Cosmetics chain Lush is closing down some of its social media accounts this week after growing “tired of fighting with algorithms” and will only speak to customers via a live online chat function.
The firm, which sells soaps, bath bombs and beauty products, tweeted the announcement on Monday and asked followers to call, email or message via its website instead.
Lush UK has nearly 1.2 million followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
It told followers: “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/nJUzG0lham
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) April 8, 2019
Last summer, Lush UK was criticised for a “damaging and distasteful” campaign hitting out at undercover policing in more than 100 of its stores.
Lush “has always been made up of many voices”, it added, and dropping social media means conversations won’t be held “in one place”.
The customer care team will be responding to messages and comments but soon enough the way to reach out will be through the website’s live chat, email, or calling.
This is to make social “more about passions and less about like”, Lush UK claims. Lush UK, Lush Kitchen, Lush Times, Lush Life, Soapbox and Gorilla are all accounts set for the axe in a few days.
Live chat vs. social media
Elliott Jacobs, Director at LiveArea commented on the move: “Technology delivers experience, but companies need to be strategic about what technology they implement.
“The move by Lush is bold and justified. Live chat functions provide customers with a level of personalised engagement that platforms like twitter and Instagram cannot always deliver – 70-75% of consumers prefer it as a means of communication with a company. Lush are not the only business to recognise that convenience is king, with many reviewing their channels to break down barriers for customers.
“With live chats businesses can answer queries with speed and in real-time, as well as helping to start an ongoing dialogue between customers and the business. Perhaps as importantly it provides another opportunity for a company to build a narrative – just look at the success of companies like Monzo, who have put chat functions and forums at their heart.
“Whether the decision is driven by customer demand or cost, is successful or reversed, it shows a that Lush are willing to innovate. It should inspire others to be bold and embrace new ways to engaging and interacting with their customers.”