Instagram has done it again! In a week they have not only removed likes as a public measurement tool (cue outrage…more on that later) but also purged itself by deleting over 30 meme accounts, totalling over 33 million followers!
It may seem ruthless of Instagram to hit the delete button so swiftly but it’s a timely reminder that we are only renting space on social media. Companies, like Instagram, can do what they please, highlighting why no business should invest in just one platform as the only way to communicate with clients.
This isn’t the first time social media has impacted businesses in this way, nor will it be the last. In March 2019 we saw Facebook, its messaging site and Instagram experience a global outage. At the same time Google’s Gmail crashed, ceasing email communications for its users who were sending attachments.
Picture this. You’ve built up your Instagram community over the years with strong content that has been generating engagement. You are connected to your followers, often swapping DMs (direct messages) and feeling a sense of pride when they share your post or tag a friend demonstrating that what you post is of value to them. And then you find your account is gone. No warning. Just gone.
Your creative development, time and means to connect with people across the world has vanished with no recourse, nor an opportunity to direct them to another place where you can still communicate and serve them the content they value.
Having an integrated strategy, where all of your marketing and communications work together to achieve your goals, is imperative. Social media is a highly useful tool in your arsenal, but just one of many, that should be used for communicating with your audience be it announcing a new event, offering advice or sharing information at time of crisis.
To create your integrated marketing communications strategy:
1. Establish a communications plan that directs traffic from your social platforms to landing pages where you can collect people’s information via a sign up form or analytics for retargeting
2. The use of private Facebook groups to host webinars and create communities is on the rise, but you have no control should changes occur such as to the algorithm or an outage. Consider hosting webinars on an external platform to social media or embedding these videos within a members only section of your website; both requiring the input of their email address to access the content
3. Secure your social media handles across multiple platforms, even if you are not currently active on them. Since the Great Meme Deletion of July 2019 former Instagram account holders have moved to Twitter to voice their outrage and begin rebuilding their social media presence.
Failing to put an integrated strategy in action exposes your business to risk. Using more than one channel to reach your audience ensures you will always be able to reach and communicate with your community.
Will you be prepared for the next social media outage, platform change or account cull?