Social media IS pivotal for every business today. We’ve been conditioned to think that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are essential to escalating brand awareness.

So why on Monday April 9, did cosmetics brand LUSH decide to close its UK accounts on social media? Announced ironically through social media on Instagram and Twitter. The decision to leave social media was seen as a suicide move for the brand by many.

But why not a brave move? A chance to do something a bit different?

“LUSH said: “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.” 

The thread continued: “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 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.” The posts ended by saying: “This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new. #LushCommunity – see you there.”  

Personally, I think Lush are right to change it up abit, and I think entrepreneurs should focus on a mix of marketing methods  and PR platforms to reach their customers and consumers.  And lets not get crazy here, Lush aren’t leaving social media altogether; they are “switching it up.”  Doing something different doesn’t mean marketeers should now all quit social all together – but instead iterate. 

It is great to ask the questions – what is or is not working?

What can we do differently?

And for every business that will look different. This is the problem with cookie cutter marketing techniques and tactics, and our sheeple mentality.  Social media isn’t just having an Instagram account and social media is “personal, subjective and unique” to quote the Facebook Press room around their algorithms. So no one’s experience of social media is the same.

I think Lush speak for many business and business owners wanting to make a change with their social media strategies and the great Facebook Inc monopoly.  As they say, they “want social to be more about passion and less about likes” and that they will be continuing to be on social media through the hashtag #LushCommunity – which I personally think is a really exciting move.

Community driven content rather than channel driven.  To me that doesn’t mean they are leaving they are trying something new.  As they tell us in their post; “This isn’t the end. It’s just the start of something new.” And I look forward to seeing what they do next especially as I am currently writing Social Media For A New Age; the next iteration and exploring predictions and future proofing our social media marketing.

The way Lush are playing this is really interesting. Firstly it’s not the whole company, it’s not the American accounts, but just the UK account Instagram going offline. Which is super smart way to test what works and what doesn’t. It also appears to me that by taking their UK customer care team off Instagram and moving them to a place in-house, it could be more manageable and personable -and a place they feel they can have better conversations with their clients (and a place they control).

Mark Zuckerberg wrote about social media moving from the “Town Square ” to the “Living Room” in his latest update on 7th March, but we don’t all have to be on Facebook Inc owned platforms to effectively do or use social media. We can let them be the “Town Square”, which he shares is what Facebook was originally built for, and let Entrepreneurs, businesses and brands do the “Living Room” social media on their own platforms, or on other platforms, especially when Facebook don’t play fair (which right now they don’t appear to be.)

They clearly believe in their brand enough that their customers will go to where they need to. “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” . The fact that they are challenging social media norms in the current pay to play landscape in order to focus on community is inspiring and I look forward to seeing their revolution in action!

To me, and reading the 1,253 comments currently on Lush’s Instagram post it sounds like their customers and fans agree that “switching up social” is a great idea.