Marketing Lessons Learned From the 2021 Facebook Outage

Marketing Lessons Learned From the 2021 Facebook Outage

The week of October 4, 2021, Facebook’s week went from bad to worse when the company’s entire family of apps were inaccessible to users with no warning. The massive outage, which impacted Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus, lasted over 5 hours. Both platform users and marketers were frustrated during the outage, especially with very little information being released to the public in real-time.

That said, the outage brought to life many considerations brand marketers should evaluate when it comes to their social media marketing strategy and the safety of their brand. An event like this could likely happen again, or happen to another network. So our expert social strategist put together the top insights your social team should take away from the Facebook outage and apply to your organization’s social strategy.

Marketing Lessons Learned From the 2021 Facebook Outage

#1) Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

It’s important that the brand you represent has a presence on multiple social accounts for channel diversity. When the Facebook companies went dark, audiences flocked to other networks (primarily Twitter) to get their social media fix, and those brands that had an existing presence joined in on the conversations.

This also applies to paid media. During the outage, ads weren’t being served and Business Manager was also inaccessible. When your literal money is on the line, make sure you can keep your investments moving forward and have ads running in multiple places (plus, that’s a best practice for the buyer’s journey).

#2) Reconsider Using “Login with Facebook”

Many of us are guilty of utilizing the “Login with Facebook” feature to avoid creating new accounts and passwords. During the outage, however, those who leveraged this tool found they were locked out of their accounts because of the glitch. Perhaps convenience isn’t always key – plus creating that unique password is much more secure. If you hate keeping track of all those passwords, there are lots of tools available to securely store that information for you.

#3) Have a Plan in Place for When Channels Resume

Once channels are back online, what should your brand prioritize? Here’s a checklist of items that will keep your social teams in order.

Post-Social Media Outage Checklist

  • Change passwords to those channels impacted by the outage as a safeguard. It’s never a bad thing to err on the side of caution and update passwords.
  • Check posts that were scheduled to go live during the outage. Some content might be stuck in limbo, so make sure everything is live that is suppose to be.
  • Check in on comments/engagement from the community. Even though there was likely little to no activity during the outage, ensure items are addressed in a timely manner. Plus, those who may have been waiting eagerly for a response during the outage are likely hoping on as soon as possible to check for a response.
  • Check your paid media budget, particularly for performance advertisers. Facebook indicated after this outage that delivery would accelerate to catch up for the lost hours. If that’s fine with your strategy, no additional action may be necessary, but it’s worth checking.
  • Make a note of the event for reporting. When it comes time to review and analyze October’s performance, keep this event on your radar. The outages may have not only impacted the day of the event, but also the days after the event, especially when it comes to paid media.


How did your brand handle the infamous Facebook outage? Hopefully once things were up and running, you were able to consider those items we’ve listed above. If not, now you have them on hand to plan accordingly and to prepare for any repeat episodes in the future.

If you’re considering outsourcing some of your social media work or partnering with a consultant to help guide your social media strategy, consider contacting Ignite Social Media today. Alternatively, keep yourself informed regarding the social media industry by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter below.

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