Headlines on the BBC say that smelly High Street shop, Lush, are quitting social media!
If you actually read the statement on their website though, it’s not quite so clear cut as that article makes out…
Lush UK head office are stopping their social media, saying they refuse to pay to play, their organic reach is too low to continue.
But they’ve issued a string of hashtags which ‘staff, friends and our shop social media accounts across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook’ can use to continue the conversation.
To my mind, what they’re doing is passing control of their social media down to the grassroots level, where it’s likely to have more engagement than a faceless corporate site. This, to me, is a way more interesting story! This could actually be really smart.
They continue to run a great website, crammed with content, and an app. Plus, I’m quite sure that internally, their branding team and corporate social media teams are going to be giving some seriously tight guidelines to their shop teams to make sure they still control the message.
In contrast, last year, another major UK brand, pub chain Wetherspoons, announced they were stopping social media. In their case, many people speculated that head office had lost control of the many individual pub accounts that had sprung up and were pulling the lot as a result.
Lush faced ad campaign controversy in 2018, when they used window displays to criticise an undercover police operation, a political decision which backfired as thousands took to social media to criticise the brand in support of the police. If that happened again, how would a major brand respond if they have no corporate presence? Well, I’m sure the CEO still has a Twitter account and a few evenings to spare!
Either way, definitely one to watch!
Lush to quit social media? Brave and principled, or shrewd and smart?