Many of us had the chance to imagine a world without Facebook on Wednesday, 13 March 2019. To my horror, at around 3pm UK time, successive attempts to post and upload to a Facebook business page failed.
Thankfully I had saved my work in a Word document for re-posting later. I logged out of Facebook and tried some posting on a LinkedIn business page. Guess what – LinkedIn also had glitches so my LinkedIn business page post would not go through.
Turn Off Then On
Turning computers off and then back on again solves most tech issues, right? Wrong! I could not log back in to Facebook for some time. Finally success! I was in. No wait – Facebook just kept on crashing. Oh the frustration!! The error messages kept coming:
“Facebook is down for required maintenance right now, but you should be able to get back on within a few minutes. In the meantime, read more about why you’re seeing this message. Thanks for your patience as we improve the site.”
Those ‘few minutes’ became one hour and then I reached out via a WhatsApp group where I learned about a global issue on key apps and websites but particularly involving Facebook, Instagram and even WhatsApp.
My Facebook is Back Around 8 Hours Later
Late in the evening I try a simple post on my personal profile asking if Facebook is back and yay it successfully appears on my profile page. Shortly after that I get some comments from friends acknowledging I am being seen. But now it is really late and, after a frustrating afternoon, I am tired so I switch off until the following day, feeling very rueful at what I see as wasted time.
Your Content is Your Content
But on reflection I realise it is a great reminder for me. I have long maintained that your content is your content. Bearing this in mind, you should not put your best content straight on to social media, whether it is Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube … The bottom line is I am at the mercy of Facebook with zero control. But what if Facebook never came back? It is not likely this would happen but it is not impossible under the right circumstances. The fact is only Facebook is in control of Facebook and all of the content added to it by us users. They owe us users nothing and if profitability slides ….
I have personally been blogging for myself since 2005 but somewhere around 2014 I hit a period of writer’s block. Whilst I would happily post and engage on social media I started blogging less and I began going against my own advice. I stopped writing my own blogs and, to be fair, I was also not putting out a lot of content either.
Soon it became a habit and I bypassed blogging of any kind in favour of a quick social media fix. Not surprisingly, no fresh content on my site and limited content on my social media meant web traffic to my sites shrunk year by year. One of my well tended sites had grown to achieve 1.5 million in web traffic in a single year all due to my blogging efforts but now I had lost my mojo. The years ticked by until I attended a recent Sam Rathling LinkedIn course and then we had this global Facebook and Instagram crash. .
Now I have to admit that I am annoyed with myself for dropping the proverbial ball. Annoyed that I stopped practicing what I have always known to be the best and most productive way to communicate my message despite advising clients to do exactly that.
I am also glad that I had moved one of my clients (a clay shoot range) away from solely doing Facebook posts and onto blogging for their business. Why? Because the Facebook crash would have potentially affected their customer relationships if they had not made that change. I created the usual blog post directly on to their blog and then tried to share it to Facebook only to find it would not post. I bypassed Facebook, shared it to Twitter and then sent out a special Mailchimp newsletter directing everyone to their blog. Hey presto their message was delivered and traffic to their website maintained without Facebook.
Facebook Needed Twitter to Help Convey News of Their Outage
Human beings have learnt to adapt in the event of curve balls. Initially there might be cause for consternation but ultimately we find a way round it and move on. If Facebook was still down today the wheels of business would carry on without it and we would adapt accordingly. These points apply equally to LinkedIn etc – remember I also mentioned a glitch on LinkedIn? I had experienced intermittent glitches on Facebook prior to this global outage on Facebook. Similar glitches have been regularly happening to me on LinkedIn in recent weeks.. It is therefore possible we could look forward to a major problem on LinkedIn if this is anything to go by. After all, technological advances often means breaking eggs to make the omelette.
For those businesses out there who effectively put all their eggs in one basket by relying on a single platform to promote their business it would be a major headache to suddenly lose it all. All that great content and hard work gone in a moment. That does not need to be the case. Taking some simple action can help secure all that precious content as well as promote and grow your business.
If your organisation would like to take control of your online content then you would be well advised to contact Stella Gooch VA to find out how easy it is for you to be in control of your own your online content. Don’t wait until you experience a real Facebook nightmare scenario.