On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, Facebook saw what some are saying was the worst outage the social media network has ever experienced. While Facebook did not immediately confirm what caused the outage, the social network did tweet a short message to its 13.5 million followers stating that experts were looking into the issue.
“We’re focused on working to resolving the issues as soon as possible,” Facebook wrote, “But can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.”
The abbreviation refers to a “Distributed Denial of Service” or a cyberattack where several culprits inundate a network with multiple sources of false data to overwhelm the system and cause it to crash. Having multiple sources in play makes it more difficult for a network to isolate and ultimately block the one that is causing the issue.
A day later, Facebook took to Twitter again to announce that the outage was the result of a “server configuration change.” With multiple major data breaches, the swirling cycle of “fake news,” and other incidents, Facebook is no stranger to controversy. While this specific instance was a not a data breach, Facebook essentially went dark, as users were unable to post new content or refresh their timelines for hours.
Instagram was also impacted, as well as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. All three social tools are owned by Facebook.
How a Social Outage Impacts Businesses
While many marketers would argue that social media is critical to their content strategy, there is also a level of risk that comes with depending on it. By putting all of their metaphorical eggs in the social basket, marketers are opening up their business to a vulnerability that is out of their realm of control. In the event of a data breach, cyberattack, or social outage, social pages are rendered essentially useless until the social platform’s experts can get to the root of the issue.
For many companies, social media metrics like reach, conversion rate, lead generation, and engagement actually yield a return on investment. Even vanity metrics like comments, likes, and impression can have some monetary value, depending on the type of business in which the company is involved. Marketers use Facebook and Instagram, among other platforms, to drive business to their websites, sell their products, and create brand awareness. Therefore, is it crucial that they take into consideration what exactly they are risking—profit—when using social media to meet their business goals.
Protecting Your Business
If your company relies soley on social media for profit, consider putting another plan in place in addition to your social strategy. Implementing owned media, like a website or a blog, is a great way to protect your company from a social media meltdown. Owned media are platforms that your company has total control over and can use to market independently of social media.
Want to learn more about earning your online BS – Digital Marketing & Social Media degree from Johnson & Wales University? Complete the “Request Info” form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881.