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Episode 186: How To Survive A Facebook or Instagram Hack On Your Business – with April Beach

SweetLife Entrepreneur Podcast April Beach

This episode is for those in Phase 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™ Not sure what Phase your business is in?

 

Episode Bonuses:

Follow us at @sweetlifepodcast on Instagram! 
 

Who This Episode is Great For:

Every business who operates on Facebook and Instagram.

Summary:

“It will never happen to me” 
 
Famous last words until you wake up and your Facebook and Instagram business accounts are gone. 
 
As a business owner, you likely spend a lot of time and resources on Facebook or Instagram. You post, go live, comment with others, research hashtags, produce IGTV videos and spend too many hours filtering your photos. But these necessary evils are a great way to attract your ideal audience and increase your exposure. Right up to the moment they’re wiped out – with no communication or consent from Facebook, no opportunity to submit a support ticket, no one to talk to for help. 
 
This is what happened to April Beach and The SweetLife Company, and in this show, you’ll learn all of the things no one tells you to do to save your company, keep your followers and survive being wiped from the Facebook and Instagram planet. 
 
This is not an episode about internet security. This is an episode about business survival. 

Highlights:

  1. Know how to protect and preserve your content
  2. How to control the out of control
  3. How your company can bounce back after the hack

Resources Mentioned:

To regain control of your Facebook page you can start by claiming it was been hacked through this link
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Full Show Transcript:

