Last week, Lush, the British cosmetics company, announced it was quitting Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat in accordance with its new “Global Anti-Social Media Policy.” The move was provoked by recent whistleblower revelations and reports on social media marketing’s negative impact on people’s health, particularly the brand’s core demographic, girls and young women.
“Social media was not designed to look after people’s health, but our products are,” said Jack Constantine, Lush’s chief digital officer, to Vogue Business. “It is counter-intuitive for us to use platforms that keep you hyper-tense, engaged and anxious.”
The brand will shift focus to YouTube, rely on Twitter for customer care interactions, distribute campaigns via email marketing, and post inspirational content to Pinterest. It also plans to elevate offline marketing strategies including ‘physical events, community activations and maybe even old-fashioned postal catalogues,” Vogue Business reported.
“We’re starting to see some trailblazing brands move in this direction,” said Sabrina McPherson of Publicis Sapient in the same report. “People are looking for brands living their values and prioritising the right kind of relationship with customers rather than any relationship for easy bucks.”
The big question for digital marketing agencies is: will moving away from social media become a trend? At GrowthEngine, we don’t believe that social media marketing is by any means dying. Lush’s move is limited to the four platforms that don’t align with its corporate values, and the decision to leave these spaces is only possible thanks to the company’s significant name recognition. For Lush, the decision to ‘quit’ social will create buzz – for 95% of other companies, it would limit exposure and access to customers.
That being said, it’s reasonable to assume that Facebook’s habit of generating negative press, combined with Apple’s privacy changes, will have brands thinking twice about advertising on the platform. Like Lush, they will likely consider social alternatives and not leave social media marketing behind altogether.