The Day The Tweets Fell Silent: 3 Lessons Learned from a Twitter Crash

The Twitter crash of June 21, 2012 left a lot of people without their favorite social network of choice.  Were you one of them?  I’ve heard a few people joking that productivity must have spiked yesterday during Twitter’s downtime.  Either that, or it went down further as people checked over and over to see if the system was back up.

While the techie types and the hackers alike battle over who or what caused the massive outage, there are a number of takeaways from the outage.  Here are three:

#1 – Use Multiple Platforms

There are a number of highly popular social media platforms.  Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.  There are few absolutes in life, but here’s one that yesterday proved.  If you’ve found social media helpful in building your business, you should always have more than one platform. 

Yesterday’s Twitter crash showed this clearly.  If a social media platform goes down and it’s the only one you use, your ability to connect with your audience is silenced.

#2 – Establish a Company Blog or Website

Social media platforms are fantastic, cost effective tools to stay connected with your customers.  But they’re not the only way you should communicate with those interested in your brand.  Why?  

You don’t own social media services.  In most cases, the basic service itself is free.  This means service providers don’t have the same level of responsibility to you as when you have paid for a service like a WordPress site or e-mail hosting.  While Twitter and other services are usually stable, when they go down, you have no control and no recourse. 

If social media platforms disappeared overnight, what would happen to your ability to market? 

This is where a company website or blog comes into the picture.  As part of a total social marketing strategy, a company blog or website gives you a way to leverage relationship marketing in a manner you can control and own.  Visitors to your website can have the option to receive a free information product you create in exchange for signing up for your company newsletter or updates to your website with their e-mail address.  In no time at all you can build a rich e-mail list to market your products or services.  

#3 – If Your Productivity Changed, Hire a Pro

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people joking about how the Twitter crash on June 21 increased productivity.  Others are joking about how it decreased productivity since people were obsessed about checking Twitter every 5 minutes to see if it was working again.

Both extremes point to the reality that for most professionals, using Twitter themselves or planning Twitter strategies is not the most profitable use of their time. 

As a professional, you’ve no doubt heard that in your business, you should focus on your core strength and outsource the rest.  This applies to something as “simple” as those 140 character Tweets and how you use them in your marketing strategy, too. 

If during yesterday’s Twitter crash you found yourself more productive, it’s time to consider hiring a Twitter consultant and regain that level of efficiency on a daily basis.  

On the other hand – maybe you became less productive during the Twitter crash because you were checking Twitter every 5 minutes.  Having a Twitter consultant in this case would allow you to relax and get back work.  Your Twitter consultant could have monitored the situation and given you a call to update you when it was back online. 

The stability of most social media platforms and their apparent low cost make them a highly effective part of a total marketing strategy.  Planning ahead and having backup strategies in place in the event something goes down is just good sense.  

12 Comments

  1. Great tips on not having only one platform ! thanks for all this useful information

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  2. Those are three very powerful pointers Edmund; sometimes we need a time to have a pro do it for us.

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  3. Great tips on how not to put all of our social media eggs in one basket!  Thanks for sharing!  

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  4. Great article!  Absolutely important what you said about planning ahead and having back-up strategies.  Always great to be thinking ahead!  Thanks for the post!

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  5. Great tips, Edmund. It makes sense: Never have all your eggs in one basket. But if you do, make sure it is your OWN basket.
    Designer Rob Russo recently posted..TrustMy Profile

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  6. All excellent points, Edmund.  This is a point I hammer home in my social media presentation next week.  Many in my industry just use Facebook…and we both know why that isn't a good idea!  The point that you make regarding the fact that we don't own our social media channels is another critical point.  A blog is the most valuable piece of real estate a brand can have.  Thank you for sharing this.

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    • You’re gonna do amazing in your social media presentation next week. I just know it!

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  7. Great post, Edmund! Your blog should be the hub of your business and social media outlets should be the spokes — the supporting players. If you find you're spending more time on the spokes and not the hub you need to look at things closely to see where you gain that efficiency.

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    • Precisely! Great perspective Becky!

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