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Instagram And Facebook Outage Cost Small Businesses Big Time

Instagram And Facebook Outage Cost Small Businesses Big Time
Written by publishing team

Jewelry designer Alex Rankin sells 25 handmade rings on a busy day via her Instagram store, earning her just over $150. On Monday, with the social media giant out for hours, it sold zero.

“It was horrible,” Rankin told BuzzFeed News.

From sponsored posts to the Instagram storefront, the various tools built into Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are now built into the business plans and budgets of even the smallest of organizations. Small business owners were at the mercy of Facebook on Monday after a break of more than six hours that left some with no way to generate revenue or speak with customers. And after losing sales, business owners told BuzzFeed News that it made them question the reliability of Facebook’s products.

“Without social media, I had no work,” said 19-year-old Rankin. “It’s how I advertise my rings and how I get orders for rings, how do I get my page there.”

Since launching on Instagram two months ago, her business, Crafted by Alex, relies entirely on the platform, but the outage has prompted Rankin to launch a long-term strategy.

“I plan to have my own website soon so people can order it,” Rankin said. “I can’t control Instagram.”

The impact of the outage on companies using Facebook products has yet to be determined, but initial estimates of the cost to the social media giant put the losses at around $100 million.

In response to the impact of the outage on business owners, Facebook, which owns Instagram, issued an apology, but did not make any clear commitments on how it plans to compensate for losses and mitigate any future mishaps.

“To everyone affected by the outage on our platforms today: We are sorry,” a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “We know that billions of people and businesses around the world depend on our products and services to stay connected. We appreciate your patience when we get back online.”

Daisy Miller, the owner of a Sacramento-based holistic wellness center, described the “strange” moment she noticed she was unable to use her Instagram business account.

“I realized how dependent we as small business owners are on connecting with our customers through Instagram,” Miller said.

Over the past three years, the platform has contributed significantly to the growth of its business, which includes yoga, nutritional counseling, and holistic beauty.

“Instagram is basically the way I run my entire business, and I would say 95% to 99% of my clients reach out to me for the first time on Instagram,” said the 23-year-old.

She believes the outage has cost her hundreds of dollars’ worth of appointments and leads. It was also a sober reminder that her business lacks independence from social media and the content creation mill that has grown her following.

“It made me realize I needed to do more, and so it really motivated me to finish building a website, and I thought I would start a newsletter where people would give me their emails, even if they were,” Miller said.

That’s exactly the advice Jes Sims, co-founder of Doers, a brand marketing agency, gave to her clients emphasizing the power outages.

“We always recommend working with channels owned by your brand, so things like your website and email database,” Sims said. “They are people you can always count on being there, and you have complete control over them.”

Even social media managers and digital marketers have found themselves the target of memes as they strive to respond to the outage.

Sims encouraged customers to turn to Twitter to join the broader conversation, even for brands that aren’t used to using the microblogging platform for anything other than customer service.

“Last night was a case of searching for them to see if there are any opportunities for them to respond to things or have a little brand banter with someone else about the outage or something that could raise their awareness on the other channel,” she said.

However, this is much more difficult for a small business. Hamda Issa-Salwi, who runs Somali tea brand Ayeeyo’s Blends in the UK, told BuzzFeed News she kept calm and moved her planned content from Instagram to the company’s Twitter page – but couldn’t reach the same audience.

“The following is a 1 to 7 ratio from Twitter to Instagram. It is seven times bigger on Instagram,” she said.

Issa Salwa said the outage made her consider a contingency plan for ways to diversify the company’s reach.

“I think, How many emails do we have? How many people have we signed up for?Issa Salwa said. “In case we want to launch something like a newsletter in the future.”

When the outage happened, David Manchury, co-founder and COO of Allyoop, a beauty and body products company that first launched on Instagram, said, “I like, Thank God we are diverse.

Instead, the company sent an “Instagram might be down, but our site isn’t” a promo code message via SMS and email to customers.

However, the company still felt declining; Sales are down about 10%, Manshouri said.

“It proves the point that you cannot control everything, and it is good to grow a business on several legs instead of one,” he said.

And other small businesses are quickly learning this lesson. Although the blackout affected the UK in the evening, Issa Salwa said that is when most of her sales take place.

She said, “I’ve noticed quite a drop in sales, but interestingly enough, now that it’s back online today, we saw a slight uptick in sales earlier in the day.”

her doubt? People were making up for lost time, spending Tuesdays on Instagram “to make up for everything they didn’t see yesterday.”

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