Lush’s exit from social media could be start of trend

Cosmetics brand Lush’s decision to quit social media today could be the start of a global trend social cloud comms platform, Twilio. 

Lush’s exit reveals huge issue with social

Earlier this month the global Lush brand said it will be turning its back on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat, until the platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users.

This policy is rolling out across all the 48 countries where Lush operates.

“In the same way that evidence against climate change was ignored and belittled for decades, concerns about the serious effects of social media are going largely ignored now”, Lush said in a statement issued 16 November.

“Lush is taking matters into its own hands and addressing the issues now, not waiting around until others believe in the problem before changing its own behaviour.”

It is huge issue that social media has a problem, and one that the industry seems unwilling to address, with Instagram one of the worst offenders.

And according to Twilio, Lush is by no means alone.

Twilio said that social listening research, launched earlier this month in conjunction with Realise Unlimited, highlighted a reduction in demand for social media interactions from businesses across the board. 

Will Lush’s social media exit start a trend?

This suggests that other brands may follow in Lush’s footsteps to focus on personalised communications.

Findings uncovered via Twitter analysis of 100 of the UK’s top brands (comparing July 2020 with July 2021) found that retail brands saw a 46% reduction and fashion and clothing a 36% decline in social media customer service conversation volume from July 2020 – July 2021.

The trend is similar for other sectors too: financial services saw a 62% reduction in Twitter conversations from July 2020 to July 2021.

Concurrently, business research conducted by Twilio last year (surveying 2,500 global enterprise decision makers) also found that 93% of UK business leaders planned to add new communications channels in the coming year.

Social media analysis: Customer service conversation volume.

On average, they forecast adding 3.5 new communication channels to their customer engagement strategy, contributing to the continued decline of interactions on social media.

David Parry-Jones, senior vice-president, EMEA at Twilio, said: “Lush’s decision to focus on alternative ways to connect with its community indicates a broader trend towards more thoughtful and personalised engagement from brands — not just in retail, but across almost every industry.

“This is partly because people now expect a more flexible and bespoke kind of interaction with businesses and want to be able to reach them in convenient ways.

“Twilio’s recent analysis of customer service conversations from nearly 100 top UK brands on Twitter showed that almost all sectors saw reduced volumes on this channel when comparing July 2020 to July 2021. 

“This highlights that while there was an acute need for all channels to be open in the midst of last year, the emphasis from both consumers and businesses now is on the longer-term future.

“This is no doubt in part because businesses realised during the pandemic how critical good digital customer engagement is and have invested in developing a stronger model of online interactions. 

Search for new channels

In fact, according to Twilio’s State of Customer Engagement report, in 2020 93% of UK business leaders said they planned to add, on average, 3.5 new engagement channels in the coming year. 

“We’re now seeing some of that come to fruition as most realise that the past year’s huge digital acceleration is here to stay.

“Over the course of the pandemic, brands have also become more aware of the huge number of digital touch-points they have with customers, and the value of the data this generates. 

“On top of this, tools like online chat and in-app communications have really shown their value in the past year, even for those customers who might previously have preferred to speak to businesses in-person. 

“It’s therefore clear that those who will win at customer engagement in future will be those who leverage the first party data coming from those interactions, to create truly personalised experiences that reflect their customers’ needs.”

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