What To Do When Facebook Goes Down

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| 15th March 2019
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On Wednesday evening, Facebook stopped working. All the holiday snaps, pictures of dinners and hilarious cat videos dried up and users were instead presented with static news feeds for many hours. From a personal perspective, it was nothing more than a minor irritation on an evening. From a company’s perspective, it can be something far more troublesome.

This blog covers what businesses can do in situations such as this - including the use of alternative social media channels and ensuring your planned social posts don’t go to waste.

Reschedule Any Planned Social Posts

Whilst Facebook is down, it’s extremely likely that any scheduled posts to your company page won’t post. With that in mind, you should be aware of scheduled content, either directly within Facebook or via third-party social media management platforms.

Here at SilverDisc, our planned social posts were affected by the outage. However, Hootsuite left us a notification that sending had failed, so we knew to reschedule the post once Facebook was working normally again.

You can also use this downtime to review your Social Calendar in general. Has Facebook’s outage had a knock-on effect to your planned social posts? Will rescheduling a post a day later have implications for your planned content on that day? These are all factors that should be considered to minimise disruption to your social efforts.

Spread Your Social Presence Across Multiple Platforms

Whilst you can’t exactly prepare for Facebook going down, it may be worth ensuring that your entire social media strategy isn’t reliant on a single platform. Have a think about your business, its offering and what you use social media channels for. If your business is B2C, do you have a Twitter account for promotions and customer engagement? If you are a B2B business, do you have an active LinkedIn company page to share industry news and company updates?

Ensuring that your other social media accounts are easy for customers to find, consistent in terms of branding and up to date with details and content is important for maintaining a strong social media presence.

Have A Plan B For Live Streaming & Events

Companies can use other social media channels to ensure the show goes on with or without Facebook. A perfect example of this unfolded on my Twitter feed late on Wednesday.

The National Autistic Society had planned their first Facebook Live show for 7pm, which covered talks from pre-planned guests and families.

Unfortunately, this time slot fell victim to Facebook’s outage, meaning that any interested users on Facebook wouldn’t see the live show.

Instead of cancelling or rescheduling the event, NAS had a back-up plan. Using Twitter to keep their followers updated, they shifted the live show to a YouTube Live stream instead, allowing it to proceed as planned.

When Facebook went down, they used YouTube as a back-up platform for live video and shared the link via Twitter to ensure there was an audience to see the show.

When 7pm came, they were ready to go as planned and the stream was a success:

To summarise, my three quick tips for minimising disruption when Facebook is down are:

  • Ensure all your social accounts are in good shape and avoid being solely reliant on Facebook
  • Be sure to reschedule any social posts affected by the outage
  • Have a contingency plan in place for planned live stream events on Facebook

Whilst this blog won’t help Facebook’s engineers the next time the website falls apart, I hope it will help your business be prepared in future.

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