How to Navigate Through Platform Outages

After Meta and LinkedIn had service disruptions in March, social media and advertising platform outages are likely fresh in your mind.

Malicious activity did not cause these incidents, nor do they happen frequently. Still, you may ask yourself, “What should I do when a social media or advertising platform is down?” Whether the outage lasts two hours or over 11 hours, digital marketers must prepare for major disruptions.

Urgent Steps
When you see a platform is down, double-check it is out for others. Downdetector is a valuable tool for this task; it detects site outages worldwide. Additionally, check other social media platforms to see if significant platforms are down. Usually, creators post about major platform disruptions, and hashtags like #facebookoutage or #linkedinoutage will trend.

After checking for global social media outages, the next thing to do is communicate to your audience via platforms that work and shift any ad dollars where necessary. Diversifying organic social media and paid advertising portfolios is essential so as not to miss out on reaching audiences. For instance, if you’re only running ads on Meta, you may miss gaining new website visitors at critical times of the day if there’s an outage. If you had planned to launch any campaigns on the platform on the day of an outage, wait to post the information on all platforms. If the information is urgent, post on the platforms that work and engage with your audience there. Emailing your audience is also a great way to pivot any advertising plans halted by platform outages.

When Platforms Work Again
Outages have never taken a full day recently, so be ready for when platforms work again. You’ll likely have to log in to your account, so ensure your passwords are memorized or saved in a secure password manager.

For paid campaigns, check to see if they’re turned back on and adjust budgets accordingly. Advertising platforms may compensate you with ad credit from the platform depending on the severity of the outage. However, if every advertiser is getting credits and you have an ad campaign to kick off the day of an outage, it is best to delay so that your ads aren’t competing in bids from other new campaigns that day.

Review your organic social profiles and ensure everything is in order. It is best to wait a day to post anything important in case further technical difficulties occur. Similar to paid campaigns, you don’t want your campaign competing with an influx of posts that go live when the social media platform works again.

How to Prepare
These actions will soften the blow of any platform outage that occurs.

  1. Diversify your paid and organic channels
  2. List your social media channels on your website
  3. Grow your email list
  4. Have emergency communication plans ready for internal and external use
  5. Backup your content on a secure storage
  6. Use a password manager to remember your passwords
  7. Enable two-factor authentication for extra security
  8. Plan for outages for any new campaign to manage stakeholders’ expectations.

Navigating through platform outages requires strategic planning and swift action from digital marketers. By promptly confirming outages, adapting communication strategies, and diversifying advertising efforts, marketers can diminish the impact of service interruptions on their campaigns.

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