You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business mental and entrepreneur activator a probate. Hi everybody. And welcome back to the show. Thanks for tuning in here on the Sweetlife entrepreneur and business podcast. And today’s episode, I’m downloading those of you who have been asking and asking about what actually happened to our business,
Facebook and Instagram accounts. Many of you follow me or followed me on social media. And you knew that we literally got wiped off the face of the earth. Like we’ve never existed after, well, over a decade of being on Facebook and years and years being on Instagram. And so in this episode, I’m going to share exactly what happened and how to survive a Facebook or Instagram hack on your business.
Now, first things first, this is not an internet security episode. I’m not an internet security expert. I’m actually going to share the things that you can’t Google, that nobody tells you and share the insider things that we learned. Honestly, the hard lessons, some of them we did well, some of them we failed on so that if this ever happens to you,
that you know how to survive it. And also you are going to walk away with four things that I recommend you do immediately right now, because the statement that it will never happen to me is totally not true. I’m so sorry. Especially as we move towards an election, there’s always an increase in internet hackers. And I don’t know about you, but there’s just been so many instances with other businesses that I have heard about in the last six months with COVID and way too many bad people with way too much time on their hands hacking business accounts.
So I know it isn’t just me and I don’t want it to be you. So this episode is for every business who operates on Facebook and on Instagram, because those famous last words, it will never happen to me are only said up until the point that you wake up, like I did, and your accounts are totally gone. Not only that you’re going to hear what happened to my hardware.
I’m just going to honestly download the whole story for you. It is a nightmare, but it’s an eyes wide open thing. And I think that other businesses should know what can happen. I wish somebody had really laid it out there for me, like I’m going to do for you. So, you know, I understand that as a business owner, you spend a lot of time on these resources on Facebook and Instagram.
You post things, you go live, you hunt for the best imagery and source, the best pictures. You comment with others, you research hashtags, you produce IgE TV videos, and you probably have spent way many hours figuring out what filter is the right one to go with your brand or you’ve paid somebody else to do that. So you’ve invested time and you’ve invested money in growing your Facebook and Instagram presence as you should.
I mean, these are necessary evils, and they’re a great way to attract your ideal audience and increase your exposure and establish your expertise as a business right up until the moment when they’re wiped out. And this usually happens with zero communication from Facebook, no opportunity to submit a support ticket or reclaim your account. And frankly, nobody is going to talk to you.
It Facebook, we all know that that nobody cares about you or me enough to get on the phone. They really could give a shit about your brand and your business. And it doesn’t even matter how much money you have spent like us over the years in Facebook ads, because they have enough money. They’ll be just fine without yours. You mean nothing to them.
And if somebody takes offense to that listening, great, maybe Facebook will call me now, anyway, in this episode, I’m going to share with you exactly what happened to our company, the steps that we had to go through to regain access. And frankly, what happens when you have to start your whole entire brand and your Facebook account from scratch it.
The recording of this episode, I think that I have a whole 56 followers on my brand new Instagram account, because that’s the way the ball bounces, by the way you can cruise over and follow me at, at April beach life. I would love it if you’d follow me, but that’s the way it is right now. So let’s go ahead and dive into this show at the end of the show,
you’re going to know how to protect and preserve your content, how to control what is absolutely out of control through settings in your Facebook business page manager and how your company can bounce back after you are hacked in many of the resources will all be found that I’m sharing on today’s show by visiting Sweetlife podcast.com forward slash one 86. Okay. Let’s dive in.<inaudible> Okay.
So let me give you a rundown, just kind of a timeline leading up to this episode. Last November, we had some Facebook hacking instances where it says somebody’s unauthorized logged into our account, and of course we’ve done everything religiously that Facebook has said, the two factor authentication, the separate authentication app. I even have lists of reclaim codes written down by hand in my desk drawer,
everything you can possibly do, according to what Facebook tells you to do, to keep your account secure. We have done them to the hilt. And even with that, we had a hacking instance that lasted eight weeks between November and December last year, where we were unable to comment on our own posts. So if somebody commented to us, we couldn’t comment back.
And we had 11 different times where we were locked out of making any comments to our followers, or really connecting with our followers over a period of 24 hours. So these 11, 24 hour periods lasted over over a term of two months. That was the worst thing in the world to me. And I felt terrible because people that are used to connecting with us and just chatting back and forth,
they couldn’t hear anything from us and they didn’t know why. And so I thought that was like the end of the world. Well little did I know with the rest of the joy that 2020 has brought us, it has only gotten worse in may of 2020. Our Facebook ads account was hacked. And within a period of a couple of hours, somebody had actually started running ads for,
I believe it was a solar panel company and they look totally legit on our ads manager account. And I don’t even know who is getting the money for this. Cause I was paying Facebook. I was getting charged like $1,700 over a period of a couple of hours for running what looked like solar panel ads. Again, the logic behind that the money was going to Facebook.
So nobody was actually making money. It just sounds like a cruel and unusual punishment thing to do to a business owner with somebody that had way too much time on their hands. And so that happened in may and we had open tickets, unfortunately because of that, our entire ads manager count was shut down. Facebook deemed that even after all of the years of all of the ad spend basically all the money that we had paid them to run ads for years and years,
