Why are Brands Breaking Up With Social Media?

Why are Brands Breaking Up With Social Media

Maintaining a strong following on social media is not worth the mental toll for some brands.

When social media was first introduced to us, many were using it to create and share content. Now, social media platforms offer more than just that—they have topped the list of entertainment, marketing and networking tools. More and more businesses are utilizing social media to promote their products, interact with consumers and even establish a digital market. The zeitgeist is dominated by social media marketing. In that sense, brands should be spending more time on their social media accounts, right? Well, perhaps not so much anymore. 

Social media has become a catalyst for health issues, such as depression, anxiety, negative body image, insomnia and addiction. Hence, some global companies have considered pulling out of the rat race and breaking up with social media. 

Goodbye social media

Acknowledging the effects of social media on mental health, global cosmetics firm Lush recently said “no” to Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook. “I’ve spent all my life avoiding putting harmful ingredients in my products. There is now overwhelming evidence we are being put at risk when using social media. I’m not willing to expose my customers to this harm, so it’s time to take it out of the mix,” said Mark Constantine Obe, CEO and Co-founder of Lush, in a press release. This isn’t the first time Lush has tried to quit social media. In 2019, the company announced that it was fed up with fighting against algorithms and wanted to talk directly with its consumers.

Lush is not the only brand wiping out its social media presence; Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta are also taking a stand against it. In July, fashion brand Balenciaga cleared all of its social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ahead of its highly awaited haute couture show. However, the company gave no official statement for this bold step. In the same year, Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta deleted its social media accounts without any official explanation. 

Many believed it was a well-thought out publicity stunt by the brand or a temporary glitch. 

Interestingly, Bottega Veneta’s ‌then-designer Daniel Lee was also not active on social media. In an interview with Vogue, Lee said, “I don’t have social media. I try and use my cell phone as little as possible. I definitely prefer human interaction. That’s very important to me and to the work I do.”

These high-end fashion brands, which heavily rely on their image and customer base built over the years, are just some companies that have recently deleted or deactivated their social media accounts. While most people think that deleting a page is an extreme move for a brand to take, many others believe that it’s the only way these companies can truly break free from the social media cycle they are caught in.

Will social media breaks become the new trend?

When Lush decided to quit social media in September 2021, it did come as a surprise. But when we look into it, it seems unavoidable. The toxic environment of the virtual world has made it difficult for brands who are looking for a human connection with their consumers. Take Lush as an example. It makes sense for a brand to help its consumers relax and quit ‌platforms that can trigger anxiety. Furthermore, the security of such social networking sites is always in question. No platform is completely safe from security-related risks. The Facebook data leak in 2018 is one such example.

The way forward

Undoubtedly, social media is one of the most effective platforms for businesses to interact with their customers. But not every brand is seeing the success they were hoping for. As it turns out, while social media can be an incredible way to connect with people on a closer level than ever before, some major downsides to it often get ignored over the excitement of hyper-engagement. The problem is how social media operates and where it falls in promoting a toxic culture. Social media marketing will bloom further if the concerns are rightfully addressed. If not, more and more brands might soon hop on the “no social media” bandwagon to preserve their identity and originality as well as the well-being of their consumers. Now, it is up to brands to make a choice that addresses the concerns and aligns with their brand values. 

Header image courtesy of Pexels

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Nidhi Singh
A self-confessed Bollywood lover, travel junkie, and food evangelist. I like traveling and I believe it is essential to take your mind off the daily monotony. I’ll be reporting on stories from Asia's entrepreneurial ecosystem and can’t wait to get going!

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