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Why your favourite brand may be taking a social media break

Another day, another social media platform to post on.

The launch of Threads on 6 July marked the latest major short-form text platform available to social media users, following Twitter, Mastodon and Bluesky – plus a raft of other, smaller competitors.

Like many of us, big companies are struggling to keep up with the number of social media platforms vying for their time and attention. They’re faced with the important choice of which apps to choose, in a market where social media can be an important brand-building tool and enable them to target consumers where they are most active.

For the past decade, It’s been all but required for serious brands to maintain a social media presence, says Nathan Allebach, creative director at Allebach Communications, which has partnered with brands including Utz Snacks and Steak-umm to build out their social media presences.

Not only is it a major avenue to meet consumers, but social media is also a key contributor for brand discovery – which companies hope will translate into sales across generations of shoppers.

Yet instead of scrambling to claim digital real estate across all these newly emerging platforms, some companies are choosing to be more judicious about which platforms they choose to join. In some cases, they’re learning from brands who jumped the social media ship years ago.

Bullying and polarisation

One of the first large brands to make the move was Lush Cosmetics, which in November 2021 decided to stop posting on social media platforms controlled by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The beauty company initially dropped off the platforms in 2019, due to concerns about fighting with ever-changing social media algorithms as well as the company’s worry about the potentially negative impact of social media on young people.

“We are a social brand, and community has been key for us,” says Annabelle Baker, Lush’s global brand director. “When we joined social media, Facebook and those platforms were everything we were looking for initially: they were direct links to the communities.”


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