We've been on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram since the day we launched. But for the past 5 or 6 months we've not really posted.
This was initially because two of us had babies in quick succession (hoorah!) and there just wasn't time. But slowly it crept up on us that we weren't really sure why we were spending any time on social anymore.
Here's why we started on social media in the heady days of 2014:
1/ it's a great way to have conversations with customers
2/ it's a cost effective way for new people to find you
3/ you have to, everyone does it
Conversations With Our Loyal Customers
Let's start with the first point and say, it ain't necessarily so. At least not for us.
Most often we get replies to our fantastic newsletter or their order confirmation emails, and we have a chat over email. Sometimes when we want to get to the bottom of something we'll reach out over the phone. And of course, the on-site chat button is a perennial source of new customers asking - rightly - what on earth a heart note is, what Atlantic smells like and so on...
"But you've not been posting, so of course you don't have messages" you (rightly) point out. Fair enough, but when we were on social all the time it was the same story really, except when we had something really specific to get your opinion on eg on packaging design options. Even then, the response rate was better via our newsletter.
Showing People Our Fantastic Fragrances
On to the second point: showing new people our fantastic fragrances. Now, it's true that if we spend money advertising our products on social media we see an uptick on site visits. But the return on our investment is nowhere near as good as we see on search engine advertising. So if it's pay to play, why go for the more expensive option?
And as for the organic reach of our posts, as of a few years ago there is almost none. To give you an idea, when we were posting a lot last year we got an average of 5 customers a week visit us from social media. Now that we never post, we get an average of 2. When we posted yesterday that we were likely going to drop off social for a while, we were apparently reaching about 6,000 different people. In the 24 hours since the post was made, we've had 3 interactions (including one vote on our Twitter poll agreeing that it was a good idea!). This is typical.
Social media used to be your 'shopfront', it was important to keep it fresh and people passing by would inevitably come inside.
If that's still the case at all, it's like renting a shop space down a dark alley. Somebody might get lost and wander through the doors, or stumble in late at night after a few too many beers, but are these really the customers we're spending hours of time posting for?
And when you think about it, it makes sense. Personally I go on social media to see what my friends have been up to and share photos. I never open Instagram to browse new businesses, and judging by our traffic from social media, I'm not alone.
A Last Word From A Wise Woman
So onto the final point: everyone is doing it.
Well, dear reader, as of the past 5 or 6 months we've been experimenting with not doing it and it's made no difference at all. Plus, just doing something because everyone else is isn't really what we're about. Like my mum used to say, 'if Simon jumped off a cliff would you do that too?'
Note that in this comparison 'Simon' is every other business and 'jumping off a cliff' is producing and posting regular high quality content on social media and... I guess I'm my mum? I think you get the picture.
In short: we just don't think it's working for us anymore. At least not right now. Plus obviously Twitter has gone bananas.
So we're moving from an unintentional pause to a more considered hiatus. We might be back on social, who knows. But instead of scheduling posts, we're focusing on our next amazing fragrance (yes this was a low key new fragrance announcement for the megafans!) and on growing our mailing list which is really the only place that we have meaningful connections with our customers.
So What Now?
If you want to hear from us, you can subscribe to our mailing list - that's how we're going to keep you in the loop about new fragrances, offers and everything Thomas Clipper. The signup form is at the bottom of every page of our website, and on the popup that I'm sorry to say works very well (even though, everybody hates popups, so sorry!).
If you ever want to contact us we're here - just email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org - I can't wait to hear from you.