Lush turns its back on social media: A genius move that will see others follow suit or a risk not worth taking?

Cosmetics brand, Lush, hit the headlines this week to make the announcement of its departure from social media, in a bid to talk directly to its customers via live chat on its own platforms rather than on social media.

The brand which prides itself as being one of the first beauty brands on the market to provide 100% vegetarian products, a strict approach to implementing plastic free packaging and a continued fight against animal testing, currently has 202K followers on Twitter, 570K followers on Instagram and 423K likes on Facebook.

So why is Lush choosing to turn its back on an online community that it has worked to build on over a number of years?

A Lush spokesperson attributes the move to wanting to “switch up social” as “social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly”.

However, as the brand is known for its long-standing campaigning history and uses social media to make its ethical views heard, taking a step back from social platforms which allow supporters and customers to use their voice for change, could risk their voice as a brand no longer being heard.

The brand’s traditional approach of going back to using live chats and email as a form of communication, could also risk seeing them cutting off ties with their 16-34 year old audience whose main form of communication is through social media, rather than the traditional routes that Lush is now choosing to go down.

However, Lush isn’t the first major company to turn their back on social media. In April last year Wetherspoons announced that it would be quitting social media for good, due to “the addictive nature of social media” with Lush now following in its footsteps, questions will be raised as to whether other brands will soon follow suit.

For many companies, when used resourcefully, social media could be described as ‘free publicity’ or a method to build on a brand’s identity, which is why many would admire the decision of Lush and Wetherspoons for choosing to take the daring risk of moving away from social media and going back to a pre-social media era.

So, is the announcement a genius move or a risk not worth taking? Either way it will be interesting to see the results of a major brand making the bold move of moving away from social media.