Lush will log off social media in the U.K. in an effort to cultivate better relations with shoppers.

WHAT HAPPENED: Lush, the British cosmetics company known for its cruelty-free products, will turn off its U.K.-based social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but its intention to bolster influencer marketing contradicts the decision.

Why it matters

  • By ditching social media, Lush will give up nearly 570,000 Instagram followers, more than 423,000 Facebook followers and about 202,000 Twitter followers. But more importantly, the company had an arguably successful social strategy, which it largely used to disseminate the inclusivity-minded values inculcated into its brand. Its Instagram account (the North American version of which will remain live), features both men and women, as well as same-sex and heterosexual couples, which matched the genderlessness of its in-store experience and neutral packaging. This served as proof that Lush stood for more than a product company, which gave it an authenticity, even online.
  • The main question now is whether Lush’s decision to log off serves as an experiment or a bellwether for the rest of its operations, especially with its North American social accounts ongoing. The company said that its intention behind ditching social was to speak directly with customers on its site, as well as via email and phone, which will subsequently help avoid rising digital marketing prices and the sudden algorithmic changes on sites like Instagram that can topple a company’s social strategy. Owning more distribution is worthwhile, but Lush also said it will seek to grow its influencer marketing, which would effectively add a new middleman. If the goal is to bring more customer interactions onto its own platforms, influencers—which are typically active on social media—won’t help the brand centralize its marketing on an owned platform or speak directly with shoppers. With Glossier’s anticipated joint-ecommerce and social media platform, there’s also the question of whether the beauty brand will mimic Lush and go off social media too, though it’s unlikely.