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Small business owners speak on impact of Facebook outage

Apps important for advertising for small business, expert says
Posted at 11:11 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 02:11:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - It’s the calm before the dinner rush at Cross Street, a fried chicken restaurant in Kearny Mesa.

Owner Tommy Nguyen says social media is a big part of his small business.

“We heavily rely on our social media to make announcements, to run promotions and to actually get a lot of online ordering,” Nguyen said.

Same thing with Daisy Romero whose business El Cholo’s Kid, a handbag company, operates virtually with their website and Instagram.

So when the outage of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram happened on Monday, it created a bit of a hurdle.

“Panic ensued! I think like the rest of a lot of people we just kind of like restarted our phones 12 times think something was wrong,” Romero said.

The apps were down for more than six hours.

“It’s a big part of promoting ourselves. And, that’s always a big concern because Instagram has had outages before,” Romero said.

“And, it always happens, if you have an outage you have no sales.”

Things were a little slower at Cross Street than normal on the day of the outage.

“This morning l actually asked my manager here, there’s definitely some sort of impact,” Nguyen said.

“We don’t know if it was the social media going down or just the weather or whatnot. But we definitely were a lot slower this morning than normally on Mondays.”

Eventually, Facebook’s apps came back online, allowing people to scroll through posts and pictures.

The director of the South San Diego Business Development center said these apps are essential to small businesses for advertising on a small budget and getting those sales.

But it shouldn’t be the only platform these businesses should stand on.

“You should have an email list somewhere. It shouldn’t just be your Facebook friends or followers,” Briana Weisinger, Director of South San Diego Business Development Center, said.

“Because when these platforms go down or if these platforms change their rules or policies about how they do things, then that limits your ability as a business owner to function.”

Technology, it’s a big help that can create some big hurdles.

“The takeaway is, you know, own your information, own your community, own your process,” Romero said.

The two businesses ABC 10News spoke to are taking this as a learning experience.

Cross Street’s owner says the restaurant will be relying more on their website for deal, announcements, and other business.

Romero said she sent emails to clients to help generate sales once she realized it was going to be a long outage and she’s been building that email list for events like this one.