As you may have heard, popular cosmetics brand, Lush UK, announced in April this year that they would be logging off of their social media accounts for good…

“We’re switching up social media. 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.”

The brand has insisted that customers can still communicate with them, but on a more personal level, by using the hashtag #LushCommunity on Instagram and by following individual store social media accounts. As for customer service, they’ve decided to strip it back to the basics by managing their customer care either via their website, email or *gasps* the dreaded phone call.

Working in the PR industry really teaches you the power of social media – which begs the question, why would a cosmetics company with a significant social media presence choose to cut ties with its social media channels?

With Instagram’s soaring popularity among the influencer community and its easy accessibility, it’s no wonder brands are keen to communicate with potential customers through convenient platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and it would seem pretty foolish not to make use of this. A new tool companies may look to utilise is the ‘in-app checkout’ feature where users can scroll endlessly through the gram, engaging with big brands and shopping the latest products with just a touch of a finger – without even leaving the app!

At the time of Lush’s announcement to depart from its social media, the brand had over 569,000 followers on Instagram, over 420,000 on Facebook and over 202,000 Twitter, which is a sizable following for such a big decision. According to Sprout Social data in May 2019, 62% of consumers are more likely to purchase something from a brand when they follow them on social, with 78% of them saying that they would recommend that brand to a friend.  With this in mind, surely quitting social media is not a safe bet for any brand with a significant following, but have Lush always played it safe?

On the surface, Lush’s social media exodus may appear to be a hasty decision, but if we dig a little deeper it’s actually quite fitting within the brands ethos. There’s no doubt Lush would have been keen to utilise their social channels in the past, but as history shows the brand have not been afraid to stand out from the crowd – rarely shying away from speaking out against social, political and environmental issues. For example, the brand has created 100% vegetarian products, fought continuously against animal testing, and have gone ‘naked’, seeking to minimize the use of plastic packaging in products and in stores. But, given that they are “tired of fighting with algorithms” and no longer want to fund social advertising when time and money can be spent elsewhere on things like connecting directly with customers, the move is not completely off-brand.

So where does that leave the brand? Will this work in Lush’s favour? Only time will really tell, but it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PRFood PRRetail PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge and the work we do with social media can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us