Last week, many of us experienced the most epic meltdown of Facebook and Instagram we have ever seen.  Not-so-affectionately known as #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown, it was a long day for people like me who manage multiple client accounts for social media.  But when the dust settled, there was an important lesson you were meant to learn about your business from one of the longest, most extensive outages Facebook users have witnessed.

If you are a small business owner using Facebook or Instagram to market your business, I want to ask you a question. How much of a problem did this create for your business?

This is a chance to take an honest look at your marketing.  It’s time to self-evaluate your existing marketing strategy.  However dependent you were on Facebook and Instagram the day it went down may be a clue to how strong your overall marketing plan is.  If you could pick one of these three categories for you rate yourself, which would it be?

Category 1: “No problem! I don’t market my business anywhere.” 

If this is you, this is an issue.  It’s great that you were unaffected by the technical issues on Facebook and Instagram.  You certainly don’t have to be marketing your business on those platforms.  In fact, there are plenty of other places you can market your business.

However, if you want sales, you have to market.  This is not an expendable facet of your business that you can just stop doing whenever you feel like you have enough business coming in, or you get too busy, or you think you don’t have enough money to market.

Marketing is very simply telling your target market about your business.  If you’re not marketing, you’re killing your business.

If you’re not marketing, you’re killing your business. #smallbusiness #smallbiz #entrepreneur #biztips #business #marketing #smb Click To Tweet

Category 2: “Huge problem! I have no other way to reach my audience!”

Maybe you’re doing a lot of marketing, but it’s ALL on Facebook or Instagram.  If you felt this way when Facebook and Instagram were down, this tells you that all of your eggs are in one basket.

Perhaps you’re reading this and you aren’t on either platform, but you are still marketing your business in only one place.  I encourage you to start thinking about how to build a presence in other forums.

There truly are a lot of ways to market a business.  That said, there is no one way that you can guarantee will be viable and profitable for the entirety of your business.  Do what works for you right now, but I urge you to give yourself more security and start expanding where you market.

Give yourself more security and start expanding where you market. #business #smallbusiness #smallbiz #smb #biztips #marketing #entrepreneur Click To Tweet

Category 3: “No sweat! I am marketing in other places, too!”

If this is you, I appreciate what you have built.  This outage should be – to some extent – an affirmation for you.

Yes, you might have been inconvenienced by the Facebook and Instagram glitches, but you dusted yourself off and marketed somewhere else for the day.  I want you to know that you are doing great work.

There are all kinds of ways to market: popular networking events, farmers markets and trade shows, showing off your branding, building referrals, social media, podcast interviews, directory features, newsletters, speaking.  The list goes on and on.  However, no matter how robust your preferred marketing solutions may seem, any of them could go away permanently.  Any of them could be glitchy for a day or a week.  You don’t own them, you don’t control them.

No matter how robust your preferred marketing solutions may seem, any of them could go away permanently. #business #smallbusiness #smallbiz #smb Click To Tweet

So, if you can’t ensure that your platforms of choice will be around forever, you don’t want to be powerless if they stop functioning.  By diversifying your marketing methods, you give yourself many different ways to reach your audiences.  When one system stops working for you, you will be able to pivot.  You will be nimble.

You will still be in business.

#FacebookDown and #InstagramDown may have been a wake-up call or an affirmation depending on where you are right now in your marketing strategy.  If these aren’t places you are marketing anyway, I am asking you to use this opportunity to look at this concept for what you ARE doing.  There is no time like the present to take stock of your marketing strategy and ensure that you are not creating unnecessary risk to your business.

You work too hard in your business to let someone else’s business take you down without a fight!

Need more convincing?  Check out one of my favorite Marketing Tips of the Week on how multichannel marketing improves your sales and brand strength!