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Why social media is important
In this day and age, it’s very rare to come across a brand that isn’t on social media. Whether it’s unintentional, (through reviews, check-ins, or the like) or not, it’s uncommon that a brand doesn’t have some form of social presence.
Social media allows brands to connect with their consumers, from both a branding perspective as well as on a personal level. I can’t tell you the times I have tweeted brands – to ask a question, to complain, to say thanks, and I know I’m not alone in this! Similarly, like you, I regularly follow brands on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date on their latest collections, sales and behind the scenes pics.
Breaking the boundaries
In recent news, beauty brand Lush announced that they were going to delete ALL their UK social media channels. WHAT?! I hear you gasp.
We’re switching up social.
Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. pic.twitter.com/nJUzG0lham
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) April 8, 2019
Their reasoning? They don’t pay for advertising, and therefore don’t want to pay to appear in their followers news feeds. Whilst Lush probably aren’t alone in this feeling – they are certainly the first to bravely step up and admit that they won’t succumb to the ever-changing algorithms.
“We are proud of what we have built organically using borrowed platforms, but it is time for a change.”
This is undoubtedly a bold move from Lush, though the brand will continue their social presence through “staff, friends and shop” profiles.
Interestingly, the feedback from the #lushcommunity is mixed, from users asking how they should now keep in touch, to others praising the brave move.
User Generated Content
Back in 2016, it was reported that 85% of consumers find UGC more influential than brand-created content.
Do a search for #lush or #lushcosmetics, and within seconds your screen is filled with heavenly photos of marbled bath water and soaps and bath bombs in every shape and colour imaginable, most of which are taken from consumers own profiles.
This example, shared on @lushcosmetics Instagram (one profile that is staying put for now – FYI) has been reposted from another user’s profile.
What impact will this have on UGC? Whilst Lush are removing their UK based profile, the #LushCommunity is thriving, and Lush have stated that they’ll ‘see you there’. Interestingly, accounts have started to pop up from Lush team members, echoing their statement that the brands’ social presence will continue through staff.
From my own perspective, I highly doubt the UGC of bath bombs fizzing away will reduce; if anything it might even increase… who doesn’t love to share a Boomerang of the bath bomb swirling round the tub?
Following the shock announcement (L-Exit, if you will) Adweek asked their Twitter followers their thoughts on the pros and cons of this move. A lot of feedback followed the same direction; the brand exposure possibilities from social media can far outweigh any cons.
Some users even went as far to suggest that Lush may be secretly planning to release their own content sharing platform; after all, they already have a Lush Player where users can watch and listen to updates from their teams, including the buying team, product creations and everything in between.
In terms of engagement with consumers, what millennials or Gen Z kids will actually pick up the phone over sending a message via social media? It just isn’t the done thing anymore.
One small step for Lush, one giant leap for mankind
I’m not sure that it’s a trend that’ll catch on, given the reach and engagement that can be achieved through social platforms both organically and paid for. From a marketing perspective, it’s certainly not something many (or any!) in the industry would recommend, but only time will tell how this will impact Lush’s business. Good luck to them.
This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new.#LushCommunity – see you there.
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) April 8, 2019
If we have learned one thing from the online world, it’s that nothing stays the same for too long. In social media for brands, this is crucial. What worked in 2018 may not be working well in 2019. People change and attitudes change – those that don’t get left behind. Keeping the core values of your business is important, though having fluidity to adapt to change and opportunities is equally the case.
One way of keeping an eye on trends and change is analytics. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you evaluate what’s working, when it’s working and when to refine. To learn more or discuss how you can leverage social media for your business, give us a call.