No more sharing the love.
In a move reflecting a growing frustration among brand owners and manager, global beauty brand Lush announced it will be shutting down its social media channels in the UK. For a brand as popular as Lush in a category where social dominates, this is a huge gesture.
For a beauty brand who has successfully built a significant and passionate community on social, these changes have reached a tipping point and the camels back appears to have been broken. Lush plans to increase its use of influencers as a way of allowing customers to continue to connect with the brand on social. Otherwise they’ll communicate with customers directly through their web site, live chat and email.
As the most popular social platforms evolve to profitable commercial beasts, talking with fans and customers is becoming something they wish brands to pay for. Unbeknown to many customers, just because you’ve selected to follow a brand doesn’t mean you’ll be shown their posts – not unless they pay for it that is. As Lush described it; they are “tired of fighting with algorithms” in order to engage with those who have chosen to follow them.
This is a trend we’ve seen playing out, first on Facebook and now on Instagram. A post that would typically receive 500 engagements for a brand is now lucky to get 30-40. But here’s the rub; a boosted post on either of these platforms does not get anything like the level of engagement of an organic post because people using the platform didn’t sign-up to be advertised to. The challenge is the platforms were created for direct conversations with friends initially, and then with your favorite brands. Because it was never part of the deal, advertising carries audience resentment on these platforms at a much higher level than other channels to market.
Our view is that Lush represents a growing shift that will likely see every brand but the most micro/local shift from using social media. We’ll have to wait to see whether this leaves those platforms closer to their pure intent or less vibrant places for their community as a result.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pics courtesy Lush.