Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are Down Today. Here’s What I Learned about Creatives on Social Media
The Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp outage on October 4th led to a significant digital Panic. People worldwide were left scrambling to communicate with their followers on social media through different platforms. I hopped onto Clubhouse to talk with hundreds of peers about this issue and learned that there is a lot of pressure on creatives to show up online–especially if you’re an entrepreneur or photographer.
Many creatives work hard and over 12 hours each day to post something new and keep up with trends! Keep reading for three tips and tricks we gathered from our discussions: how you can still connect with your followers when Facebook shuts down, what else you can do in the meantime, and why this is not sustainable long-term.
When I saw Facebook and all the apps it owns were down, I wasn’t worried. Instagram crashing isn’t the first nor last time it happened, but more importantly, I don’t put all my eggs all in one basket. As much as I love showing the behind-the-scenes, I wasn’t worried that Instagram was down. I have 13k followers on Tiktok, my website has a decent amount of traffic, and not everyone uses Facebook or Instagram. So when Facebook wasn’t working, I knew I still will continue to get inquiries. I want to share with you some ideas so the next time everything crashes, you won’t have to be panicking. In fact, I was motivated when Facebook crashed, because just like my belief in photography, having limitations generally forces you to be creative. When Facebook went down I immediately came up with creative methods for reaching clients.
For those that do not have a backup plan or depend solely on one platform for all your work, with love, I hope this is a wake-up call.
Social media is not just for creative professionals but also influencers or people working towards their dreams online. I won’t deny it; I spend a lot of time, probably more than you think, creating content for social media every week. However, It doesn’t matter how much time you spend creating quality work; social media can go down any day.
So, I spent the day on Clubhouse while editing, talking with hundreds of people about what they learned from this experience and how it made them feel. I was a bit disappointed. Many people were shitting on photographers and influencers that solely depended on social media. They were mocking them by yelling in a whiny voice, “Oh no, Instagram is down. Now I have to get a real job.” I want to be clear, being consistent, showing up to social media every day, and staying up to date with trends is not a joke; it is a job, and it is pretty damn hard.
My belief is this: “Creatives are entrepreneurs too.” You have to keep that in mind–you aren’t just another Instagrammer or Facebooker posting necessarily for fun anymore! It’s a business.
But if you treat your social media accounts as a frontline for your business, how do you go about best communicating with your audience even when the app is down. So what did people do? Here are three tips I gathered from our conversations:
1. Use other apps to keep in contact with your audience
Facebook and Instagram are not the only social media platform out there! You can use Twitter, Tiktok, or even text messaging campaigns.
I love Tiktok because I get to connect with people that don’t necessarily use Facebook or Instagram. And guess what? You can even message people on there!
Don’t forget about Twitter either; it’s a great way to keep in touch with your followers and catch up when you’re not posting. Most people don’t know this, but if you created a masterpiece of a tweet, then you can upload it directly to Instagram stories, you know, once it’s back up 😉
Another great app is text messaging campaigns! You can send exclusive offers and updates through these, which means people need to sign up for them before getting the information. I love this method because you won’t lose followers or contacts–people will be excited when they hear from you. Of course, they can always unsubscribe. I have personally been thinking of creating several text campaigns for encouragement and blogs for other photographers.
2. Create a website
Many people don’t know this, but building your website can be super easy and doesn’t take much time starting. On the flip side, I spend hours a week updating my website as well as blogging. I’ll explain the two approaches: “Quick and Dirty” vs. the “Real Deal.”
The quick and dirty method can be as simple as using a template. You don’t need to code anything; you just play around with it! I recommend Wix or Squarespace since they are very easy to use but still allow for creativity. Once you have your website up, make sure people know about it. Post a link on your social media channels and make sure you have the Internet connection symbol as one of your profile pictures–the more people that know about your site, the better!
The real deal is coding from scratch. I’m not going to lie, this takes some time, but if you are serious about growing an audience online, this is the way to go. If you plan on having a website in the future, I recommend using HTML and CSS courses online–there are hundreds of free ones!
Whichever method you choose, the beautiful aspect of your website is you own it. There are no rules, and you can do what you want when you want! You can create private pages for your clients or galleries that only people with the password can see.
The bottom line is to get yourself online–it’s time-consuming, but it does pay off in the long run.
3. Be creative!
In the end, social media is a medium to connect with people. If you need it for work or want to stay in contact–that’s fine too!–but don’t let that be the only thing keeping you going!
Take this time off from posting and put your creativity into something else: write a blog post, create a YouTube video, or even draw something! I know that when Instagram goes down, it gives me the motivation to work on my other creative projects.
“This is your time off from social media, use the opportunity and keep working towards yourself!” -Leo.
Learn what you can do in the meantime with Clubhouse
Clubhouse is impressive; I am listening to friends chat as I am wrapping up this blog. Clubhouse is also quite powerful, as it is a multi-purpose application. You can learn nearly anything on it and make real connections! It is almost like going to a conference to network or catching up with friends over dinner, all without leaving your home!
Clubhouse works by allowing users to connect and share information using only audio! It enables users to participate with others who are also learning similar topics. I used Clubhouse every day during covid times. All I did was open the app while editing, and I met amazing people and made friends organically! It allows you to hear genuine thoughts from real people. It isn’t like Instagram, where you typically show the best of life. You get to hear REAL views, ideas, and opinions. You can learn so much from others, and Clubhouse is a place to connect with like-minded people who share the same passion as you do!
Because of this, I have been inspired to write a book, start blogging, and be more creative with my work. The app is straightforward to navigate, and you can check it out here.
Understanding the Power of Social Media
I hope this helps you all understand the power of social media for your business and how you can use this time off to your advantage! It is also important not to get lost in it.
Social media is a tool, and just like any other, it can be used or misused. Because we have social needs, we can be our own worst enemy by allowing social media to take over.
Social media is not life; it’s a tool. Don’t be afraid to take time off from posting and put your creativity into something else. Once Instagram is back up, feel free to stop by and check ours behind the scenes!