get to sell and meet potential customers at face to face events. 

Create a referral program among your customers

There is nothing more powerful than word of mouth; in 2011, Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca-Cola vice president of global advertising strategy, spoke at Cannes Lions Festival about ideas that are so contagious they can’t be controlled. He called it liquid content. Coca-Cola revealed that consumers created more stories and ideas than the company itself did.  Offer your customers incentives. Your customers have high stakes in who will buy your products. To give them something good to talk about, get them some freebies or items that can get them to continue spreading good things about your brand to their friends, co-workers and families. However, we will have to warn you to do so only if you know that you are giving out good services and products to say the right things about your business. 

Use client contacts

Your clients regularly leave their numbers, especially after orders. Use your customer care skill to send text messages to them. Study their pages online so you can know about special dates in their lives and celebrate using text messages on festive seasons, felicitate with them, remind them you are there for them.  You can send creative messages that remind them about your products or service. Always be careful not to bug them about your services, that can be unpleasant too.

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