Lancashire PR boss says firms must learn lessons from Facebook outage

A Lancashire PR agency boss said businesses can learn a lesson from when Facebook’s entire ecosystem went down on Monday, taking Instagram and WhatsApp with it and leaving millions of advertisers in limbo.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 3:26 pm

Lee Petts, founder of PR and marketing agency Fifty2M, said it should serve as a warning to those relying on those channels for sales and leads.

He said: "Businesses increasingly turn to Facebook' s platforms to find and connect with customers using paid advertising because it works and is affordable. However, the events of the past 24 hours show that even a tech giant like Facebook isn't immune to the risk of outages.

"The episode contains two lessons for businesses: firstly, it's important to diversify your digital marketing so you don't get caught out when one platform goes down. Consider utilising other social media channels combined with search engine ads, website retargeting and display network ads, email and SMS - this sort of full-spectrum approach will balance your risks.

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Lee Petts of Fifty 2M

"Secondly, don't rely so much on just digital. Build-in an offline component to your promotional communications, including things like public relations, leaflet drops and direct mail, networking, exhibitions and outdoor advertising - it says a lot that even Google runs billboard ads to promote its search engine, despite its dominance with an 87.7 per cent share of the market."

According to Statista, Facebook's UK advertising revenue had topped over £1bn a year by 2019, highlighting the platform's popularity among businesses using it to tap its huge user audience.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that total UK digital spend reached more than £15bn that year, an increase of around 15 per cent on 2018. This equates to some 60 per cent of total UK advertising spend, showing that digital media now outstrips traditional forms of advertising.

Lee added: "Businesses should always be wary of having too many of their promotional eggs in any one basket, it's much better to avoid over-reliance on a particular channel and to use a mix instead."

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