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BizReport : Internet : January 21, 2016

Brands: How to prep for #twitterdown situations

Earlier this week an outage at Twitter sent its users into a bit of a tailspin filled with memes and hashtags and a few user meltdowns. One expert weighs in on how brands can prepare for these kinds of situations.

by Kristina Knight

Consumers are uber connected through social networks, email and intranets, but take away those connections and many will feel at the least out of sorts and at the most betrayed by the businesses they trust to keep that connection. This week, an outage on Twitter put many users - and brands - into a bit of a panic.

"With multiple online social networking services, customer loyalty is now more important than ever and performance outages are simply no longer tolerated. Popular social networking and content sharing apps such as Twitter are amongst the most frequently used services on smartphones. Twitter is a major information curation platform for people to digest, and share, global news quickly and effectively. It is equally important for digital businesses to engage their customers, and so glitches like this have the potential to become a mini crisis," said John Rakowski, Director of Technical Strategy, AppDynamics.

Rakowski suggests brands invest in application performance monitoring to keep tabs on problem areas. By knowing about an outage as close to the incident as possible, brands can get things back up to speed faster, and consumers can get back to their lives faster.

"Outages will happen but modern application performance monitoring (APM) solutions can help to ensure that emerging app problems are detected before they impact customers," said Rakowski. "These modern solutions can then help brands rapidly identify the root cause to minimize the risk of a widespread outage. As well as investing in an APM solution, brands should also have an outage plan in place. The aim of this plan is to ensure that customers are immediately notified of the issue via the right channels, provided with a workaround solution and have a clear understanding of when the service will be available again."

Preparing for the worst is crucial for brands, but when an outage happens, how should they react?

"Brands need to understand the best channel to communicate with customers during an outage. Twitter unfortunately tweeted details about their outage using their own platform, which was unavailable at the time, so it's important that brands understand how they can reach their customers easily during a crisis situation. This communication could happen across a social network or via email, but it's important that customer impact is fully understood first - as there is no point in making a widespread announcement if the problem only impacts a subset of customers," said Rakowski.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: AppDynamics, customer engagement, performance outages, social marketing, website crash

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