In early October, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp all went down at once—and stayed down for quite a while. Big yikes.
For some who rely on the platforms as a way to communicate with customers, it created a disconnect and disruption to their usual operations, travel companies included.
Loren Eisenlohr, Marketing Director for Serendipity Media, the publisher of Groups Today, says while social media is likely your most-favored resource for connecting with your clients, it cannot be your end-all-be-all.
"Your interactions with your customers should be well-rounded so that your brand is a full experience, not just a company that only tweets occasionally or likes others' posts sometimes," Eisenlohr said. "When creating your marketing campaign, include a robust social strategy on the platforms that make the most sense for your brand. That being said, if you're able to create a presence outside of Facebook and Instagram, you'll be much better equipped to send messages should the mecca go down."
In addition to social tactics, Eisenlohr explained, you should have strong email marketing, print advertising and event sponsorship strategies.
"Your brand should be 360 degrees and consistent throughout. If social goes kaput, it won't be a problem if your customers have been immersed by your brand in other ways," she said. "They should be able to recognize your 'look and feel' via email, at events or in magazines. Remember: You own your email list. You have no control over your followers."
And you shouldn't wait until there's a social media outage to make a move.
"Your customers should know that they can contact you in ways that don't involve social media."
You know, like the good old days!
"You should tell them how and build trust by letting them know you've got their backs should Zuckerberg call it quits," Eisenlohr continued. "Don't go down with social; remain in the know by stacking your campaigns with ways to combat the 'what if's.'"
If you can (and if it's appropriate to do so), meet the moment with humor.
When other major social media platforms were down, Twitter remained functional and as a result saw a massive influx of people visiting the site at once, prompting the hilarious tweet below, which garnered a large amount of engagement:
Let's face it: the unexpected is bound to happen! Remaining calm when it does and having a backup plan already in place will help make the experience as stress-free as possible and keep your clients feeling like you were beside them the whole time.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.
Photo courtesy of Twitter.