Marketing Tips Icon | Pearce Marketing, East Sussex

Is This Your Worst Business Nightmare?

Date: 5th October 2021

A Facebook outage completely took out Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for around 6 hours on 4 October 2021.

It will have been devastating for business that solely rely on these channels for marketing, selling and communicating with customers and prospects.

The downtime will have been a stark reminder that they are beholden to Facebook as their landlord. They do not own their customer data or even have access to customer details (eg email addresses).

If you have no website and/or no email marketing database, your business was fully off grid and you had no way of contacting customers to explain.

Lost sales, live events up in smoke, groups unavailable, ads not showing. And no customer services on hand or service announcements because all the communications are via messaging within the platforms. Nightmare.

In light of the Facebook outage, we’ve put together some tips about other marketing activities you should do NOW. So if this happens again (next time it could be for days… or weeks!), you can still sell and communicate with your customers.

What marketing activities will help me to protect my business?

The two primary marketing essentials to give you hope in the event of a Facebook outage are:

  • Have a website with good SEO (search engine optimisation) – that is ‘your home and your castle’ – your business owns it (and ensure you have your privacy policy on there and link to it in all the right places – we can help you with this and GDPR – related marketing questions – just ask 🙂
  • Build a customer database – have emails and other contact details for your clients that you can use to keep in touch and build repeat business – you are the data controller (to use a data protection/GDPR term!).

While we are on GDPR, you are allowed to contact consumer clients about service announcements without consent (part of the legal basis of contract) – but these messages must not include any sales-related content.

The downside of using Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and eBay, is that you do not have (and can not download) email addresses for those customers – you can only make contact via the in-app messaging.

Of course there are many upsides to using them too, a Facebook or Instagram Shop is free to set up and there are no website design or hosting costs, plus there are millions of shoppers on those platforms! But now you know that it’s not the perfect single solution. You need another route to your customers too.

How do I build my email list?

  • Sign up form on your website
  • Part of contact form and checkout process on your website
  • Mention on social media (posts, stories, ads) about benefits of signing up on website (perhaps exclusives for newsletter subscribers)
  • Promote your newsletter at talks, in your own and guest blogs, in podcasts, webinars and within other people’s/companies email newsletters who reach people that are within your target markets
  • Face to face e-sign up at your store, at events (eg on ipad or similar)
  • Ensure any messaging that you do within Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Instagram shops, encourages people to go to your website to sign up to your newsletter

Need help?

If you need help with a website and/or email marketing, we can support you with planning, implementation and training. Our services are super flexible so we can just do what suits you, so you can feel confident moving forward.

In the meantime, you can download our ‘Mastering Email Marketing’ webinar, which was presented by Emma at an Amazon Bootcamp event. It’s ideal if you’re an e-commerce business (even if you’re not, you’ll still gain lots of useful info!). You’ll learn the reasons to use email marketing, types of emails, emails in your marketing funnel, how to build your list, GDPR tips and much more.

Download our Mastering Email Marketing webinar.

Marketing Funding Available Now!

And a bit of good news… there is marketing funding available right now to pay in full or in part for our time helping you. Read more in our marketing funding round-up blog.

On a lighter note!

There were many funny memes released during and immediately after the Facebook outage – here are a few that made us laugh!

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