From Twitter’s hacker-fueled downtime to FaceBook’s purchase of FriendFeed, people have been talking a lot this week about the stability of social media — and what to do when your platform of choice becomes unstable.

No one wants to invest time and effort in building a following that can disappear so easily.  But since the most popular social media tools also happen to be free, their users — including businesses — are at the mercy of the markets.  (Or, in some cases, of Russian hackers.)

Since nothing derails your messaging plan like finding out the platform you built it around has suddenly collapsed, we’d like to offer you 3 Tips for Surviving a Social Media Implosion:

  1. Be in Five Places at Once. All right, so five is an arbitrary number.  But even if Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all crashed, it would be nice to have your messaging intact on Flickr and your blog, wouldn’t it?
  2. Unify Your Online and Offline Presence. The means by which you spread your message may be different, but the message should still be the same.  Let your web assets drive people to your physical assets, and vice versa.  That way, even if your Facebook page were hacked or your Twitter account deleted, your customers would still know how to contact you.  (Or would they?…)
  3. You ARE Offline, Aren’t You? How crippled would your messaging — or your entire business — be if the whole web crashed?  Do you have backups of your critical information?  Would your clients still know where to find you?  Would your business still be profitable?

Granted, following these tips won’t guarantee that your online marketing will thrive eternally, problem-free.  But they will help you navigate the rapids that get left behind if your river disappears.