being a faithful business customer that they didn’t want to deal with having to clean out our account from hackers. And so they totally shut down our Facebook business ads account. And if you’re in digital marketing, you know, that means that we also lost all of our pixel traction. So that means all of our pixels, all of the data, all of the tracking that we had done in all of our website pages for all of the people who’ve responded to our ads,
our ability to rerun and retarget ads to our warm audience, everything was lost and wiped out. And that was in may of 2020. I also thought that was by far the worst thing on earth that could happen. And we created new pixels starting from scratch. Then on June 12th at 3:42 AM an email came to my phone that our account had been breached with an authorized access.
And I woke up that morning to no personal Facebook page and no personal Instagram account and no business Facebook page for my other company. So all of the accounts that were connected to one email address worked totally wiped off the pace of the planet. It wasn’t like there were shut down and had to reset the password. They were gone completely wiped off the face of the earth.
And so I, like I had learned to do unfortunately so many times before reached out to Facebook and because I technically in their eyes had to zero Facebook account, like I had never existed. Couldn’t even open a Facebook support ticket. So being the crafty person that I was trying to be and desperately figure out how to regain control of my business and personal Facebook accounts,
I was emailing back to Facebook through my other email address, to the open support ticket that was still open regarding the shutdown of my ads account. Previously. I had somebody I’m so excited. I had somebody I could email. Well, I very soon learned that this person also did not give a shit about me. And because what I was emailing about had nothing to do with actually the first ticket number with shutting down the ads account that this person was not willing to help me and that I needed to open a new support ticket.
Well, unfortunately, Facebook. So you think it’s bad already. Facebook blocked all of our devices. Okay. So in their desire to protect themself, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. They blocked somehow some way my cell phone, my brand new iPhone 11, not a cheap phone and even online, I could not access the accounts. I tried to get the text number to be sent to me.
It was gone. You guys, not even like let’s reclaim and refresh this account totally gone. And just like taking a minute here and sharing this story with you. At this point, I was not thinking about my business. I was thinking about the comments that my dad had made to me on my personal Facebook page and commenting on his grandkids stuff. And my dad died four years ago and loving going back and reading his comments on my Facebook page.
I was thinking about the morning things that I get to wake up to of your memories from eight years ago, when my kids were babies and playing with bubbles in the backyard, or sitting in the couch, watching Mickey mouse with an umbrella over their head, those are the things that I lost. And so just separating this a minute here, we’re going to talk about the business loss,
but the magnitude of the devastation of memories that were totally wiped off the face of the earth and Facebook could care less has been absolutely just a tragedy for me personally, as a daughter, as a mother. And so picked up my big girl, britches got back to work, and I will tell you that was June 11th. We did not that regain access to Instagram because they also shut down the Instagram account.
Not only the Instagram account, I couldn’t even log into our other Instagram accounts from my mobile phone. We did not regain access to that until last night. And the recording of this, that was July 22nd, it’s 7:16 PM. So if you’re following along with this terrible nightmare, what I’m sharing is that somehow some way Facebook blocked my cell phone and I couldn’t even log into my other Instagram accounts.
I tried a VPN. I spent four hours on the phone with Apple. I spent two hours in the Apple store, which was a miracle because with Kobe, they’re only supposed to give me 15 minutes. I have, I spent massive time trying to at least control our other Instagram accounts. For example, this podcast account at Sweetlife podcast, couldn’t even log into this count online.
And somehow some way it was told to me that Facebook had blew the serial number on the motherboard of my iPhone somehow some way. And I had to bite the bullet and buy a new iPhone. So it has clearly been a nightmare and all of our communities we’re on Facebook, everything. So I’m recording this episode for you to give you four different ways that you can not only safeguard your account,
but four different ways that you can bounce back. Like we are after it happens, because no matter what, it will be a total nightmare for you. However, there are some strategic things you need to be doing in your business in order to protect yourself, both on the personal side and on the business side. So I’m going to share these four safeguards for you.
And then I have resources for you in the show notes. So safeguard number one, we have talked about this on the show before you need to make sure that your email list, your list of leads and clients and content does not solely live on Facebook or Instagram or any other social media platform for that matter. So that means you need to grow your email list.
Don’t allow Facebook and Instagram to completely control your ability to communicate with your followers. So you need to be getting the names and email addresses of your followers. At this point in time, you don’t even have to think of anything crafty. You can put a post out there and saying, Hey, I heard Facebook and Instagram accounts are getting hacked all the time.
And I don’t want to lose contact with you guys. If you want to be put on our emergency email list, sign up here. I wish I had done that. I should have done that. Knowing how many times we had been getting hacked, although I never dreamed that that would happen and we’d clearly lose everything. So safeguard number one is to build your email list in a separate email marketing manager that you own so that you never lose connection.
So if you have to start from scratch with your accounts, like we have to do, you can email your list and say, Hey, follow us at our new account. Safeguard. Number two, on your Facebook business page, you should have multiple administrators. I did have multiple administrators on my Facebook ads account. Those people that ran our Facebook ads for us,
