Lush, a British cosmetics brand known for ethical products and colorful bath bombs, surprised the digital world last week with its decision to quit third-party social media platforms. In a message displayed across all of their social channels, Lush UK wrote: “We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed.” Following up in a blog post, Lush UK further noted, “As a business, we don’t pay for advertising… An audit of our social content and strategy demonstrated that on average, only 6% of our followers are serviced with our content in their newsfeed because we don’t pay to play.”The decision to “switch up” social media drastically changes the conversation that Lush UK has with its over one million followers. Yet the brand insists “this isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new.” Continually teasing the #LushCommunity, Lush UK insists that it is going to focus on and invest in its owned platforms.
Interestingly, Lush U.S. has decided to maintain its social presence on third-party platforms. The Customer Service team appears to be extremely involved with consumers on the Lush U.S. Instagram channel, responding to the vast majority of unique comments.
Jenna Manula Linares, our Senior Director of Social Media, spoke to Lush UK’s shift: “For an established brand, this choice is a bit brash. Lush UK has spent a lot of time and effort cultivating its social presence and to abandon it completely is unwise. While their next social media steps are intriguing, I would advise against closing down conversations with consumers. Instead, Lush should focus on consolidating their U.S. and UK accounts and doubling down on their following where they can.”
Linares does agree that social media has become a problematic channel for organic growth, particularly for new and emerging brands that are looking to cultivate a presence on Facebook, where organic growth can be less than one percent. There is no way around it; social media is a pay to play space. Rather than abandon social media and its enormous importance, Linares sees an opportunity for brands to reframe how they activate on those channels. Brands that view social media as a means for awareness advertising will find the platforms to be rewarding, engaging, and extremely cost effective, with CPMs as low as $1.50 to $2.00. Furthermore, social media remains a key space in which users are choosing to engage and spend valuable time.
As Lush UK teases its owned platforms, it sounds as though the brand will prioritize influencer marketing in the future. At Stella Rising, we maintain dialogue with over 20,000 women in our Glimmer Community. The direct and exciting conversation that results from Glimmer underscores the importance of open communication. Yet you can still find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!
If you are interested in deepening your brand’s social strategy or learning more about Glimmer, connect with Stella Rising today.
Sources: Pitney Bowes 2018 Global E-Commerce Study