Is a break from social media a good idea?

Earlier this month, UK cosmetics firm Lush announced it would be getting rid of its social media channels. To the customers, fans of the brand, and digital marketers of the world, the news was met by bafflement.

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Why would a brand with an impressive 570k follower count on Instagram alone, even think about hitting the delete button?

According to Lush’s social media statement, the reasoning behind their decision is due to frustrations over “fighting with algorithms”.

“We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. So we’ve decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our social channels and open up the conversation between you and us instead,” a statement read.

Moving forward, if you wish to contact Lush, you can do so in a slightly less modern way – through email, live chat, or – (millennials cover your eyes) – a good old-fashioned phone call.

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While the announcement had people scratching their heads, the frustrations felt by the global company regarding social media algorithms is sure to be reciprocated by other companies.

Zuckerberg’s January announcement of an algorithm update that will favor content from friends and family over posts from brands and publications sparked mass debate in the marketing world.

Brands big and small are now left with the challenge of trying to capture the attention of audiences and are having to work extremely hard to elevate their content above the noise of others. But it’s not only the unpredictability of algorithms that are leading brands and marketers to quake in their boots— there have been many changes to various social media that have added to this confusion.

For instance, influencers now must explicitly tell their following if they’ve been paid to post an ad, which arguably robs the post of the sense of authenticity which consumers seem to love so much.

Adding to this is the recent rumor that Instagram is trialling the removal of its likes count— the currency of social media marketing. Similarly sentiments were voiced by Twitter’s founder in a recent TED interview, if for a different set of underlying reasons.

So it seems that the world of social is becoming somewhat uncertain for marketers. Despite the strain that social media changes have put on many businesses, however, there is no doubt that the move to rid of social platforms altogether is still a gamble for Lush.

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