AI Image generated to show case Facebook outages

The ever-growing reliance on social media and digital platforms for communication, marketing, and customer engagement makes them critical tools for modern organizations. However, these platforms are not immune to disruptions and outages, which can cause significant reputational damage, financial loss, and operational challenges. This topic dives deep into the potential effects of social media and digital platform outages and explores strategies for organizations to build resilience and mitigate the associated risks.

This week’s blog article will delve into the simple processes that each organization can use to protect itself from such outages .

Understanding the Landscape of Outages:

“If you’re reading this post, that’s because our servers are working.”

That’s a tweet on X by Elon Musk on the Metas outage as of March 5, 2024.

Reuters reported that the 3.16 billion Meta platform experienced outages across different applications, with more than 550,000 reports of disruptions for Facebook and about 92,000 for Instagram, according to outage tracking website Downdetector.com, at the peak of the outage.

This issue completely resonates with earlier ideas that organizations, individuals, churches, and businesses need to quickly work on backup solutions that protect them from the now-common issue of outages across different platforms.

In Africa, the challenge of bringing players has been next to impossible due to what is seen as our own homegrown issues. For example, South Africa cannot seem to move on from their load-shedding issues; a huge blackout’s affecting large swathes of the country over long periods of hours that have sort of taken the country back to factory settings. In Nigeria, power issues remain a significant challenge, while in Kenya, recent heavy rain and wind exacerbated power problems, leaving many parts of the city without electricity for days. These challenges, combined with many other issues, have left the continent reeling with so-called bread and butter issues that are seen as the main issues, leaving out communication platform needs at the periphery, and hence we are left at the mercy of larger digital giants like Facebook and Google.

Many policymakers need to rethink our digital culture of dependence and create our own platforms that have long been ignored, as a matter of urgency!

The digital landscape is similar to a bustling marketplace, with social media and digital platforms serving as vibrant stalls.

Organizations use these platforms to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and conduct essential business functions. However, this reliance creates a critical vulnerability: outages. These disruptions, whether anticipated or unforeseen, can significantly impact organizations, highlighting the interconnected nature of the digital world.

Why outages?

There are many; the key ones, however, include:

1. Planned Maintenance: Platforms and service providers routinely undergo scheduled maintenance to upgrade systems, address security vulnerabilities, or implement new features. Planned outages, even when communicated in advance, can still disrupt normal operations, necessitating organizations to plan and adapt.

2. Technical Failures: Unforeseen technical glitches or hardware malfunctions can lead to unplanned outages. These disruptions can be short-lived or last for extended periods, posing significant challenges depending on the severity and platform involved.

3. Cyberattacks: Malicious actors may target social media platforms and digital service providers with cyberattacks, leading to outages and disruptions. Attackers can aim to disrupt operations, steal data, or cause reputational damage.

Diversifying Communication Channels: Building a Lifeline Beyond Social Media

  • Paper still works; data reigns supreme; whether printed or written, paper remains effective. Most of my articles have been online, but after losing my channel and a threat to close my Blogger account, I have now printed them out and look forward to having a book done.
  • Alternative channels and options: I post all of my articles on a variety of platforms, including: For blogging, Substack, WordPress, Medium, and Blogger are what I am currently using. This idea that only particular platforms work is more a perception than a reality. Youtube alternatives: Vimeo, Daily Motion, Dtube, Odysse , and TikTok
  • Social media is great, and the alternatives are many. I will work with as many as my scheduling platforms can support. One thing that has antagonized many people is the fact that all different platforms have different target audiences. True, but in essence, they require information and data to keep up with the audience. I use scheduling apps to keep my data across platforms: social bee 🐝 for my digital and social media clients and Metricool for personal use.
  • Email: A reliable and widely used channel for reaching out to customers, employees, and partners with updates or announcements.
  • Owned Websites: Websites serve as a central hub for information, allowing organizations to post updates and FAQs during outages, keeping stakeholders informed.
  • SMS (text messaging): SMS offers a direct and immediate way to reach stakeholders with concise updates during outages, particularly for critical information.
  • Phone Calls: Traditional phone calls may seem old-fashioned, but they remain a reliable option for reaching out to key contacts or providing personalized support during outages.

Communities grow by sharing; what are the alternatives to outages in your organizations? Let’s keep sharing. comment below.

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