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The Lush life: why Lush’s social media detox disregards their customers

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. That’s what Lush had to say in a recent tweet, announcing their official departure from all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The multimillion-pound luxury cosmetics brand is bored of having to negotiate online sales strategy, and I suppose we should feel disappointed about this.

Well, I am disappointed. I’m disappointed in their apparent apathy for engaging with their customer fanbase online. I’m disappointed that they consider this a waste of their time and money. I’m disappointed that they hold their monopoly on the bath bomb industry so cheaply that they no longer care about their customers at all.

I’m as keen on Lush products as the next person; I can’t wait until I’ve saved up enough pots tore turn them for a free face mask.But I was incredibly shocked to see their tweet announcing they would no longer be posting anything on social media, especially given how successful their accounts are: hundreds of thousands of users follow their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Having an official company social media account was a great way for these users to review products, leave comments and feedback, and be the first to see new products when they arrived.

As a marketing strategy it’s very on-brand, they’re detoxing from social media in line with their eco-friendly, ‘woke’ aesthetic

“It’s time to stop talking, and start listening,” Lush claim, advocating that we all start using hashtags like #BathArt, #LushMakeup, and I quote “let’s face it, anything that starts with #lush.” But this can only make finding genuine Lush content more difficult. Turning their 569,000 Instagram followers out into the overcrowded world of hashtags, where millions of posts can be grouped together at once, could prove an organisational nightmare for the casual online shopper. Incidentally, a quick Instagram search for “#lush” will produce 7,117,224 posts, if listening is what they intend to do, they have an awful lot of it ahead of them.

If a customer now wants to contact Lush, they must go via the website or, perish the thought, ring them. This really does feel like a step backwards. I can picture the scene now: a shopper from a Lush-less area trying to make dinner one-handed so they can keep the phone to their ear to hear “your call is important to us, you are number eighty-three in the queue,” desperate to know if the Jungle conditioner bar is suitable for dyed hair!

If we, the hundreds of thousands of people following Lush on social media, aren’t worth their time and effort then why should we shop with them?

I can understand why they’ve done it. As a marketing strategy it’s very on-brand, they’re detoxing from social media in line with their eco-friendly, ‘woke’ aesthetic. It’s obviously got people talking about it, look I’ve even written a seven-hundred-word article! No press is bad press, and Lush isn’t exactly short on customers: they made £524 million in pre-tax profits for the 2018/19 financial year. However, what makes me upset is the flippant way the company has said they’re simply tired of using algorithms to negotiate their online presence and they just don’t want to pay for media space.

It feels incredibly apathetic. If we, the hundreds of thousands of people following Lush on social media, aren’t worth their time and effort then why should we shop with them? It’s as if they’ve shrugged off their fans, so confident that we’ll all remain brand loyal that they don’t feel beholden to us anymore.

“Let’s spark passions, and stop chasing ‘likes’” their statement claims. Well they’ve lost my ‘like’ and although I’m unlikely to never shop at Lush again, it’s certainly tainted my view of how they value their followers.

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