Lush has turned its back on social media
On the 8th of April, the cosmetic giant Lush announced the bold decision to delete its UK social media accounts in a bid to ‘open up a conversation’ with customers.
In a statement on Instagram, the ethical cosmetic brand told its 569,000 followers: ‘We are tired of fighting algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeeds. So, we’ve decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our social channels and open up the conversation between you and us instead. Lush has always been made up of many voices, and it’s time for all of them to be heard.”
The company went on to say that the accounts will be closed by the end of the week and that customers will be able to contact them directly via telephone and email.
This announcement left customers and industry insiders alike completely baffled, considering that social media is such an essential marketing tool for retailers like Lush, whose customer base is predominantly Millennials and Gen Z. The company is also known as a strong advocate for social and environmental issues, and social media was a key platform for the company to get its message across. Out of all the brands that could take a step away from social media, it seemed like Lush was the least expected for many.
It could be argued that it’s just another clever strategic move for them. As a company, they are known for going against the grain and making strong statements with their branding. Most notably was its #SPYCOP campaign in 2018 which highlighted the issue of the police infiltrating environmental advocacy groups since 1968.
Social media is currently under a lot of scrutiny with reports of harmful content affecting the mental health of its users, and social media platforms such as Facebook are under fire for a string of data breaches. So, it could be said that this move could be Lush’s attempt at taking a stand against social media.
Although it is admirable that Lush is taking a unique approach to communicating with its customers, there is an overwhelming sense that the brand has shot itself in the foot by deleting its social media accounts. Afterall, it is now significantly more difficult for Lush to convey its strong ethical message and it has potentially alienated a large portion of young customers. Equally, it could be a very successful move. Lush is known for being a pioneer and it could start a trend for other retailers choosing to leave social media behind.
Is this one risk too far for Lush? Only time will tell.