How a Social Media Breakdown Made Me a Better Marketer | Travel Research Online


How a Social Media Breakdown Made Me a Better Marketer


Remember that old song by Bob Seger from 1987?

When Facebook broke down recently, that’s the song that came into my head. It started playing louder when Frances Haugen testified before Congress!

Facebook has become a huge part of our work and personal lives. Yet, I wonder how many of us thought about the old adage about not putting all our eggs into one basket when this breakdown happened? Or the adage that one shouldn’t build their house on rented land?

Really? What are we as travel industry pros supposed to do… market by carrier pigeon? Pony Express? How about using a town crier?

These days, none of those are viable options; however, we may want pay attention to those old adages as breakdowns and takedowns may become more frequent in the future.

Don’t Put All your Eggs into One Basket

Savvy marketers have long considered the dilemma of posting to a variety of social platforms in order to reach the different audiences that support each platform. Perhaps this is the time to ‘share the love’ and beef up your social presence on more platforms.

The flip side of this strategy is that some marketers feel they simply don’t have the time to create multiple streams of content.

The bottom line is this: Can you afford not to make the time? The chaos that ensued during the Facebook outage shows us that no one is immune to snafus.

Posting to multiple platforms not only protects you from future outages, it also enables your fans to see consistency in your brand messaging. Also, this strategy potentially increases brand awareness in a variety of channels. Imagine launching your next marketing campaign on several social and traditional channels. The outage of one won’t takedown your entire campaign.

Don’t Build your House on Rented Land

Relying too heavily on social sites is a tricky topic! We all know that social is a quick, easy, and affordable way to build brand—but is it worth the price.

What if we were to rely solely on ‘land that we own’; our website, blog, e-blasts? That’s all fine and dandy, until one of those places crash. (Who’s website hasn’t crashed?) While we believe we ‘own’ our websites, what if the server crashes? While we believe that when we pay to send our e-blasts thru a 3rd party, all will go as planned! What if the internet crashes and those e-blasts get stuck in limbo?

Even with this ‘ownership’ strategy, there are so many moving pieces that we don’t control. We’ve become so reliant on multiple channels and different types of software to run our business that some days it seems like a wonder that all the balls stay safely in the air!

The bottom line is this: Choose your service providers wisely and ensure data is preserved and backed-up routinely. This will ensure there’s no shakedown coming your way.

Make Hay in the Chaos

The day that Facebook crashed made many people re-assess their business model as well as their reliance on on-line tools. While we can’t operate without “all things internet,” here’s what I focused on during the outage.

In an effort to calm the chaos in my world, I focused on creating content that didn’t require social platforms to complete.

Here’s a couple of things to do if (I probably need to say ‘when’) this repeats itself and chaos ensues again:

  1. Research and write a new blog. Is it really worth it?
  2. Shoot and edit a new video. 3 details that make a difference
  3. Create a new lead magnet that attracts new clients
  4. Conduct an audit of your marketing assets
  5. Update the other social channels used in your marketing
  6. Edit images & repurpose for future social posts
  7. Update your bio link so that all your marketing assets are featured in one place
  8. Study other social platforms to understand their potential for your business
  9. Pick up the phone and call top clients
  10. Update your website content
  11. Update your CRM so that you’re reaching the right people
  12. Update your email list. Avoid these 5 mistakes
  13. Pull together a snail-mail campaign
  14. Poll your clients to learn where they spend their social media time

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that we want to reduce our reliance on any one method of communication; owned or otherwise. This may have been an eye-opener for some marketers to see that Facebook is fallible, AND isn’t the only game in town. There’s always the town crier!

While we don’t want to start training carrier pigeons or fast-running ponies, there are so many things we can do to mitigate the loss we may feel when one form of communication goes awry. Could this be the beginning of new marketing efforts in our industry?


Catherine Heeg, International speaker & trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at and socially.

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