Lately more and more brands are hopping off the social media train, replacing it with own print issues. Is the brands’ future outside social platforms and back into the old-school mail boxes? Or there is still something left for Instagram and Facebook to offer?
People are reportedly spending more time online than ever. Especially since the pandemic. For the past year or so, “online” was the place to meet customers. Brands’ social media became something more of a diary where they can share their values and beliefs. But are people bored of that already?
In the past few months, we saw some unexpected changes in the social media behaviour of many famous brands. Bottega Veneta (an Italian luxury fashion house) exited social media first – in January this year. Lush Cosmetics (British brand for handmade cosmetics) followed them by deleting their Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat accounts this November. Balenciaga (a Spanish luxury fashion house) is constantly refreshing their appearance on Instagram by deleting and renewing their grid. And those are just a couple of examples.
But what are their reasons to do it? Lush have always described themselves as rebellious, so such a rebel against the platforms is kind of the obvious move for them. “Lush is something of a cult, and cult members find each other one way or another,” jokes Lush’s CEO Mark Constantine, one of the six co-founders of the brand. Moreover, Lush is not going completely silent on social media. The brand is planning on presence in YouTube and Pinterest. “We will be monitoring those platforms [Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat] more than ever. The last thing we want to do is ignore customer feedback.” says Jack Constantine, Lush chief digital officer.
For Bottega Veneta withdrawing from social media is more of a reinforcement of the brand’s position. “Regarding its digital communication strategy, it’s not disappearing from social networks—it’s merely using them differently,” says François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, the mother company of Bottega Veneta. The brand is now relaying on its huge fan base and especially on the Instagram account created by a trusty (ex-)follower who is now sharing all about the new collections in the @newbottega account.
Whereas, Balenciaga’s and Ye’s (Kanye West) strategy of whipping all their content away and changing it with completely new one on irregular bases is a way to attract audiences’ attention and build the momentum for a new release. This a smart way to further engage an already existing audience of millions.
A new wave of social media strategies is coming, that can’t be denied. However, not every brand is ready for such a drastic turn of events. For smaller brands, but only, social media platforms are still the place to meet their audience and expand their exposure. They can also be a way to get closer to the customer. “If you don’t have brand awareness and customer loyalty, a move like this could be detrimental,” says Jared Watson, assistant professor of marketing at New York University Stern School of Business.
So, the quick answer on “Should you delete your brand’s social media” is No. Just make it useful! It doesn’t have to be a trend. Just make sure the content is as diverse and inclusive as possible. Make sure you are talking to the right audience. And last but not least, make sure you stand behind your values, as this is definitely going to be one of the most important things for your current and future customers!
“People are looking for brands living their values and prioritising the right kind of relationship with customers rather than any relationship for easy bucks.” says Sabrina McPherson, senior MD and management consultant lead for consumer products, at digital business transformation consultancy Publicis Sapient, for Vogue Business.
Just because people are spending more time online, doesn’t mean they trust everything they see. Trust levels are going down year to year. “On social media, our persuasion knowledge is activated, which means we’re aware that marketers are trying to convince us to purchase.” says Jared Watson, assistant professor of marketing at New York University Stern School of Business, for Vogue Business. That’s why it is so important to not only claim you brand values but to actually live them with all your actions.
People still find business the most trustworthy source of information of all – 61% of people say they trust the business, compared to 53% for government and 51% to media. And the easiest way to the heart and trust of the customers is through social media (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2021). There it can be fun but also informative and relatable. It is a well-known fact that people like brands who are like them – likes like likes.
Here are a few quick tips and tricks on how to get to the next base with your current and potential customers:
- Be real and honest with your audience. Showing them the process of creating or preparing an order for sending is a great way to involve them and make the conversation more personal.
- Remind them of your values by working on them. If you said you will be planting a tree for every purchase, show them how you do it and how fun it is for you (in Stories or Reels or in a TikTok). This will also help your customers meet the people behind the brand. Once again – making it more personal. Same can be done for conferences, events, fashion shows etc.
- Involve your customers by sharing the content they create for you. You don’t have to rely only on ambassadors’ content. The best ambassadors are your customers. Share their story. People like to be acknowledged and seen.
- Have a strategy! All of the above are great but without a proper strategy your grid can look chaotic and insincere, which is the opposite of what you want. Plan ahead! Prepare a calendar for posting with couple of post ready to go in the upcoming days and follow it. It has to look natural but to be well thought out.
- Regular posting is also very important. The social media platforms are constantly changing their algorithms but one thing is permanent – you need to post regularly in order to remain on the top of the feed of you followers.
If you feel unsure on how to do any of the above, let us help you! Our research and social media teams would love to help you on the way to social media success!