And if you’re confused by that headline, don’t worry: you are not alone. Yes, the rumours are true. The pub chain has made the decision to remove all of its social media accounts from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, due in part to the control over data that those platforms have. So how did they make the announcement? Obviously, they tweeted through their official account, before taking it down, so now no one can see it.
It’s a confusing time for many, as Facebook seems to implode on itself, and Snapchat seems to only be valuable if celebrities aren’t telling their followers that they are over it. The value of being on social media from a business perspective is being put into question, and by multi-million pound companies.
So what happened?
Chairman of Wetherspoons, Tim Martin, has stated that: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.”
What’s more, he believes that: “I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever.”
So are you wasting your time desperately thinking of something to tweet, or experimenting with a thousand filters to get that perfect shot for Instagram, in a world in which Wetherspoons quits social media?
Well, maybe. Contrary to many in the communications world, here at OggaDoon we don’t believe that you should be doing anything just for the sake of it. You need to understand where your customers are: where are they talking, sharing, community building?
If it’s on Twitter, that’s where you need to be. If it’s on YouTube, that’s where you need to be. If it’s at the local WI meeting, you should be there instead.
Shouting out into an empty room is a waste of your time, and if Wetherspoons truly believe that their target audience is no longer buying into communications through social media, then this is, in the industry’s eyes, a brave move.
But then, is it? In a radio interview, Tim shared that everyone knows what a pint looks like, and there’s no education required for people to understand exactly what they are offering.
So will it pay off?
In my professional opinion, every company has to communicate. There is no rule that it has to be on social media, but if Wetherspoons does not redirect that communications energy to somewhere else, they could find conversations dwindling. Yes, there will be a loyal (or brand lazy, depending on your point of view) contingent who will continue to head to their local Spoons no matter what.
But agencies up and down the country will be watching with bated breath to see whether this gamble – and in our socially connected world, it is a gamble – pays off.
Wondering where your audience is? Worried that you aren’t going to be able to connect with them? Have a chat with Emily about your brand, and how we can help.