Community managers everywhere undoubtedly panicked a bit when Facebook suffered a partial outage last week. The outage that prevented at least some users from posting, receiving notifications and ‘liking’ content on both the desktop and mobile versions of the site, also prevented scheduled posts from going live. Social media critics teased that it meant users were forced to go outside and interact with others, but what it actually meant was missed engagement opportunities for brands. So, what is a community manager to do when his or her social sites go down? First, don’t panic! Next, keep the following steps in mind.
Save your editorial calendar.
Planning out posts not only saves you time and makes legal approval much easier, it also gives you something to fall back on if something goes wrong. Rather than scrambling to remember what post was supposed to go up at 9 am, or trying to come up with something to replace it, having your calendar to refer to will help you replace and repost messages when the fail whale shows his face.
Keep track of what did and didn’t go live.
Timelines are absolutely your friend when it comes to keeping track of what did and didn’t successfully post. In the case of this last Facebook outage, users were only alerted that their posts weren’t successful if they tried to do them in real time, or used a third-party social client. There weren’t any error messages that appeared for posts that were already scheduled. Don’t rely on getting email alerts. Instead, refer to your handy editorial calendar, and keep an eye on your timelines to see whether a post was successful or not.
Keep an eye on post visibility.
Even if your post manages to get through, it doesn’t mean that your job is over. Thanks to Facebook’s Boost Post feature, brand managers get a glimpse at how many people ‘saw’ a given post. By referring to this number, you can gauge how many people saw your post versus how many people saw your previous posts. If the visibility was far less than normal, you might want to consider deleting and reposting the post in question…after the technical problems are over.
When the fail whale has disappeared, repost.
When the technical problems have ceased, and everything at least seems to have returned to normal, refer back to your editorial calendar and reschedule your missed posts as well as you can.
Find more social media marketing tips by checking out our previous posts and guides.