A successful pub chain in the UK sent out instructions to its venues across the country instructing them to delete all their social media channels. From the top down, the boss of J.D. Wetherspoon has firmly put two fingers up to social.
They’ve kept the corporate website, but that’s about it. Is boss Tim Martin on the money or is he raging against the machine?
Well, in my honest opinion, I think he is right to delete their social channels. Mr. Martin campaigns against the way social media companies are taxed and how people staring at their phones is not good for society or business.
Was the big announcement of Wetherspoon’s withdrawal about how social media has ruined conversation, or was it an unrecouped investment for the business with limited returns?
Only the organization will know – reasons have been given – but the numbers really don’t hide the picture. Social media channels across Weatherperson’s estate didn’t really move the needle. It does call into question whether social media management for restaurants and pubs makes any difference to their trade or if it is a case of FMO (the fear of missing out). Our competition is on there, so we have to be.
I know of many successful bars, restaurants and cafes with an incredible social presence. They enrich relationships with their clientele. And with the investment in great photography and Instagram, they make you salivate at the daily special.
The best food and drink outlets also use their social channels to create awareness of community campaigns and fundraisers. This brings the consumer closer to the vendor. I can’t speak as to why J.D. Wetherspoon dumped social. It could be all sorts of reasons and an infinite mix of those all at the same time. My feeling is that there was a lack of oversight on the channels, which made them unmanageable. The performance of the pages was mediocre and the effort versus return was clearly not working to the favour of the pub group.
It made great headlines, but will J.D. Wetherspoon reappear on social channels in time? I am convinced of it.