but we only had one primary administrator on my Facebook business page. Therefore, if you go to Facebook right now in search April beach, you will see my page and I have no control over it. There’s my face. There’s our logo. Nothing. It’s just going to live there forever. And when you see me not posting again, it isn’t because I suck at creating content.
It’s because we have no control over that. So on your Facebook business page, make sure that you have multiple administrators. So if you have an assistant, you have somebody that works with you. I don’t care if you have a friend, make them an administrator on your Facebook business page and make sure this person doesn’t share the same IP addresses you. So they’re not within your own home.
So if your wifi gets hacked, both of you guys, aren’t totally locked out, safe guard. Number three, this is kind of a crafty one. We have this, and I’m really grateful. This is a great reason to have a custom hashtag for your business. So we have a custom hashtag two of them. Actually, one of them is sweet life podcast.
So anytime somebody is looking for one of our episodes, whether it’s on Instagram or on LinkedIn, they follow our hashtag, which is sweet life podcast. And all of our stuff pops up. So because we have a custom hashtag, even with our new Instagram account, I can keep reposting to that same hashtag in our followers that know like, and trust that we’re going to keep giving content can keep getting content from us and they can see the connections to our new account.
So this is a great reason why you should have a custom hashtag that is only your company’s hashtag, then nobody else can take from you. And it doesn’t matter what account you’re posting from. It’s your hashtag. And you can even go back in paying and reconnect with those followers that are following your hashtag, as they’ve commented on it in the past. Now,
if you lose your account, like we did, all of your posts are actually going to be gone. But as you go back and you post more content with that, hashtag people that follow that hashtag are going to see it and then safe card, number four, this is going to take you a little bit of time. Everything else you can do.
Yeah. This is gonna take you a bit of time. Should have this done. Anyway, you need to have this to grow and scale your company to multiple six to seven figures. This is one of those standard operating procedures that you should have rolling anyway. Okay. This is cute. Seeing your content clearly and cleanly organized somewhere else. So everything you post on your social media platforms should also live in a Google drive or in a Dropbox.
We keep everything in Dropbox. So all of the content that we post for every single podcast episode and all the content, right, that I have posted in the past on my Instagram account, that is no longer alive. We have any different account other than that platform. So rather than recreating all the content from scratch, we get to simply go and copy and paste.
A lot of that content, obviously there’ll need to be some editing and updating to what’s pertinent and to make sure it’s relevant right now, but we have that content did live somewhere else. And so if you don’t have a system yet for organizing and archiving your content, you need to have one. It’s also a great way to realize what you’ve created as a business owner and stop always creating new things.
You can start repurposing some of the content that you might’ve posted two years ago, especially if it is still relevant and pertinent, you don’t always have to start from scratch. As a matter of fact, that is not a good idea to always start from scratch. And so those are your safeguard tips and you know, some of these things we did really well.
Again, we have a separate email list. That’s something that we teach you guys about all the time here on this show. I did not have multiple admins on my business page that I lost that was shut down. And I did not have multiple admins on my April beach business page. I went wrong there. I had multiple admins on my business ads account,
but not on the business account. Safeguard number three is having a custom hashtag and you guys can follow us at our custom hashtag at Sweetlife podcasts. We would love it if you did. Now, we’re literally starting from scratch and you’ll go over and you’ll follow us on our podcast account on Instagram. And it’s like, there’s 200 followers and I would love it.
If you’d follow us over there. The hashtag for that is sweet life podcast. You need to have your own custom hashtag, so you can always reclaim and connect and talk directly to your audience. And then safeguard number four is to keep your content cleanly organized and archived someplace else. So you are not totally relying on social media platforms to how is your content?
Another thing that you can use is you can use a social media scheduler like we do. We really love buffer. I know their strep, sprout, social and different social media schedulers. You can go back and see what’s already been posted and copy and pasted out of there, but that’s again, relying on another social platform in a sense. So the safest place for it is going to be in a Dropbox business account or something like that.
So thank you so much for listening to this episode. I hope you guys found this informative. The purpose of this show is to set you up for success in the event of failure. And I don’t want anybody to have to go what we went through since this happened. We now have a new business community. If you haven’t joined us yet, we have created a new custom business networking app,
and we’ve built that completely on a brand new app platform that is exclusive to us called mighty hosts. We love them. We’re very happy and you can join our new business community. So Facebook community is gone. New business community app is here by visiting Sweetlife community.com. We’d love to have you joined us over there and I’m always delivering face to face. As far as virtually goes,
business development strategies, and you get tons of business training and coaching, and you can network with other companies and grow your own business there too. So join us over@sweetlifecommunity.com and all the show notes. And the resources we talked about here will be found in the show notes by visiting Sweetlife podcast.com forward slash one 86. This was how to survive Facebook or Instagram hack on your business and start from scratch without totally starting from scratch.
Again. I really hope it doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, I hope this episode has caught you first and you don’t have to live through the nightmare that I did, right? You guys, I hope you have a great week next week. We’re diving into all about how to build your first funnel and dive into using digital marketing to grow.
I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye for now.