MIC’d Up: This is Not a Drill, LUSH UK Got Rid of All Their Social Media

, Apr 19, 2019

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Each week, we’re taking a hard look at the aha consumer tech moments, whether they’re fully integrated, “how the hell did they think of that” campaigns or single tweets that start movements. If it’s cool, it’s here.

This week, we’re sticking with the trend of beauty brands redefining what authenticity means. Let’s talk about a little cosmetic company called LUSH. Their UK corporate office just set the new precedent for being real with consumers by leading a mass EXODUS from social media.

While shocking, the move isn’t surprising. LUSH has always done things differently. Over the years they’ve launched a number of campaigns that express their fierce independence – from instating ethical buying practices to inventing the concept of “naked packaging”. And of course, we can’t forget their inspiring fight against animal testing.

But these past initiatives gained major traction through an online, grassroots fanbase, so I’m having trouble connecting the dots. They explained the reasoning behind their latest ethical gambit in a statement:

“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.”

It’s admirable. In the absence of traditional social media platforms, new content will be shared through uncensored, word-of-mouth marketing via the hashtag #LushCommunity. Like #SephoraSquad, LUSH UK is putting social back into the hands of the people to “drive change, challenge norms and create a cosmetic revolution.”

If they’re looking to “create a cosmetic revolution,” I wonder if they’d also consider letting the #LushCommunity dictate their branding aesthetic, even the copy they use. Could they ask consumers what they want to see online or in-store, and go to the lengths needed to make it happen? They could even go so far as to launch a write-in campaign for their next advertisement.

Still though, cutting ties with well over a million followers seems like a hasty decision. Cosmetic companies receive the second highest rate of user engagement on Instagram and Facebook, and not to mention, Instagram just launched their “Checkout on Instagram” function!

Thankfully, LUSH US has confirmed their social channels will remain up and running – so those of us captivated by exploding bath bomb content can rest easy. But could positive consumer feedback from the UK have greater impacts? We’ll have to wait and see…