Recently, Beauty Brand Lush announced it is quitting social media. Curious, right? Especially considering most brands only use social media to share their stories with consumers.
We wanted to take a deeper dive into this trend and see if quitting social media is a cool challenge, if it’s trendy and most importantly what’s in it for brands if they delete their social media presence.
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
How did we get here
Social media can be overwhelming. Sometimes, people realize it’s too much. This is why more and more people are taking breaks from it or even quitting it by deleting the app and their accounts.
The idea isn’t new though. In 2016, Dr. Cal Newport held a Tedx speech trying to convince people to quit social media for their own health. He compares social media with gambling machines in a speech which gathered over 5 million views on YouTube. This video is a source of inspiration for many people even in 2019. He wrote many books, “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” being the most recent.
He states that social media tools are designed to be addictive. “the actual designed desired-use case of these tools is that you fragment your attention as much as possible throughout your waking hour”. In his opinion, social media brings with it multiple harms because spending large portions of your day in a state of fragmented attention can permanently reduce your capacity for concentration”.
If you want to see the full talk Dr. Cal Newport held, here it is!
People are quitting social media
Even though Gen Z is the most socially savvy generation, many youngsters are leaving social media.
Brandwatch conducted a research last year and found that Facebook is the most common network people started to ditch. Twitter and Instagram seemed constant. Keep in mind that this research was done a year ago and with the algorithms changing weekly, Instagram must have been quit too.
But why are brands quitting social media
Content is king. People spend time & connect on social media more than ever. New apps are created daily. But somehow Lush found the need to quit social media, in an effort to promote more meaningful conversations with their customers. They said they want to engage with their consumers and will do so on their website (owned platform), email, phone or in person when they visit the stores.
I believe they finally realized that brand building is more important than likes. Meeting in real life with the customers and creating a nice experience is often more important in building brand loyalty than creating funny & inspirational content on social media.
Also, quitting social media doesn’t mean their products won’t be present on social media with the help of targeted influencer collaborations.
Maintaining a strong presence on their website and being responsive could be better than self promoting and ignoring thousands of reviews, comments or questions asked.
J D Wetherspoon did it
Founded in 1979, J D Wetherspoon is a pub company in the UK and Ireland, with about 1000 outlets (including bars and hotels).
After quitting social media, they said that social media wasn’t essential for their business and that closing these accounts won’t affect their business.
The same it goes for Lush, this will give them more time to establish the offline relationships. Rumors say this will not have an actual impact on the business because the accounts were ran poorly in the first place.
Diesel also did it. Somehow.
Last year, the teasing for Diesel’s “Go with the flow” campaign was the brand deleting all posts uploaded on Instagram to that day. This was their imperfect new beginning with Instagram. They wanted to break the habit of posting perfect pictures with perfect people who applied super cute filters on their photos who then turned nothing like the moment they captured. Their key message? Embrace what you can’t control! Wear your flaws with pride!
Celebrities are quitting social media too
Many celebrities (with strong personal branding) have decided to shut down their social media presence as well. For a month or for lifetime. It is clear that celebrities are not going where their audiences are but rather stay true to one platform and try to make the best of it.
Aand we’re back to the questions you’ve been asking yourself: should the brands you manage quit social media?
Well, it depends. If your brand doesn’t have a life outside of social media, you might have a serious problem.
Do you know any brand who deleted their social media presence? Share your thoughts and knowledge! Where Else? On our social media channels!