On Monday, Facebook’s entire family of apps and products (including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp & Oculus) were down for about six hours.
This impact wasn’t just felt by users wanting to get the latest updates from their friends – it affected advertisers on a global scale. It halted major ad campaigns and impacted the stock market too.
Facebook Outages and Daily Pacing
For businesses across the world, digital advertising has long surpassed traditional marketing. Facebook specifically has become a primary engine for meeting advertising objectives across many industries and verticals. When part of a balanced media plan, Facebook is an effective tool in reaching consumers at various points in their journey. If, however, you become overly reliant on Facebook and its family of apps, days like Monday can be a real problem. It may not seem like a big deal but losing half of a day on your primary advertising channel could have your business playing catch-up the rest of the month, during one of the busiest quarters for many key industries.
It’s important when you have outages to remember that not only is the advertiser trying to play catch-up, so is Facebook. If Facebook goes down for half of the day again, and you’re using daily bidding strategies, then Facebook will have less time to hit your goals. This truncated spend period will often result in lower efficiencies, especially if your campaigns are in learning. It is important to keep an especially close eye on any Facebook advertising as it goes from ‘dark’ to ramp back up.”– Maria Aumaitre, Digital Media Lead, Chacka Marketing
It is for this very reason that we at Chacka Marketing encourage diversified media planning that deploys Facebook strategically within an overall full-funnel approach to digital marketing.
Chacka Marketing Vice President of Operations said, “Facebook Inc’s. outage reinforces why businesses shouldn’t depend on a singular channel to ‘get the job done.’ The majority of our clients (and savvy advertisers) leverage a healthy mix of social, search, and native. This not only helps in these rare instances but widens their reach to go after their ideal audience no matter where they are in their digital journey.”
Facebook Outages Impact More Than Just Facebook
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp may have been the only sites to get headlines during the outage, but if you utilize Facebook tracking, then your site may have similarly been impacted.
Facebook tracks performance through their pixels that are placed on a website. This can be done either through hardcoding the pixels on the site itself or by being placed inside of a container (such as Google Tag Manager or Adobe Tag Manager).
Some sites, and 3rd party tracking partners, who had Facebook’s tracking integrated on their site, directly experienced slow load times, or even page crashes due to the issues Facebook was experiencing. For those sites, the only way to fix this was to (1) involve a developer who could adjust the pixels from the site, in any and all places that they were setup. This can be time intensive and is prone to potential omissions.
Or, (2) utilize a tag management tool, especially in situations where you need to react fast. With tag management tools like Google Tag Manager or Adobe Tag Manager, you’re able to quickly pause and activate pixels from firing.
Monday’s Facebook outage taught us a few important lessons. Most importantly, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your digital marketing efforts. Diversification is key to reaching consumers throughout their journey.
Second, and not to be overlooked, is that an outage on a platform can also cause underlying issues to your site through their designated tracking. Therefore, it’s recommended to set up your tracking in way that you can easily, and quickly, react to pausing and activating, if underlying issues like these occur.
Maria Aumaitre, Chacka Marketing Digital Media Lead concluded by explaining, “Moving forward, smart advertisers will use this small setback to prepare themselves for success in the future, and protect themselves against any further disruptions that Facebook may encounter.”