Pubs group J D Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) has closed down the largely moribund social media accounts of all of its pubs.
“In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts for individual pubs and head office,” it said in a tweet that is no longer available because it has closed down its Twitter account.
The tweet was the only one sent in April from the official JD Wetherspoon Twitter feed.
The Wetherspoons announcement is...interesting from a social media perspective. But it could also be argued that they're a brand with such a strong profile that they don't really need to be on FB/Twitter/etc to succeed.— Bootle Analytica (@ChristinaMcMc) April 16, 2018
“I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers,” said Tim Martin, the chairman and outspoken founder of the group.
“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion,” Martin said.
Spoons will still be maintaining its web site and updating its app, while it also came up with the novel idea of suggesting its customers actually talk to the manager of their local Wetherspoon if they have any feedback.
Martin said he had become increasingly concerned about the use of social media to criticise MPs and other public figures, especially those from religious or ethnic minorities.
Previously, Martin has identified people staying at home chatting with their friends as a commercial threat to the pub, for centuries the traditional hub of socialising in Britain.
"When I was at school and university and for some years after that, if you wanted to socialise you had to get out of the house and see people and the main place that people met up was the pub but now people can socialise online in their own home,” he told Imbibe magazine.
If you can't do social well then don't bother. Its more than just posting something once a week you have to monitor it and engage with your audience. It sounds like they couldn't afford to buy community managers. But, I'm sure they can do the same job with their magazine *cough*— Jack Harrington (@Judicious_Jak) April 16, 2018