L.L. Bean Pausing Social Media Posts, Encouraging People to Spend Time Outside
L.L. Bean, the outdoor outfitter company, said this week it would not be posting on social media again until June 1, in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May.
The retailer said on Instagram that it was "taking a break from social media to focus on spending more time outside." It replaced all of its Instagram posts with a grid of images displaying the outdoors and the words "Gone Fishin.'"A link to tips and advice for getting the most out of being outside accompanied the post.
"We encourage our followers and friends to follow us outside — however, wherever and whenever they can," the company said in a press release.
L.L. Bean said last week that it was also donating $500,000 and forming a partnership with Mental Health America to help reach people through community-based outdoor mental health-focused programs, research and multimedia campaigns aimed at creating connection and inclusion in the outdoors and uncovering the well-being benefits of time spent outside.
Research shows that spending any amount of time outside, especially in nature, can have positive effects on people's wellbeing.
Total Retail's Take: L.L. Bean is prominently calling attention to and displaying one of its corporate values by going off the social media grid. Its social media post is complemented by the announcement of the partnership with a mental health organization, suggesting that this isn't just a PR stunt.
L.L. Bean is also taking a page out of another outfitter's book. REI Co-op has made similar endeavors with its "Opt Outside" campaign, choosing to close its doors during major holidays and encourage Americans to spend time in nature.