Was Lush sensible to quit social media? And should we be taking a leaf out of its (100% recyclable) book?
Approaching my seventh month in the PR industry, the power of the internet and the positive effect that social media can have on a business is clearer to me than ever before. So British cosmetics company Lush’s recent announcement to quit social media really got me thinking about the future of marketing…
In 1994, Mark and Mo Constantine opened their first Lush shop in Poole, their fresh innovation being ‘naked’ cosmetics – products sold without packaging. They claimed that ‘it was about having the nerve to present something to the public in a new way. Realising you could shed it all gave us the nerve to carry on doing so.’
Since then, Lush UK has enjoyed uninhibited success, with this carefree, yet caring, ethos producing candy-coloured soaps which moisturise your feet while reducing your carbon footprint. However, 25 years on, and with over 900 stores worldwide, is Lush looking for another new way to ‘shed it all’…?
Over the last few weeks, the bright lights of LushUK, Lush Kitchen, Lush Times, Lush Life, Soapbox, and Gorilla have been turned out across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. By switching the conversation from these respective brand handles to the #LushCommunity, Lush aims to reconnect with its customers.
Being ‘tired of fighting with algorithms’ and unwilling to pay for advertising, Lush has indicated that personal interaction is more important to the company than maintaining a powerful social media presence. Whilst ‘word of mouse’ is a term which only begun to enter vocabularies of the 21st century, it has replaced word of mouth as an invaluable tool for businesses wanting to circulate their message on social media. Companies strive to cultivate the perfect online ecosystem from which to make their mark and grow their brand, dedicating thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours to harnessing every like, comment and share from their target audience.
For smaller businesses, tapping into a desired market has always been a challenge, yet growing that market proves extremely difficult. Often, social media provides the added boost - the fertiliser to growing a flourishing business - and attempting to do so without it stunts the growth. However, for larger businesses with hundreds of thousands of existing customers already hooked on a product, quitting social media may not be detrimental. It may in-fact unlock a new, unfiltered form of marketing, allowing the #LushCommunity to speak for itself.
So, when Lush announced its decision to quit social media earlier last month, the statement ‘let’s spark passions, and stop chasing ‘likes’ was a confident nod towards going back to basics – and as a marketing strategy, it was absolutely bang-on-brand for the environmentally-conscious business.
But with 202.5k followers on Twitter and 576k followers on Instagram, has Lush committed the largest digital deforestation of 2019?