Down But Not Out: Making the Best of Outages

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Yesterday many unsuspecting users and business owners who went on Facebook with the intention of updating their statuses, posting comments, sending messages or post photos were faced with a rude awakening. Facebook was undergoing some network maintenance, causing errors for some users attempting to post on the site, with Facebook prompting them to “try back in a few minutes.”

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Service outages aren’t just limited to Facebook; we’ve seen similar situations with Network Solutions, Go Daddy and we’ve all become familiar with the Twitter Fail Whale by now. Each of these outages impacts your business to varying degrees. Though they may be out of your control, you can control how you respond to them! Turn these unfortunate situations around by following our advice below.

  • Be In the Know:

    You can’t react to a problem if you do not know that there is a problem in the first place. Regularly check your website to ensure that everything is working properly. Follow your hosting company on Twitter and other social platforms, and visit their pages whenever an issue arises to see what is causing the problem and how quickly it will be resolved. Being in the know will allow you to pass this knowledge along to your customers.

  • Have a Contingency Plan:

    Whether one of the platforms you use is having system issues or you are in Facebook’s place and your site is down, it is important to have a contingency plan in place. Draft a plan that will allow you to keep your customers informed and updated as the situation progresses. Incorporate the tips below and be sure that you educate your staff on your plan.

  • Leverage Other Platforms:

    One of the benefits of the digital age is the number of web-based platforms we have at our disposal. If one is down, another – or several others – can help pick up the slack. If your site is down, take to social media and send your customers an eblast to keep them in the loop. Email not working? Post something on your homepage and on your social platforms asking your customers to call your office with any concerns or queries. Yes, losing access to one of these tools isn’t ideal, but there are measures you can take that will greatly reduce the negative impact.

No one wants to hear that their website is down or that they don’t have access to their favorite social media platform, but there are steps that they can take to make the best of a bad situation. Drop by our Freebies section and download a recent presentation for SCORE on “Social Media & The Cloud: Disaster Preparedness For Small Businesses.” This will help you get started.

If you need further help creating a contingency plan, creating content in response to such situations, or simply keeping up with these outages, reach out to us. We’re here to help you.

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