Social Media Outages Highlights Need for Offsite Business Communication

A lot of businesses rely on social media for marketing and advertising and when social media outages like Meta’s outage on 5 March 2024 happen, this can create a lot of problems for those businesses. Whenever social media and other platforms' outages happen, businesses, especially small firms need to make sure that they aren’t relying on only one platform. Cheyenne Smith, who owns an ecommerce company that sells children's shoes, said that when the Meta outage happened, she lost a lot of sales and she cannot even count how many customers she lost. This is because she was slowly relying on Meta’s Instagram for dealings and advertising.

She said that when the outage happened, the flow of customers from her e-commerce website stopped completely. Upon asking if she is planning to switch to another platform, she answered that she has no plans of moving to another platform because no other social media gives her sales as much as Instagram. She added that she has tried other platforms too but haven’t found out how to attract more customers from that platform.

Even with this, experts say that you should not rely on only one website or social media platform especially when you are growing in numbers of customers. A small business consultant, Ramon Ray, says that Meta’s outage was alarming for a lot of businesses. He says that businesses would at least take their customers’ emails from them so there can be at least one option for communication. They should ask their customers to fill forms and ask them to provide their information such as names, emails and phone numbers.

Laura Levitan, who is owner of Mod L Photography, was in the middle of posting and replying to customers on Facebook when the outage happened. She said that she lost a lot of her valuable time that she could use to create posts and reels on Instagram and Facebook. But, unlike Cheyenne Smith, she already had her customer emails, so she was able to reply to them. She is also not ready to move out of Meta platforms but promises herself to make her offsite communications strong.

David Lewis, CEO of HR firm Operations, Inc. says that everyone is independent on the internet for their businesses and these types of outages are going to be more common now. So, it is best if businesses work on communication with the customers other than on platforms that are more likely to get disrupted.

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