Why are some of the UK’s biggest brands are now shunning Social Media, should you?

 With over 1 Million followers across its Social Media channels, well established cosmetics company Lush has recently taken a bold stance against the Social Media algorithms, and decided to quit Social Media altogether. Removing Social Media platforms from its 2019 marketing strategy is a bold step for the company, and one that has sparked countless conversations worldwide about whether this will be a good or a bad move for them long-term. Choosing instead to communicate with customers via email, call and live chat, this is a very daring move by the ethical cosmetics company, and one that will no doubt cause mixed views and opinions amongst consumers.

Making such a distinct move begs itself to question whether other big brands will follow suit. The debate over whether to keep or remove Social Media as a key part of businesses Marketing Strategy is something at February we have discussed in depth in-house, and we would love to share our thoughts with you to help you form your own opinion for your business on this controversial topic.

 

Brand Awareness

One of the first key questions posed internally in our conversation over Lush’s decision was how the company plans to continue to build brand awareness, when they have effectively removed one of the world’s largest forms of reaching new audiences from their strategy. Getting their message in-front of new potential customers now will undoubtedly be a fresh challenge for Lush, and indeed also present a potential barrier for new and existing customers to find and interact with them. Replacing such a vast and valuable network will prove quite a feat for their marketing team and we look forward to seeing how they approach this.

On the one hand, this could prove an excellent forward-thinking step towards new creativity in marketing activities that challenges marketers and business owners alike to be inevitably more creative and holistic in their approach to communicating with their customers. However should this go wrong, it could leave Lush in a very vulnerable and isolated position, unable to immediately and vocally respond to consumers or handle PR related crises in an effective way.

 

Customer Service

We can’t get away from the fact that Social Media provides an excellent platform for consumers to get their questions answered and concerns heard, as well as communicating and sharing their positive reviews and praise for companies and their products and services. Without Social Media, there is a real fear that customers may choose to use alternative brands to Lush whereby they can communicate with them directly on the platforms they have become most used to.

However, by their move towards more traditional methods, Lush can facilitate more 1-1 conversations using AI and Live Chat on their website, demonstrating just how far more traditional communication channels have come in recent years. By holding the conversations on their own platforms, Lush has arguably more control over the conversations now  and how closely they are built and managed.

 

Closer Connection

While the rise of Social Media has been taking place, there has been significant improvements in traditional communication channels such as the phone, live chat, and websites. New call technologies enables businesses to put consumers through to agents who have prior information about them and the reason for the call, making conversations feel more timely, personal and useful. Using these methods of communication, the user can now communicate arguably on a more personal 1-1 level with a brand and therefore potentially build a closer connection with less frustration than ever before.

 

Size of Organisation

At February, we believe that a large part of the decision also comes down to the size of the organisation and what you are trying to achieve from using Social Media as part of your wider marketing plan. An SME will need to rely more heavily on Social Media to find and nurture it’s customer base, as there isn’t already an established customer base there, and it presents a relatively cost effective option to building one. For SMEs Social Media continues to present an accessible and effective means of raising brand awareness and generating interest, and is almost certainly here to stay.

 

Our Stance

We love working with all sizes of businesses and for us Social Media is an essential spoke in the overall marketing wheel and one we strongly advocate implementing for our clients. It presents a targeted, highly effective, and affordable means of achieving a brands goal of raising awareness and interest, as well as providing an excellent channel for managing customer service. While Lush have decided to move away from Social Media, only time will tell whether that was the right move or not, and for SMEs the platforms offer unprecedented access to audiences that would otherwise be very costly and challenging to get in-front of.

That being said, having the right Social Media Strategy and consistent communications that deliver real results for your business is paramount, and something we love to help our clients with. If you’re looking at your Social Media right now and considering reviewing how you’re managing it, feel free to email us at alex@february.agency

 

Sources:

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/04/09/lush-abandons-social-media-its-getting-harder-talk-customers

https://www.essentialretail.com/analysis/lush-barmy-quitting-social-media/