Quitting Social Media: Meet The First Company Who Finally Got Sick of It

Nicole Sudjono

Is quitting social media a new trend now?

Photo by Zoaghram Dumee on WikimediaWikimedia

In the business world, social media is always a must-have. In the digital age that we are living in now, every business needs them to raise awareness. It doesn’t matter how much social media is made, but everyone is catching up with trends to survive.

However, one company finally got sick of it. And that’s Lush, a bath products company.

At first, perhaps they thought that it was just a phase about these platforms. They kept using social media because their competitors were doing the same, who wouldn’t? It’s part of marketing.

But as time passed by, a piece of news released something disturbing about the platforms used by everyone, including kids, and businesses.

But why did they do this? From a marketing perspective, this is quite a suicide mission as well, how are they going to market their products? And should you follow?

Facebook Whistleblower: Instagram is Toxic

In October of 2021, there was a whistleblower from Facebook, stating that the company’s research found that Instagram is more toxic for teenage girls than any other platform. Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, found that the platform encourages users, especially teen girls, to have eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.

And these researches are coming from Facebook researches themselves!

You know that this is serious if their own company is aware of this and yet did little to nothing to handle the situation. And instead, they rebrand to Meta, another red flag where we are getting closer to the world of Black Mirror.

In my previous article: “Young People Are Leaving Social Media. What Does This Mean For Marketers?”, I brought up data where the growing usage of social media is actually decreasing, and this was before the pandemic:

A blog post from Brian Dean found that social media usage is still growing.

  • 2020: 3,960 billion active users
  • 2019: 3,484 billion active users (+9.2%)
  • 2018: 3,196 billion active users (+9.0%)
  • 2017: 2,796 billion active users (+21%)
  • 2016: 2,307 billion active users (+11%)
  • 2015: 2,078 billion active users

However, there has been a drop in 2018 where there used to be a 21% increase, it fell all the way to 9% and grew only 0.2%. And this was before the pandemic.

Take note as well, this is coming from an external party’s research. Imagine if Facebook revealed the whole data of kids driving to a mental state using their platforms.

I wrote in my article that marketers can relax because even though these platforms are toxic, there are still many people using them and it won’t go away yet.

But perhaps, after this whistleblow, things might change. And a rise of a movement.

Lush Quits Social Media for Good

On 22 November 2021, Lush announced that they are quitting social media for good. The company had 10.6 million followers on Facebook and Instagram, all gone now. Except for their Youtube account.

According to Mark Constantine, the CEO of ethical hair and beauty firm Lush, he was willing to lose their digital presence so that their consumers will still be safe.

“I just thought ‘That’s their(Facebook) own research and they’re ignoring it and we are attracting people to their platform.’ We had no choice whatsoever. Lush attracts an awful lot of girls of that age.” — Mark Constantine , 2021

This must’ve been a serious decision to make because there are three huge things lost here for the company:

  1. Digital marketing presence
  2. Goodbye, 10.6 million followers
  3. $13 million loss in sales.

This is huge. That’s quite a big presence and lots of money loss, especially with covid happening, the future sales is still uncertain.

In the end, they decided to quit social media entirely. And guess what? It’s working!

The company is actually receiving positive responses from this decision! When the news picked it up and posted it on Youtube, many people were praising the company for their ethical decision:

There hasn’t been any news on the result of sales for Lush, but I have a feeling people will subscribe to their youtube account and would support the company for doing this. After all, they are willing to lose your mental health.

Should your business quit social media too?

With that said, seeing how the big company is willing to quit social media, should you too?

Here are two options for this:

  1. If your business is small, don’t delete your social media.
  2. If you are willing to lose millions of dollars and followers, yes.

If you chose option 2, you may follow Lush’s way on it. As for option 1, let me address a few things:

There is nothing wrong if you can’t afford to quit social media, they are the greatest platform to market yourself. In the digital age world, you need it to raise awareness about your products or services, it’s part of marketing.

In the world of oversaturated content uploaded every minute, you do need the algorithm to boost your digital presence. So treat it like a job rather than a personal account. That’s the positive side of social media.

So go out there, post some content about your business. Let us know what you have to offer to us!

Is quitting social media now a new trend?

I feel like it’s about to be, it’s just slow. In Indonesia, there are a lot of people using Instagram every day. Especially with the pandemic going on, people are marketing their businesses there.

Lush’s departure from social media is the beginning of something. It’s not immediate yet, but it’s only giving red flags about them.

So, should you quit too?

I took a long break from social media and haven’t opened them again for quite a while. I’ve been feeling quite better as of late, there are fewer distractions and more productivity going. The only time I opened them was when some friends DM me.

However, to be entirely fair, Social media has been helpful to market myself online too. I have a better presence on the internet and am able to connect with people all over the world, and I’m so grateful for it. It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t deleted my account entirely.

With that said, the question begs: should you quit social media?

Well, the answer is…..it’s up to you.

Put it this way. Social media is equivalent to alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with them, but indulging them too much will lead you further downhill. There’s nothing wrong with them as they do make us feel good, but being too addicted to them is another problem entirely.

I think it’s best to keep addiction in check. Just treat Instagram as a business, but don’t let it look like the likes or comments identify your business. It’s all about what you can produce in the end.

As Steve Jobs once said:

Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.”

Hope this helps!

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