Cosmetics brand Lush announced last Monday that they would be quitting social media for its UK business. Their statement was the following:
We’re switching up social.
Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. 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. We don’t want to limit ourselves to holding conversations in one place, we want social to be placed back in the hands of our communities – from our founders to our friends.
We’re a community and we always have been. We believe we can make more noise using all of our voices across the globe because when we do we drive change, challenge norms and create a cosmetic revolution. We want social to be more about passions and less about likes.
Over the next week, our customer care team will be actively responding to your messages and comments, after this point you can speak us via live chat on the website, on email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by telephone: 01202 930051.
This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new.
#LushCommunity – see you there.
They explained this decision by saying that social media was making it harder for them to communicate with their consumers now, noting that they were tired of “fighting algorithms” and did not want to “pay to appear in [people’s] news feed.” Lush, whose social media still remains active, has over one million followers across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This seems like a rather bold move, one that has been both criticised and praised. From now on the brand will rely on spokespersons/influencers and instead of using media-for-clicks and/or impressions, it will be focusing on brand building.
Andrew French, General Manager of Smartly, openly spoke about how detrimental this could be for the brand; “typically, brands will always look to target their customers wherever they are online. With such a large percentage of time spent on social media, Lush’s decision to remove their main accounts means that it will get harder for consumers to find and interact with them. They will still likely use social channels via a community of influencers, meaning Lush won’t be completely removed from social media. Therefore the move seems to just limit their possibilities to interact with their consumers,” he explained. Many others, have, on the other hand, praised this decision. Lush is cutting down the middleman and hoping to better reach their community. Algorithms have made it increasingly more difficult to remain relevant, so is Lush leading the way for businesses to change the way they market themselves and bringing people together?
This taps into a much larger conversation about more than just business. Living in what many have referred to as a ‘feedback economy,’ it is clear that social media dominates the way in which businesses reach consumers and people interact with each other. It is very interesting for Lush to reject this dominance, hoping to “spark passions, and stop chasing ‘likes’. ” While it is not surprising that they would make such a bold move, many remain skeptical and we wonder if trying to change this narrative will be at the company’s expense.