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Why the Facebook Shutdown on Monday Matters & How You Can Make Your Business Shutdown-Proof

I know it is pretty common for Instagram to have issues, it feels like once every two months or so it’s not working, but this multi-app shutdown has given people in my industry and related industries a major wake up call. Facebook and Instagram are two major social media giants that a lot of people rely on for their income and other necessities both here and abroad. Don’t believe me? check out this article from the New York Times.

Because of this shutdown a lot of people were freaking out because it was a huge hit to small business owners who really only exist on social media. Many people like to use Instagram or Facebook for more than just interacting with their audience, a lot use them as an interim website, advertising platform, and means to actually sell their products or services. Just take a look at small business TikTok and how many of them do not actually have a website to sell their products from, usually their links will direct viewers to their Instagram or Facebook.

I myself started off on Instagram for a hobby if mine that ultimately led to the creation of Cam Fowler Designs. If this shut down were to happen during the time before I designed my website I would have seen a huge hit in my audience engagement and brand reach. Thankfully though during this time I was able to reach out to my current and prospective clients about the shut down and plans for the future if it happened that they couldn’t get the platforms back online.

But not every business does this or even has the means to do so. A lot of small businesses on Instagram are “influencers” who rely on their platform for brand deals which generates income for them. On the Facebook side a lot are blogs that act similarly to Insta influencers. During thee shut down I was scrolling through twitter to see how many had been affected by the shutdown and it appeared that my whole feed had been impacted in one way or another. If you need to be caught up on what exactly happened Monday keep reading from here, if not you can skip to the third photo in this post.

Screenshot by Cameron Fowler via Twitter

But the issue goes much deeper than just a simple not loading issue. As stated by NBC journalist Kevin Collier in a tweet on Monday the problem was that everything for the company was offline. Because of this there may have been internal communication issues that contributed to the company being down for over 5 hours. Other Twitter users reported that even company emails were down for Facebook employees. Many suspected it to be a DNS issue but according to Wired the DNS issues were “just a symptom of the problem.” The real root of the issues appears to be that Facebook’s BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) was removed resulting on the roadmap to Facebook no longer existing.

But that is not where the issues for the tech trust ends. Because of the rarity and timing of this issue many are speculating as to why the BGP was removed for over 5 hours on Monday. One reason for why people are speculating the cause is that Facebook did not communicate beyond a “we are working on this issue” post on Twitter while they were trying to fix it. And to make matters worse they still did not detail why after it happened, but rather just apologized to the people affected and moved on.

According to Wired’s experts the issue was most likely caused by a “misconfiguration on Facebook’s part” but many on various social media platforms are quick to point out that that defense doesn’t entirely excuse how long it took for Facebook to get back up and running. Especially considering that Facebook employs over 29,000 software engineers according to their LinkedIn page. Because of this and other factors surrounding what happened Monday conspiracy theories are beginning to arise.

One such popular conspiracy theory is that the shutdown was planned due to the Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen. You can watch her 60 Minutes video here. This particular theory does seem to be the most popular with Twitter users who took to the only available mainstream platform that day to voice their theories (see slideshow).

Another theory that seemed to be popular with older generations was that the

Photo Credits Slide 1: CNN via 60 Minutes. Photo Credits Slides 2 – 7: Cameron Fowler via Twitter

shutdown had something to do with the whole vaccinated vs unvaccinated debate that has dominated the current political discourse for quite some time now. Although it is highly unlikely that the second theory is even remotely correct.

Photo Credits: Cameron Fowler via Cam Fowler Designs

Conspiracy theories and real life ramifications of a social media shutdown aside I think it is important to know how to stay afloat even when the worst happens. Which is what I will be going over now. I know it is a long read but i promise it is really vital information for anyone looking to start/own a small business.

Photo Credits: Cameron Fowler via Cam Fowler Designs

My first tip for being able to survive a social media shutdown is having a strong and consistent brand. Branding, at least good branding, can solidify your business in the minds of your audience. It allows for people to remember you better and before they remember your competition with lower quality branding. Keep in mind though that branding is so much more than just a logo, having a well rounded brand will make all the difference when facing a social media shutdown.

Branding should also be kept in mind for the rest of these tips, that way you can have a consistent presence throughout your business assets.

My second tip is to diversify your social media. I know that sounds like a lot of work and some may even be barely hanging on with just Instagram and Facebook but hear me out. Having many different sites that you can put your content on and push your business is important, that way if one of your platforms goes down your audience can still find you. Some great low effort platforms are Twitter, Clubhouse, and Tumblr. In a future post I will be going over the difference between low effort and high effort social media platforms and strategies so stay tuned for that.

You can also look into using some other high effort platforms like TikTok or LinkedIn. I know these might sound like a lot of work but I’ll go over how to do this more easily in the next tip.

Photo Credits: Cameron Fowler via Cam Fowler Designs

Photo Credits: Cameron Fowler via Cam Fowler Designs

Ok so hiring a social media manager really is important for small businesses who operate exclusively online, but it can also be a huge help for brick and mortar small business owners as well. There are numerous benefits to outsourcing your social media but there are two main reasons why I have it on this list. The first reason is that it saves on time. If you focus mainly on say Instagram and YouTube chances are you are not focusing as much time on other important social media platforms. Hiring a social media manger can help fill in the blanks and beef up your online presence. The second reason is that social media managers are typically experts in various social media platforms. A lot of social media managers are constantly researching and learning how best to use different platforms and gain better exposure.

Let’s say social media isn’t exactly your forte, what then. Well I have two tips for that and the first tip is try email marketing. I know, I know, I probably sound like super old saying that. I also used to believe that email marketing was for old people and kids who aren’t allowed to have Instagram, BUT it actually still works. You just have to know how to use it properly. One of the best ways to be successful at email marketing is with making sure you are not too gimmicky. A lot of people say that the best way to reach people on the internet is through authenticity and that goes the same for email marketing. You want your emails to sound more like a blog/social media post than an ad. It is also important to note that the design of the email also needs to be eye-catching in order to get people to read your emails. And try not to spam your subscribers.

Photo Credits: Cameron fowler via Cam Fowler Designs

Photo Credits: Cameron Fowler via Cam Fowler Designs

The last tip I have for y’all is creating a website. There are tons of free and super cheap options out there to act as a placeholder for those on a tight budget. For example, I am currently working on designing a website on Wix. This website will be my author website and have information about the short stories I have been working on and publishing as well as blog and some other great stuff. At the moment I’m using the free version to design it and at the end of the semester I’ll be upgrading to get a custom domain. Having a website really is the number one way to shutdown proof your small business. Not only is it a place where your customers can buy from you but it can also be used to connect with your audience and if you do your seo right you can even grow your following with your website too!

All in all these tips are meant to help you with making sure your business can withstand unforeseen social media issues like what happened on Monday. But I also understand that setting these things up can be difficult, so at the end of the semester Cam Fowler Designs will be offering a free consultation to any students who are in need of starting or changing their small business. All you need to do is go to and click on either the in person meeting or online/zoom meeting button and let me know that you are a student at TXST and read this blog post. Be sure to remember the code: FDOMONLINE2021 in the meeting notes.

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