LUSH puts the ‘us’ in Social Media

From the archive: April 12th, 2019 from LinkedIn

Lush UK made the announcement earlier this week that they are deleting their social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. With an official statement saying they are ‘tired of fighting with algorithms’ and having to ‘pay to appear in the newsfeed.’


This has sparked conversations online with marketers proclaiming it as bad strategy that has led to their social media not performing well.


And whilst I can’t disagree with that point, I don't think Lush have ever had a clear social media strategy, and arguably haven’t really needed one.


They have grown from a small set-up in Dorset to a company with over 900 stores across the globe, and they’ve done this whilst having a no-advertising policy. As well as linking, via their website, to defunct social media channels (Vine and Google +) and accounts that haven’t been updated in over a year (Tumblr, Pinterest and a majority of their individual store accounts).


This decision to delete their social media channels is, to me, an actual step into establishing a coherent digital marketing strategy.


I also think this could work well for them because Lush have a very active online community, that is made up of their staff (who are exceptionally knowledgeable about the products and passionate about the ethics Lush advocates) their customers, and influencers.


If you’ve ever fallen into a YouTube hole of watching ‘Haul' videos you’ll see that Lush is regularly featured alongside the likes of Primark, H&M and Topshop.

And Lush know the importance of these 'ambassadors' - that is why they invest heavily in educating via live events – such as the SXSW activation and their Lush Showcase. And when you look at the vlogs shared from those events, they are getting considerably higher or similar numbers of views to Lush's own content - instead of spending money and time creating branded content it makes more sense to utilise the successful user-generated content (UGC).


So, would deleting the main social media channels work for other brands? Most likely not, as it could be seen that they were jumping onto the Digital Detox bandwagon. But with Lush it looks like they are developing out their no advertising policy and building a digital marketing strategy that focused more heavily on their community, the UGC and investing in influencers.


In summary:

  • Lush are bidding farewell to social media.

  • This is a clever plan that matches the ethos of Lush.

  • In fact, it is a very coherent digital marketing strategy.

  • They have a strong online community that has grown organically, and this move will likely to see more investment in influencers and live activations.

So what do you think? Are they going to get the sweet smell of success or is this definitely going to (bath) bomb?