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Lessons in Marketing Preparedness: What the Optus Outage Teaches Us

Yesterday's Optus blackout reverberated across Australia, leaving countless individuals, myself included, grappling with connectivity challenges.

As someone deeply entrenched in the digital landscape, particularly within the spheres of international business, social media, and online marketing, the outage provided an opportunity to reflect on the pitfalls of relying solely on a single platform or what happens when a platform or service you rely on for business goes down.

In moments of crisis, having a robust contingency plan becomes a huge stress relief.

For me, I quickly raced up to the local Westfields shopping center, to take advantage of their Wi-Fi to mitigate the impact of the blackout. Whilst being unable to make or receive calls has been an absolute nightmare, being able to still be on email & socials have been a way for us to still keep connected with our clients.

This experience evoked memories of prior social media blackouts, notably the Facebook and Instagram shutdowns that disrupted digital landscapes in the past year.

The sudden cessation of access to these major platforms served as a wake-up call.

It highlighted the vulnerability of depending exclusively on one or two channels for business operations.

I put it to you. What if tomorrow we wake up to find our primary social media channels gone? Are we prepared for such a scenario?

The necessity of having backup plans in place is glaringly evident. Agents and businesses deeply entrenched in social media marketing must consider alternative platforms and strategies.

Building a robust presence on multiple platforms isn’t just a suggestion—it’s a necessity in the volatile and unpredictable digital realm.

The truth is, dedicating exclusive efforts to a single platform is a precarious gamble. The outage and previous instances of platform disruptions demonstrate the inherent risks involved in placing all our digital presence in one basket.

It's akin to investing all your resources in a single, volatile stock. Any sudden disturbance or shift in algorithms could potentially dismantle years of painstakingly curated digital existence.

This realisation brings us to the crux of the matter: the importance of diversification. I have ardently advocated for embracing emerging platforms, with TikTok being a prime example.

Despite initial skepticism, those who took the leap to diversify their online presence have reaped the benefits. They are better equipped to navigate through digital blackouts and unexpected disruptions.

So, what can agents do to fortify their brand presence on alternative platforms?

  1. Explore and Embrace Diversity: Beyond traditional platforms, delve into emerging spaces like TikTok, LinkedIn, or even newer entrants that might resonate with your audience. Each platform offers a unique way to engage and build an audience.

  2. Invest in Content Creation: Tailor content for these diverse platforms. Understand the nuances and preferences of each platform's audience. What works on Instagram might not perform as well on TikTok or LinkedIn.

  3. Consistency and Engagement: Building a presence on alternative platforms requires consistency and active engagement. Respond to comments, engage with the audience, and create a community around your brand.

  4. Monitor and Adapt: Keep a close eye on the performance of your content on different platforms. Adapt strategies based on audience feedback and analytics. What works today might need adjustments tomorrow.


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