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  • Writer's pictureRepublic Relations

Social (media) shaming needs to stop

Well, the advertising and marketing world has got itself all worked up by an announcement from UK brand Lush who announced a divorce from social media.

Lush recently posted a £4m loss, but as only one quarter of its business comes from e-commerce perhaps its decision to build on its remaining business is not such a bad idea. Although I could be the lone voice in the communications sphere on this one.

The company has said rather than communicate with customers and fans via Facebook, Instagram and twitter, is will be talking via live chat on its website and that old-fashioned thing call a phone.

In a statement is said: “We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. We want social to be more about passions and less about likes.” ⁣

However, Lush does recognise the importance of influencers which it will continue to reach via #LushCommunity but it’s not really clear yet how that will work without the associated social media.

Lush has been synonymous with environmental products since its inception but it can still champion its views via the website, in-store and through PR campaigns - and of course adverting.

Another way for Lush to retain and engage with customers is by providing outstanding customer service (and products of course) and by creating a customer experience that is second to none. I think that’s more important than a pretty picture on Instagram.

It currently has just over £1million social media followers – however, as we all know followers does not equal engagement and clearly Lush does not believe that these followers are providing a good return on investment. I’m sure this is a decision they have not made lightly.

And, those shouting most loudly about the dire consequences of this decision are those working in social – no surprise there.

Yes, there has been a backlash from fans – but this is likely to be short term. Personally, I think this is a bold move and assuming they will put more effort and time into data collection and improved communications it could work well. Social media does not work for everyone and while it could garner brand recognition and so on, it does not necessarily mean revenue.

Time will tell whether Lush is indeed a pioneer or they have made a terrible mis-judgement. But let’s stop with the social media shaming – there is really is more to life and more to business.

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