Why Isn‘t Facebook and Instagram Working for My Small Business?

As a small business owner, you rely on Facebook and Instagram to operate your business online. So when these vital platforms stop working, it can be incredibly frustrating and have real revenue impacts.

According to Facebook, over 200 million businesses globally use their free tools and paid-for services. And Instagram now has over 25 million business profiles. But with great scale comes greater vulnerability.

In this comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs, we‘ll cover:

  • Common issues that affect platform accessibility
  • Troubleshooting tips to resolve problems
  • How to cope when extended outages occur

Top Issues Facing Small Business Owners

Over 50% of small business owners report that Instagram is critical for acquiring new customers. And Facebook ads help drive brand awareness and sales for many startups. But to leverage their benefits, the platforms need to be working properly.

Unfortunately, small businesses often grapple with platform-related issues like:

  • Authentication errors when logging into Business Manager or Creator accounts: This can prevent you from accessing analytics, posting content, and running campaigns.
  • Inconsistent organic post reach: Notice your content doesn‘t show up for all followers? The algorithms can limit exposure.
  • Sudden account restriction or ban: Getting completely locked out of your account can devastate a social media marketing strategy. Appeals don‘t always work.

According to Facebook IQ, over one-third of small and medium business owners have had issues with their Facebook and Instagram accounts being restricted unfairly.

So problems are rampant. But the good news? There are ways to troubleshoot and prevent some common pitfalls.

Troubleshooting Tips for Small Business Owners

Here are helpful troubleshooting tips for business owners from my experience resolving platform issues for clients:

1. Check platform status pages

Bookmark Facebook‘s status page and Instagram‘s status page to stay updated on any current outages or technical issues affecting the platforms. This can help you identify whether problems your business is facing are widespread or isolated.

2. Use social media management platforms as a backup

Platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social can let you schedule Instagram and Facebook posts in advance. So if you lose platform access, your content marketing won‘t fully stop. These tools also provide analytics.

3. Leverage support for help with account issues

If your business account is suddenly banned or restricted, immediately open a support ticket with Facebook or Instagram‘s help center. Provide detailed information explaining your situation, as more context can aid in the appeal review process. Documentation helps too.

4. Diversify across multiple platforms

Never rely solely on Facebook or Instagram to grow your business online. By expanding to other platforms like TikTok, YouTube or Twitter, you reduce dependency and risks associated with any single channel failing.

By regularly troubleshooting issues and diversifying your distribution strategy, your business can better survive pesky platform problems. Prevention helps, but when multi-hour outages strike you‘ll need contingency plans too.

Coping With Extended Platform Outages

Even if you follow best practices, large-scale Facebook and Instagram outages still may occasionally occur. On October 4th, 2021 one of the longest global disruptions prevented access for nearly six hours. So what can small businesses do when this happens?

  • Avoid panic, and focus energy on other tasks: Outages are fixed fastest when engineers investigate without distraction. Noise on other channels won‘t expedite resolution.
  • Inform customers about the issue: Post on alternative social channels or your website that you‘re experiencing temporary technical difficulties on Instagram or Facebook. Transparency retains trust.
  • Batch create content: Design draft posts, graphics, reels and stories so they‘re ready to publish when platforms are back up.
  • Spend time analyzing old metrics: Review past campaign analytics, likes, comments and saves to derive insights while you lack recent data.

By shifting priorities and managing customer expectations, businesses can mitigate impact. And extended outages are rare enough that losing an afternoon of social media productivity typically doesn‘t have massive consequences.

The reality is no technology is 100% reliable. Servers crash, networks fail, software breaks – it happens! But using best practices around troubleshooting, backups and transparency with customers can help your small business stay agile.