Social media disruptions, need for online presence for small business

Recall last year, on October 4, 2021, when the social media platform Facebook and its subsidiaries, Instagram and Whatsapp faced an outage that rendered it globally unavailable for a period of six to seven hours.

A large percentage of people blamed their internet service provider, while others revealed that they felt their data subscription had expired, prompting them to renew their internet subscription, but still couldn’t. not access these social media platforms.

Soon they realized that the problem was not a faulty internet connection or a terminated data subscription, but rather the fact that these social media platforms were down due to an internal technical issue. Despite the fact that users and business owners on these platforms had to switch to other available platforms, the consequences of the outage were quite significant.

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Many were prevented from interacting with family and friends, while the majority of those affected were small business owners who rely solely on these platforms to run their business, as well as connect with customers while they faced an unexpected financial blow.

Some of these businesses experienced a drop in engagement and traffic, while others saw their sales plummet in direct correlation to the disruption of their social media channels due to the unexpected outage.

Once the outage was resolved, it sparked an open conversation for businesses, especially small businesses subject to the operation of these social media platforms, without other solid foundation, about the need to own a business website.

Since the outage, many small businesses have started expanding their presence on other platforms. There is no denying that these social media platforms have been phenomenal in the operation of businesses.

Through it, companies can access resources, increase their value, cultivate strategic partnerships and increase their contacts with customers and suppliers. However, overreliance on it can put them in a vulnerable position in the event of an unforeseen outage.

Imagine a scenario where all social media platforms are shut down for a week or a month, this automatically means that most businesses, especially small businesses without a website, will cease to exist. This is why small businesses are advised to own a website that cannot be affected by a social media outage.

Additionally, early last month, Twitter experienced an outage that disrupted services for millions of its users. The microblogging platform attributed the outage to “problems with internal systems”, but did not provide further details. He also had a similar problem in February this year, which lasted almost an hour. Although outages on these social media platforms rarely happen, small businesses should plan on owning a business website.

The need for small businesses to have a website

There is a strong need for small businesses to own a website because even when social media goes down, customers can still access the business through their website.

Many people have described businesses that rely solely on social media platforms as “building on rented space.” This implies that they don’t have full ownership of the platform they’re building on, and it can easily be taken away from them by the true owners, leaving them to start from scratch.

Social media has the ability to help businesses succeed and achieve tremendous reach, but many businesses make the mistake of using it as their digital home, thereby downplaying the value and importance of a website.

The Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp outage that happened last year in October should be a wake-up call for small businesses. We live in a world of uncertainty where anything can happen at any time.

Business owners who don’t have a business website have to wonder if social media was down for a week or a month, would their business continue to operate.

A business must have a home for it, which is a website, not a social media page. By creating a website, they have the advantage of having a digital space of their own that cannot be affected by any social media blackouts as customers/customers can always reach them on their website.

Additionally, having a business website gives business owners the autonomy to post whatever content they want, unlike social media platforms, where content can violate policies, which can result in the suspension or deletion of the business page. A business that relies solely on social media robs its owners of many nights of sleep because the unexpected can happen at any time.

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