Cosmetics company Lush’s decision to turn its back on traditional branded social media has been questioned by a social media expert.
“The negative response from their devoted fans highlights that this may not have been the wisest decision,” explained Mike Blake-Crawford, strategy director at Social Chain.
The company said it will keep open its UK accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for a week to answer customer questions, before redirecting them to online chat, email and phone instead.
Some customers on Twitter were unhappy with the announcement.
How do you plan on creating a community if all your conversations are 1:1?
— Lorna Westwood (@tangerinedaily) April 9, 2019
I wonder how this will hinder those who may only access you via social media. Everyone is quick to poopoo social media but for many it’s about accessibility they may not otherwise have.
— Leigh Bowser (@LeighLaLovesYou) April 8, 2019
Blake-Crawford said the 2019 social media landscape was a difficult ground for brands and social platforms alike.
Facebook, in the midst of growing concerns around privacy and the negative PR announced a shift towards ‘meaningful engagement’.
“Trumpeted as an attempt to bring people closer together, the result for brands was significantly reduced organic reach, declining engagement and ultimately rising media costs via Facebook and Instagram’s paid advertising platform.”
Lush said it will begin to introduced ‘online personalities’ and will operate within the #LushCommunity hashtag.
“The challenge is how they adequately capitalise on this conversation without a centralised social media ‘home’ for their products and campaigns,” said Blake-Crawford.
“With the unstoppable growth of eCommerce and low barriers to entry for start-ups, they could see this backfire in the long-term with reduced market share and an inability to effectively take part in the growing social conversation around the environment.”