This whole drama about brands not being involved in Social Media or quitting their presence there reminds me of my friend, who claims to be vegan. Except for weekends. Or when she’s really hungry. The fact that her severe hunger strikes every second day… well, that’s a bit less relevant, I guess. She’s still a declared vegan, right?
So, instead of just being a horrible friend here, let me explain how this is connected to our topic today. Lately, a British cosmetics giant called Lush declared quitting Social Media. But not Twitter in the USA which has about 47 million users. Also not in influencer marketing which is considered to have a major impact on buyers’ behavior today. And oh, they will still be present through an Instagram hashtag. So, why did the whole drama appear?
The explanation provided by Lush was very short – they are tired of fighting with algorithms in order to be shown on users’ feed. Their belief is that by cutting most Social Media presence, they will get closer to their customers by online chat and phone. That’s great, but I really don’t feel like taking the phone to call a customer support officer in order to brag how the new shampoo made the whole tram smell like my freshly washed hair.
I’m pretty sure this move won’t impact sales or the reputation tied to Lush’s brand, but I do not agree with the theory this is getting them any closer to their customers nor “starting conversations” they state as goals of this move.
When I was doing my research for this piece of writing, I’ve noticed everyone mentioned Apple as a perfect example of a valuable brand which is not using Social Media as an official mean of communication. The key word in that sentence is – official. You cannot state Apple is not on Social Media since everyone’s feed is full of bathroom selfies taken by iPhone. Does the fact Apple doesn’t repost that photo mean nobody knows who they are? Absolutely not.
But people have been taking selfies with their iPhones since 2007. In 2007, millennials used Social Media only to share emo music and many of them weren’t even present. My point being, comparing Apple’s brand reputation and the potential reputation your brand could get from Facebook is useless. They were here long before Social Media even had algorithms and they will probably survive all surges online communication can suffer.
I’ve also found another interesting piece of information. Think, have you ever stumbled upon a cigarette brand fan page? I don’t think so. It’s even hard for me to imagine one without it being a complete internet troll. Any influence on the smoking population? Not really.
Owners of a restaurant very near my home are traditional people with a lot of love for their customers, but are not so positive about staring at your phone while your Kung Pao chicken is getting colder. Surprisingly, they do use Social Media marketing, but occasionally, they offer a 15% discount if you surrender the weapon of your dinner alienation and enjoy your meal in nice chat with family or friends.
Algorithms are not your enemy, they are your tool and very helpful in case you are establishing a new brand, adding improvements to the one you already founded or just want to get more people to be familiar with what you do. If you detest Social Media, don’t blame it on its principles and try to find some other solutions.
Thank you for reading, I swear I didn’t get a free iPhone or spring rolls.