In a bold marketing move, Lush UK breaks up with social media

A company spokesman said the #LushCommunity hashtag will take over as an ‘opportunity for [its] customers to connect one-on-one with people within Lush based on the various categories.’

Beauty brand Lush Cosmetics is saying goodbye to its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles.

The United Kingdom-based retailer recently declared that it was “tired of fighting with algorithms” and did “not want to pay to appear in [fans’] newsfeed[s].” Instead, Lush UK will move its customer communications to its newsletter and website, offering customer service through phone, email and its live chat feature.

Instead of its own social media accounts, beauty influencers and consumers can share recipes, stories and feedback online through the hashtag #LushCommunity. However, the company didn’t specify how it plans to engage with people through the hashtag.

Lush UK’s social media team announced its move through an Instagram post:

View this post on Instagram

We're switching up social.⁣ ⁣ 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.⁣ ⁣ Lush has always been made up of many voices, and it’s time for all of them to be heard. We don’t want to limit ourselves to holding conversations in one place, we want social to be placed back in the hands of our communities – from our founders to our friends.⁣ ⁣ 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.⁣ ⁣ Over the next week, our customer care team will be actively responding to your messages and comments, after this point you can speak us via live chat on the website, on email at and by telephone: 01202 930051.⁣ ⁣ This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new.⁣ ⁣ #LushCommunity – see you there.

A post shared by LUSH UK (@lush) on

The team also spread the announcement across social media platforms with a Facebook post and Twitter thread:

Though Lush UK is closing up shop on social media, Lush Cosmetics North America tweeted an assurance to fans that it wasn’t going anywhere:

Lush UK is walking away from its more than 1.19 million followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It will also shut down the other social media accounts the social media accounts for Lush Kitchen, Lush Life, Gorilla, Soapbox and Lush Times, which carry even more fans.

The company’s move is interesting in light of the increased difficulty that marketers face standing out online and appearing in their audiences’ social media timelines without resorting to spending large amounts on advertisements and influencer campaigns.

Paper reported:

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.

… 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.”

However, Lush UK has had strong engagement in the recent past.

The Drum reported:

Tubular Labs told The Drum that in 2018, Lush’s Facebook and Instagram channels garnered more than 10m video views. Furthermore, it found that these accounts had an average of 42% growth, month on month, indicating success in reaching audiences with its content on the surface.

A senior Lush spokesperson hinted at an increased emphasis on influencer marketing in place of the social platforms, telling The Drum: “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.”

One marketing expert said engaging with the community it’s leaving behind will be challenging without official brand accounts with which consumers can interact.

The BBC reported:

Mike Blake-Crawford from marketing agency Social Chain said the hashtag hinted at “more work with influencers”.

“The challenge for me is how they adequately capitalise on this conversation without a centralised social media ‘home’ for their products and campaigns,” he said.

Another communicator said Lush UK risks alienating its most passionate customers.

ITV News reported:

Tony Oakley, head of digital at media strategists Medialab, described Lush UK’s decision as a “bold move” but “potentially brave”.

… He said: “… Lush’s core target audiences are digital natives who have an expectation that brands will have an ‘always on’ presence in this space, so this move could allow Lush to be playing into competitors’ hands.

By scrapping the UK social channels, the company’s existing followers are at risk of feeling neglected, and this could do more harm than good for Lush’s brand reputation.”

What do you think of the move, PR Daily readers? How might this affect your social media plans moving forward?


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