What the Great Social Media Crash of 2019 Taught Us About Digital Marketing


*This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions represented here are my own.

If you grabbed your phone yesterday to check out the latest buzz on Instagram, Facebook, or several other social media platforms just to be greeted by a blank screen, you’re not alone.

Facebook took its own site as well several other Facebook-owned platforms down or partially down for maintenance yesterday morning with no warning and no details on when it might be up again. For obvious reasons, this was incredibly distressing for many influencers, advertisers, and business owners who have built their business on the services that Facebook and other platforms provide.

The downtime in social media platforms was more disastrous for some people than others. For the folks whose entire business is based solely on these platforms, they lost an entire day of sales, an entire day of advertising, an entire day stolen out of their workflow. Even worse, they had no idea throughout the day when they would be able to resume business.

The downtime no doubt affected other people who rely heavily on social media for their business, but still have a self-hosted website as the foundation of their business. As a virtual assistant, I moderate a handful of Facebook groups that funnel into course sales for bloggers in various niches. 

Fortunately,  these folks had the insight to build their businesses on self-hosted websites that they own and control completely rather than be dependent on social media platforms that can change and disappear at a moment’s notice. 

Don’t get me wrong, yesterday was hell on their businesses too! They lost the sales and traffic they generate from Facebook and Instagram in a given day and are still waiting to see the repercussions of how yesterday’s maintenance will affect their position in each platform’s algorithm. Still, because they have their own sites (with developed email lists!), people were still able to view their content online, find them through search engines, and most importantly, purchase their products.

In a digital world surrounded by influencers and Instagram models, it can be tempting to rely only on social media to build up your online presence. After all, websites require time and capital, and you can quickly amass a following and even make a profit just by using Instagram and Facebook.

But if yesterday’s social media blackout taught us anything, it’s that business built solely on social media platforms can come crashing down in the blink of an eye.

With a snap of their maintenance fingers, Facebook and their partners brought entire industries to a screeching halt, and there’s no way to know when it will happen again. 

This isn’t meant to read like a horror script – it’s just the reality of working with a platform that you don’t own and control. The same can be said for website builders like Wix and Squarespace that are easy to use but don’t allow you to own and control your website. Even if you don’t think you need the power and flexibility that comes with a self-hosted website, these platforms might pull your content or kill your traffic, or you might never have an issue with them. When you don’t own your platform, you just don’t know. You’re taking a gamble with your business.

If you’re serious about boosting your online presence, you should consider creating a self-hosted WordPress website as a home base for your business. 

When you’re ready to get started, I recommend Siteground to all of my clients for web hosting and Divi for WordPress Themes. You can read more about why I recommend Siteground and why I recommend Divi on the blog.

If you’re interested in having someone handle the heavy lifting for you, drop me a line and let’s see how we can work together to build a professional website that you control, period.