The UK arm of cosmetics company Lush has just announced a drastic change to its social media strategy, basically exiting Facebook and Instagram in their traditional forms.
Lush famously do not pay to advertise their products online or offline. They focus on word of mouth, PR, events and partnerships to promote their brand – along with the amazingly strong scent that wafts up all the way up the high street from their stores.
“Over the years we have created, published and cross-promoted organic content and conversations with the Lush community across multiple platforms and accounts. However, it has become more and more apparent that these genuine conversations with the Lush Community cannot grow without us paying for the reach and engagement. We are proud of what we have built organically using borrowed platforms, but it is time for a change. 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. So in an effort to make Lush better educated as both technologists and consumers, we’re making the bold step to evolve our social media strategy.
Going forward the UK strategy is to primarily focus and invest more heavily in our owned platforms, where we have seen stronger engagement, rather than rely so heavily on third parties.”
This shift from social media to owned platforms is a bold and interesting one. Lush will now be directing people to their website, their Lush Player (home to stories and interviews) and the Lush Lab website and app.
Lush will still be playing in the social space, but via staff profiles, partners, individual shop account and influencers.
I love this new approach and the stand they’re taking against the big boys. Driving people to your owned channels can only be a good thing.
If, as a brand, you don’t pay to advertise and rely on organic content, you’re basically talking to 10% of your audience on social media – so why not look for new ways to engage and inspire?
My biggest concern (if I was their social media manager) would be giving the power to the individual stores and staff members. I would imagine Lush are investing in some heavy-weight brand training for store managers to ensure a consistent tone of voice, content theme and visual look and feel for their social media. Creating a cohesive brand across so many subpages is a serious challenge, but if they manage it, these store pages are going to be able to tailor their content for local audiences, drive direct footfall and sales and build genuine relationships with their neighbours.
Stay tuned guys, this is going to be very, very interesting!