Most businesses and individuals in Namibia and all parts of the world experienced a significant disruption last night because Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were down.
What did we poor humans do before the advent of Mark Zuckerberg’s collegiate brainstorm? Let’s see, we smiled when we “liked” something, we dialed the phone to “update” friends and “tagging” was a kids’ game. Last night, things were different; if there is one lesson we have learned is that most businesses do not know how to reach out to their customers in the absence of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Social media for business is no longer optional; it’s an essential way to reach your customers, gain valuable insights, and grow your brand. While previous outages only affected some geographical areas, the platforms are down worldwide last night.
It’s as if the world has crumbled down and nothing seemed to have been going on. Work emails are outdated. Instead, WhatsApp groups take charge of deadlines. Tender documents are shared via WhatsApp. Information on shows and events too; whether we have LinkedIn or Twitter on our phone or not, there’s no way we can survive without the peep of all apps – WhatsApp.
Entrepreneurs in Namibia for example felt empowered and excited when they shared important products and services with customers but yesterday’s outage proved to be a huge blow to social media marketing. No one was able to post a business flyer of their products on WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram stories.
Even though WhatsApp groups can be quite irritating, you cannot deny that it connects businesses with prospects faster and in a way that allows for open dialogues. The biggest impact of Facebook and WhatsApp is that it broke us out of e-mail jail.
We can’t stress enough how much we need these social networking sites actively up and running. Reports suggest that Facebook is yet to make a public statement on the ongoing outrages. At the heart of this business, boom is a service that over the past decade has revolutionized and expanded for better or for worse the way humans interact.
Last night’s experience is proof that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users aren’t too concerned with the sociological ramifications of a shift in human communication. They’re just glad they can keep friends and clients posted on what’s new.
Our biggest question is: do you have customers in real life, customers you share with, customers you call, sms, meet and talk? How would the exit of social platforms affect your business, your life?