Social platforms owned by Mark Zuckerbeg, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp were all experiencing cloud glitches. This disabled users from uploading images, videos and viewing posts.

My friend who sells bags online had a mild anxiety attack yesterday; a lot of her customers couldn’t complete their purchases online. She called me and together we found out the issue wasn’t specific to her.

According to DownDetector, issues first started cropping up on Facebook at around 8am and continued for the rest of the day. This wasn’t comforting news as my friend lost about N50,000 yesterday alone.

Twitter was the only big platform standing yesterday.  Facebook and Instagram both took to their twitter accounts to release a statement to apologise and reassure their users that there are working to fix the issues as soon as possible.

The irony of them using twitter though…

This week’s crash is just the latest in what has become a near semi-frequent occurrence of outages, the first occurred back in March in an incident that Facebook later blamed on “a server configuration change.”

This begs the question; ‘What if it had been a complete shut down?’ What impact would this have to your brand?

This is one for concern and cause for preventative action, especially now that social media is no longer serving a singular ‘social’ purpose. Brands have built and are still building online.  A lot of brand focus has been channeled to creating targeted communities, generating content to serve these audiences and of course convert leads to profit.

Digitization has come to stay but as a business owner, you can’t rely solely on social media. The efficacy of these online platforms in terms of media relations, viral publicity, reach, awareness and sales cannot be over emphasized. But a very important conversation we should be having is what happens when these apps go away? Will your business still stand? How much would you lose as a business owner if these apps shut down unexpectedly?

One key way to build online is to have a website. This is not privately owned and the chance of it shutting down without warning is quite slim. Another key way to establish is email marketing, having the details of your customers so that if these apps shut down you still have the data of your customers and you can still reach them.

In as much as we’re building and reaping the profits of social networks, we need to pay adequate attention to our offline stores and marketing. Social media will be part of our lives for a long time to come, but the assurance that a particular app might stay that long is unlikely. Don’t put all your business eggs in one basket because what would you do if it shuts down today?

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