Apps for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp suffered disruptions for some users around the world on Thursday.
While social media was previously just the place for family photos and organising events, Ballarat businesses are now relying on social media to find new clients and boost their brand.
So a major outage - like the one which plagued major Facebook-owned apps throughout the day - can mean precious business lost for hairdressers, bakers and personal trainers.
Corey Davies, who owns DVS Personal Training, said a significant amount of his contact with clients happened on Facebook.
I probably get about 40 per cent of my business from social media, but the old traditional talking to people, word of mouth and referrals, especially in a small town like this, are still the a big ones.Corey Davies from DVS Personal Training
"I use Facebook because of the convenience; it just makes it so much easier.
"I'm just hoping my advertisements on Facebook are working, I don’t wanna be paying money for nothing."
Facebook acknowledged the problems just before 4am AEDT, via Twitter: "We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're working to resolve the issue..." it said.
For Touché Hair, Skin and Body owner Nicole van Berkel, social media has become a "useful" online portfolio, showing off the skills of her hairdressers.
She said a Facebook post with spare appointments she tried to put online at 7.30AM on Thursday morning did not appear online until late in the afternoon.
"If have appointments, those fill out quite quickly once I've send a post out, but this is the quietest Thursday night we’ve had in twelve months," Ms van Berkel said.
"But quite often through Facebook messages, a client will say 'I love the colour or cut you put online, is it possible for me?', so it's a great tool when it works."
With more than 2.28 billion users worldwide on Facebook, according to Hootsuite, it's unsurprising that more than 80 million small and medium-sized businesses are using the platform.
And the amount of businesses heading to the platform is increasing 23 per cent year on year. In Australia, a 2018 Sensis social media survey of 1100 businesses last year found that more than half across every business size were using social media.
According to Sensis, the business world's obsession with Facebook is well founded. Almost two thirds of consumers are more likely to trust a brand if they interact with consumers in a positive way on social media.
In another tweet, at 5am, Facebook confirmed that "the issue is not related to a DDoS attack".
- With The Age