So, Facebook apps shut down on Tuesday and well, it was like a prelude to the end of the world. Many business activities halted, personal conversations stalled, people quickly migrated to other messaging apps that they had abandoned, and of course, the rumours about Nigeria banning WhatsApp too started circulating. During the whole chaos though, it struck me that our reliance on Facebook apps for almost every social communication is worse than being addicted to coke.
If your business relies primarily on Facebook apps for interaction with your audience, this is the best time to get a website for your business. Imagine having WhatsApp BC messages and Facebook Groups as the only ways you communicate with your customers, you will continue to lose the audience and ultimately, revenue for as long as the outage lasts.
A client we consult for on SocialMedia Management for instance lost a huge deal yesterday because Facebook apps are down. We have been pitching having a website to them for a while but somehow, they don't see the need for a website. The prospect was talking to other businesses and they couldn't contact our client on time. Websites, of course, shut down sometimes too but you at least have better control over the website and its content, unlike any Social Media space.
This is the right time to consider diversifying your means of communicating with your audience and creating an email list is a good place to start. If you haven't been collecting emails before now, you should. There are quite a lot of free email marketing tools you can use but for starters, I would recommend Mailchimp. Collecting emails from your audience isn't even so hard, you can use Google form to collect your audience data, you can easily convert the data received to an excel sheet then import it to Mailchimp.
SMS marketing is quite old fashioned but trust me, it still works. In case Facebook shuts down again someday, you can easily communicate with your audience through SMS.
I am sure that as soon as Facebook is back on, many people and businesses will go about their activities as if nothing happened, you shouldn't. Facebook isn’t exactly your friend. Pause, refract on the events of yesterday and work towards delivering yourself and your business from the grip of Facebook.
If you ever need help with diversifying your communications channels online, we are always ready to help you out.