Your favorite bath bomb manufacturer is about to make a major shift in the way it interacts with customers. In a random Instagram post, Lush UK announced it's taking itself off social media. The reason? Exhaustion.
"We're switching up social," Lush UK wrote. "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 said in — what else? — an Instagram post. "We're a community and we always have been. We believe we can make more noise using all of our voices across the globe because when we do we drive change, challenge norms and create a cosmetic revolution. We want social to be more about passions and less about likes."
Lush added that it's open to communicating with its customers the old fashioned way: that is, via phone, live chat, or email. "This isn't the end, it's just the start of something new," the post concluded.
Shifting algorithms and an increasingly connected space (and increasingly savvy customers) mean brands face a lot of challenges in reaching the right audiences on social media. Along with creating a product that actually works and stands out in the ever expanding beauty realm, brands consistently risk failure if they aren't commanding a dominant social media presence.
Of course, a number of top brands — like Apple — have succeeded tremendously despite their minimal social media presence. But beauty brands thrive on their viral potential. Regardless of their actual effectiveness, most modern skincare labels rely almost entirely on influencer posts and collaborations for increased visibility. Given the current norms, then, a move like Lush's seems a bit counterproductive. It's also interesting that only the UK handle of the cult brand has made such an announcement, while Lush US, that boats a following of over 4.4 million, continues to post on Instagram, business as usual.
In an official statement, a spokesperson for the brand told PAPER: "We've always believed direct relationships with growers, producers and customers are best. It's why we have lots of staff in store, a large customer care team, and a buying department that work with suppliers first hand."
The brand added that it'll be "bidding farewell" to a number of their brand social channels including Lush UK, Lush Kitchen, Lush Times, Lush Life, Soapbox and Gorilla across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. "This is the first, exploratory step in Lush UK cutting out the middleman between ourselves and the Lush Community. However, we understand that this isn't an action that can be supported just yet in all markets," the brand said. "In line with this change in our strategy, you'll start to see the rise of Lush personalities online. This isn't a replacement for the brand channels but an opportunity for our customers to connect one-on-one with people within Lush based on the various categories."