Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all recently experienced a configuration change, some say, the complete wiping of important IP address information that shows someone sitting on the other end of their smart phone or computer where to land on these social platforms. There’s plenty of speculation going around as to what actually caused the 7 hours of downtime, and Zuckerberg’s $4.4 billion loss as Facebook’s stock plummeted. Regardless of what caused one of the largest social media platforms on the planet to go silent, one fact is starkly clear. It’s time to own your own brand and become platform agnostic in an age of digital change.
Some speculate that Facebook’s DNS servers went down due to a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. Others think it was a coordinated attack due to the Facebook whistleblower testimony coming out, and Ceslo Martinho and Tom Strickx of Cloudflare said that BGP routes were withdrawn from the internet. This means that Facebook had essentially disconnected itself from the Internet. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that connect to Facebook went down with the ship. This includes services like AT&T, T-Mobile, and others. Some claim that hackers also now have access to personal information of 1.5 billion Facebook users that was easily accessed while Facebook was down.
Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that connect to Facebook went down with the ship. This includes services like AT&T, T-Mobile, and others. Some claim that hackers also now have access to personal information of 1.5 billion Facebook users that was easily accessed while Facebook was down.
It’s more important than ever to be platform agnostic when it comes to posting digital assets like copy, photos, video, or audiograms. Maybe your brand didn’t lose $4.4 billion with the recent outage, but if you rely on Facebook content, or Facebook ads, or Instagram stories solely - truly any platform as your only source of website traffic and brand awareness, then you’re missing out on some freedom of brand expression and certainly some important revenue. For Facebook, the downtime cost them in excess of $60 million, outside of Zuckerberg’s personal loss of wealth.
Being able to post your assets ANYWHERE at any time, including on your own website, and in your own company newsletters and emails is absolutely vital to weathering cyberwar, or simple tech reconfigurations. (Posting on your own site and building your own distribution lists being the ideal which we’ll explain more about momentarily.)
The losses don’t end with Facebook. Many small businesses and companies had the equivalent of Texas’ February snowmageddon yesterday. Boutiques, eBusinesses and other entrepreneurs couldn’t communicate with clients, schedule appointments, or even take payments for their products, let alone promote their services and brands.
While digital advertising and communication are still the backbone of much of global commerce, it’s more important than ever to own your own brand, truly connect with your customers on multiple platforms, and as much as possible, become sovereign in your brand ownership.
If one social platform goes out, there are a myriad others that you can still communicate your message, connect with your audience, and continue with business as usual.
As long as you rely on any social platform as the sole space of meaningful conversation with your audience, then you risk losing communication and engagement fully. Do you even know all the people who consistently engage with you on different platforms? Have you gotten their email information or phone numbers so that you can communicate with them directly via email or SMS messaging? Can you send them direct information in the form of redirection to your website or via a newsletter so that you can share videos, latest product developments, or service enhancements that your brand is offering?
What we can all learn from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApps’s recent outage is that our connections with the world and our favorite customers should never be based solely on social posting.
Posting on multiple platforms, and creating your own database of customers and communicating on multiple platforms will keep your business up and running even when the biggest social platforms in the world are down.
DDoS attacks are becoming more frequent and hacker skills are always improving. In the past year alone, DDoS attacks have increased by 55% and are becoming more complex, which is why there is likely so much confusion about what caused Facebook to stay down for so long. Many DDoS attacks go after multiple vectors, and use multiple hackers simultaneously, so there’s every likelihood that another large social platform will experience downtime again in the near future.
Your best bet is to hedge your bets, and own your brand instead of giving your power away to any one social outlet and post on all of them.
Ready to create some great content to share directly with your tribe? Start here.