Lush have recently announced they would quit social media, deactivating six of their accounts, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. (1) While as a move this can be seen as controversial, let’s look at it from a marketing perspective.
Lush announced that they were tired of fighting against an algorithm to get their posts seen and they refuse to pay for them to be shown more. Now, to me this sounds like, “our social media strategy is not working right now so we are not investing in it anymore.”
They claim that this way, they’ll be able to get more genuine engagement from their community. To do so and to keep the conversation active among ‘Lushies’ around the world, they launched a hashtag people can use: #lushcommunity.
As of the first of December, the #lushcommunity hashtag has 327k posts on Instagram and some accounts made in its name. It looks like people all over the world are jumping at the chance to be a part of this, but the real question is how long will this last?’
Arguably, quitting social media because the algorithm is not working for you, but encouraging people to create user-generated content with your hashtag, is a social media strategy in itself. At first, Lush said they would quit social media because it was too negative and too distracting, but really, wasn’t it just an excuse to create a buzz around it?
After all, they got press coverage when they quit their social channels. They will get press coverage when they return after a one-year blackout, and in the meantime, people will keep tagging, posting, and reviewing.
And what’s more, the bulk of their marketing strategy always relied on in-store demos, generous product samples and word of mouth. As, they’re an instantly recognisable brand, and have a noticeable smell… have you ever walked by one of their stores? So is quitting social media really that much of a big deal for them?
One thing’s for certain… it’s a clever strategy, and it got them some amazing PR coverage as well. Now, all we need to do is report back in a year to see whether they stuck to their social media ban this time around.
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