JD Wetherspoon has announced that it is closing down all the social media accounts for its 900 pubs across the UK.
The pub chain says the move takes into account concerns over misuse of data and addictive nature of social media. Chairman Tim Martin does now believe that closing down the accounts will affect business. “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.” said Tim Martin.
Tim Martin is well-known for his position as a vocal spokesperson and Brexiteer – often using his pub chain to get across messages on the back of beer mats and in the quarterly printed magazine Wetherspoon News. “We will still be as vocal as ever through our Wetherspoon News magazine, as well as keeping the press updated at all times.”
With individual accounts for each pub – social media has never worked well for Wetherspoon. The pub chain’s reputation and position in the market as an affordable pub has never relied on social media to draw the punters in.
Many customers now use social media as a channel for sending in customer service complains – the nature of a Wetherspoons pub means that these complaints are best dealt with face-to-face with a pub manager, unlike many businesses today that exist mainly online. Keeping on top of complaints whilst putting out engaging content would have been a mammoth task for Wetherspoon – costing a lot of time and money.
“We will also be maintaining our website and the Wetherspoon app and encourage customers to get in touch with us via our website or by speaking with the manager at their local pub.”
The decision to pull the accounts and focus on traditional media is surprising but makes a lot of business sense. We may see similar types of organisations following suit in the near future.