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Never waste a crisis – what brands can learn from the Facebook Group app glitch

On Monday, social network superpower, Facebook and its family of apps suffered a glitch. Globally, their Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp and the eponymous app itself froze for users in both business and personal spaces leaving many to scramble. While it brought into question, the reliance on the Facebook ecosystem, one is left to wonder about the diversity of the platforms we use. In the Jamaican context, with the data protection act passed, here’s what brands can do the next time social media platforms fail.

  1. Own your customer database – at every touchpoint of your customer journey, provide so much value that it leaves fans and skeptics wanting or interested in learning more. Remember that not every conversion will be a sale, use it as a way to educate and inform. Here’s where your lead sheets are important. Every post that you make must understand the assignment, that is, to generate some sort of feedback that delights users when you post, the reward is leads and data. Ask users to sign up for a call-back, a newsletter, a free consultation, showcase how your service/product solves a problem that they now have. Use it to build your sms/email marketing capabilities for instant communication with fans.
  2. Have an alternate content and comms plan ready – think back to 2013, when Oreo delivered the viral ‘dunk in the dark’ Superbowl tweet, it was all they needed to win the BIG game online. Recall that a power outage lasting 34 minutes occurred at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome leaving tv viewers at home confused, Oreo capitalized on this with a dimly lit Oreo cookie with the phrase “you can still dunk in the dark”. In the Caribbean context, push your digital and social media teams to be ready with a crisis comms plan for social media inclusive of content to post with fast approval. Ensure they are smart, relevant, ever-green ready for distribution via SMS, email and other social channels.
  3. Have a mobile-friendly website and chatbot enabled – when social media glitches happen, and they will, always ensure that your owned digital real estate, i.e. website, is ready to serve customers. After you’ve posted online via sms/email and grabbed their attention with your at-the-draw content, the next thing you want to do is bring them back to your website. What relevant offer do you have during this crisis that can help both your business and your consumer feel a sense of normalcy? Think very creatively here.
  4. Diversify your channels using Telegram, iMessage, Google Meet and Signal – After you’ve given your audience a great offer to view and sample, ask them to join the party! It would be the perfect time to build engagement around your brand in a user group chatting about what they’d do if they had the other platforms available. Here’s where you start to build community groups like a telegram channel. Use the crisis to open more avenues for communication so that your customers aren’t left out of the conversation when it comes to what you solve for them. In addition, corporate groups that utilise WhatsApp can use these as alternatives to their work chat groups.

There you have it; four (4) simple ways to ensure your business stays ready no matter what crisis happens online. You can’t avoid it but you can plan for it.