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What can affiliate managers do when social media platforms crash?

Facebook and Instagram once again went down for a matter of hours over the Wednesday November 3rd, leaving viewers without communication and affiliate marketing campaigns lost. It follows a substantial crash on October 3rd that lasted 5.5 hours across Facebook and its sister platforms Instagram and Whatsapp, and reportedly cost the company, now named Meta, $6 billion.

Facebook blamed the crash on a “configuration change to the backbone routers” which then affected the entire network between the platforms and assured users that the problem wouldn’t occur again.

And yet, UK users found that, almost to the day, a month later, they were having trouble accessing Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp.

What impact can this have on marketing campaigns?

Meanwhile, affiliate marketing operations were up in the air. Some affiliate deals had to be put on hold until the platforms were restored, but some, that were time-sensitive had to be outright abandoned, missing potential audiences that would have engaged with the content and the sites.

Affiliate marketing partners had to figure out workarounds on the fly, and small brands were negatively affected as their pay-per-click contracts offered no clicks to pay for.

Some brand owners have suggested rethinking how they make money online, considering leaving the platforms entirely. This is bad timing as Facebook and Instagram have been repeatedly pushing to make their platforms into retail-oriented spaces, offering features that make it easier for influencers to gain and post affiliate deals, and sell their products directly on the platform.

But the point is lost when the platform cannot perform long enough to take advantage of these extra features. Instead, influencers are looking to other social media methods like TikTok, YouTube, and other platforms in order to fulfil affiliate deals, sponsored posts and product launches.

Diversify your platforms

Due to these crashes in two of the most popular social media apps, influencers and affiliate managers alike are learning that there is a need to diversify. As a backup to Facebook and Instagram, content should also be created that is fit for the likes of Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat etc.

Diversifying not only acts as a back-up should there be another crash but allows creators and marketers to reach an audience that isn’t usually on Facebook and Instagram. Although it is still the most popular platform, Facebook’s market share dropped significantly in the US from near 70% to almost half at 36.64% in 2021, according to DreamGrow.com. It seems users in India is what is keeping Facebook the monopoliser of the social media market, which isn’t too useful to affiliate marketers and influencers in the western world.

Diversify your content

Much like diversifying your search engine options will reach more people, diversifying where you post your marketing material will also reach new eyes. But you can also diversify your content.

Short-form video content is taking off with the popularity of TikTok soaring during 2020, causing platforms like Facebook and Instagram to adopt the new content genre. The genre allows customers to gain a lot of information about your product very quickly, if done right. Marketers can give demonstrations of their product or services, create skits around their brand, allow users to review it, and tap into trends on short form video content. The nature of the genre allows for viral trends to move extremely quickly, causing a lot of people to see the hottest thing in a matter of hours.

Affiliate managers and content creators should also look into podcast advertising. Podcasts are going through a golden age, with almost every established brand tapping into the content genre in one way or another. Approximately 57% of US consumers listened to a podcast in 2021, and the genre allows for an ongoing conversation that will have users listening carefully to the content, including the advertisements.

Podcasts also allow for a lot of cross channel content to be created. You can easily repurpose audio clips and pot them on other platforms to engage more than just your core listeners.

Learn to adapt

Diversifying is a sign of adaptation, which affiliate marketing managers have to master in order for their skills and their business to grow. With so many minds contributing to the internet, its very nature is to grow and change very quickly. In order for a business to grow within it, business owners and marketers need to keep up.

So, try something new, even if you think it might not work. You might be surprised at the response you get. And, more importantly, change what isn’t working. It won’t be working for a reason, and the beauty of digital marketing is that it is likely that your audience will tell you what isn’t working for them. Take in all advice and act on it.

To find more information on affiliate marketing, or to gain more personalised advice, book a free call to have a conversation with a member of our team.

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