Lush’s new social media strategy – Genius or Lunacy?

High street cosmetic store Lush is taking a stand against the algorithm changes across social media platforms and is closing down its UK social media accounts in order to push for influence across its customers platforms. However, this does limit opportunity to start conversations and look after it’s dedicated fanbase. This stand against socials will be a shock to Mr Zuckerberg and his team, but will this be a similar move to when Taylor Swift threw her toys out of the pram and left Spotify, only to return 3 years later?

Lush’s colourful, vegan-friendly “bath art” also has a fantastic story – standing for cruelty free cosmetics, lending itself perfectly to any social media platform and is a marketers wet dream. However, even this retail giant is feeling the effect of the reach withdrawal and inability to have conversations with its audience.

With over 1.2M followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter this is a bold decision – to turn their back on their digital shop window and could potentially come back and bite them on the arse!

A statement across its socials reads, ‘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 have decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our social channels and open up the conversation between you and us instead.”

It is yet unclear how these conversations will take place now, considering they just turned the phone off! Lush will be banking on the power of online influence and have made it clear they see “How other people are [sic] talking your brand matters far more than how a brand talks about themselves”. 

This might be true however it isn’t a choice of one or the other.

While every one of us will give Lush a standing ovation, for making such a bold move against an issue that frustrates us all – should we join them in this Jerry Maguire-esk move?

While we haven’t seen this play out from high street stores departing from their digital audience before, we have several times from personal brands on their socials and history shows us it hasn’t gone so well. Youtubers who take time out from posting content become very irrelevant, very quickly – because their audience feels like they have turned their back on the relationship.

Let’s not forget Social Media has so many more uses, other than mere marketing. It’s the best way to communicate and develop customer service, listen to your audience and their wants and needs, all while learning how your audience’s consumption is evolving.

Withdrawing your digital footprint to become a nomadic Social Media brand is tricky. I use the phrase ‘being in the room’ a lot, but how can you be in the room when you don’t have one? This brave move comes on the same week that high street giant Debenhams goes into administration, and Brexit looms ever-closer. Is this a good time for such a courageous move?

Hearing about this bold move reminds me of what I thought when I heard about Donald Trump’s election. “Really? Wow, I hope you know what you are doing!”

Now pass me the popcorn, sh*t’s about to get interesting!

What are your thoughts on this audacious move? Is it a step too far? Or are Lush just the first of many brands, rebelling against the system in order to take back the power?

Thanks for reading