What Social Media Outages Should Tell Content Marketers

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA


Earlier this year, an outage on Facebook, as well as its subsidiary services Instagram and WhatsApp, demonstrated that even the most sophisticated tech companies and social media platforms are not immune to technical challenges. In an article for Entrepreneur, Kimanzi Constable argues that the outage could hold some important lessons for content marketers and online advertisers. It wasn’t an isolated incident. Lately it seems that every week brings another outage—most minor, but all troubling.

“There is no doubt businesses lost revenue with this outage,” he writes. “For those who pay for advertising, their ads weren’t reaching potential customers. For those that rely on posting in their Facebook groups, on their personal pages and on Instagram, they lost revenue because they couldn’t use the strategy that they’ve always used.” So what should companies do from a strategic standpoint to prevent this kind of negative impact in the future?

Build Your Foundation on Your Platform

Constable writes that, in the Digital Age, companies need two important assets for a thriving business: a website and an email list. “These are assets that are yours,” he says. “When you build the foundation of your business on other people’s platforms—such as social media—you are giving up the control of your business.” It’s a sentiment that Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute has long stressed as this podcast, Stop Building Your Branded Content on Rented Land, points out.

Have a Diverse Marketing Plan

The Facebook outage shows the relevance of the old adage about putting all your eggs in one basket. As with any business function, diversification of marketing efforts is key to managing risk. Constable writes that while social media is one of many potential marketing channels, there are many ways to market even within that channel. Another key point here is that successful marketers have long understood that to ensure that their content has an impact they need to be distributing it multiple times across multiple platforms. A single communication channel simply is not enough.

Never Stop Building Your Audience

In order for your business to grow, your audience needs to grow. “Put out free content that educates your audience,” Constable recommends. “They will share it and invite others.” At the same time, work to continue to grow your audience—exponentially. If your content resonates with others, they will share it.  “Leverage others who have audiences with joint partnerships and training,” Constable recommends. “When an outage happens, your business won’t be affected because you’ve built your audience in multiple places and ways.”


The Facebook outage could be a useful wake-up call to companies that have been too complacent and simplistic in their online marketing efforts.  What steps have you taken to ensure that your communication efforts are multi-layered to avoid the potentially devastating impact of a digital snafu?


About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We’re adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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