It happens here and there - Facebook goes down, Instagram goes down, then everyone runs to Twitter to figure out what the heck is going on. Last week, we experienced this again, with both Instagram and Facebook going down for 10+ hours, and sparking panic among many brands and influencers who now rely on these platforms to generate income.
There's a key lesson in this for all businesses - depending on just one form of marketing is neither sustainable nor smart. You don’t own the networks, or the followings you’ve built on them. That's why with my social media agency clients (and throughout my career) I have always advised an integrated, multi-channel approach.
Here are some tips and thoughts on spreading your social media following.
Spread Your Social Media Following
It’s totally normal to have one network out-perform the others, whether you're an influencer or a brand. And if you do well on one, then I do think it’s valuable to concentrate on it in order to generate the best results. At the same time, I also fully support quitting a social media network if you're seeing zero return from it.
With all that in mind, I do always suggest to spread your following across more than one network. Why? Well, let’s take the example of Instagram shutting down for 10+ hours. If that is the ONLY network you have, well, you were put in a tough spot without being able to post or interact.
I suggest having a presence on multiple social media networks, so that you can spread your social media following. I also recommend cross-promoting between each network so you can gain an audience across each of the networks you use (and it’s also a handy tactic to fill in content gaps). If one goes down, you can go to another. The problem is that the two biggest ones (Instagram and Facebook) are owned by Facebook – so both went down. So when choosing which networks to be active on, perhaps take who owns which ones into consideration as well.
When things went awry on Instagram and Facebook, I took to my favorite network – Twitter – to keep in touch with my audience. I was a little more active on there than usual, since everyone seemed to be checking in on what was happening there.
Build Your Email List
My second suggestion for spreading your following is to build your email list.
It’s crazy how many people have huge followings and no email list. Remember that if any network shuts down tomorrow, all your followers on that platform are gone too.
Build up that email list so you still have a connection to people who are fans of your work.
So Instagram Is Down, Now What?
We were flooded with questions about Instagram and Facebook being down. Some influencers thought it was only their accounts, and I thought to myself “wow, you really don’t know there was an outage?’.
This just goes to show that so many people are putting all their eggs into one basket - they didn’t even think to check on other networks to see what was happening. The big networks also provide outrage information which they keep up to date on what’s happening.
When a network goes down you:
- Check if it’s just you or everyone. There are websites that track when networks go down, and even a Google search can help you get answers.
- Take it as a hint to take some time off social OR
- Get to work on another social media network (like my earlier example of increasing my Twitter activity for the day)
At the end of the day, a big social media following, or a huge email list, doesn’t actually build your business. As we experienced earlier this week, social media networks can go away tomorrow, and people can unsubscribe from your list. All you can do is try to use these tools in the best way possible.
There is no single path to success, everyone’s process is different - every brand who uses social media will be different, with different strategies and tactics for each one.
Moral of this story - try not to put all your social media eggs in one basket.
A version of this post was first published on the Dhariana Lozano's blog.