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UK Pub Chain JD Wetherspoon Abandons Social Media Platforms in Dramatic Fashion

Img: Ewan Munro / JD Wetherspoon 
In the early hours of this morning UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon made something of an unexpected move, closing all social media accounts for both their head office and all individual pubs with immediate effect. The company took to Twitter to make the announcement to their 44,000 followers in a now-unavailable tweet, which read as follows:

“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.

“Rather than using social media, we will continue to release news stories and information about forthcoming events on our website (jdwetherspoon.com) and in our printed magazine - Wetherspoon News.

“If you’ve been active in contacting us through social media, please continue to feed back at your local pub or via customer services, through our website.

“Thank you for being a loyal Wetherspoon customer - we hope to see you in your local pub soon.”

As for why the company have made the drastic decision to cut ties with their 44,000 Twitter followers, 100,000 Facebook followers and 6,000 Instagram fans, this seems to be inspired by the growing scrutiny such platforms face in the wake of scandals such as Facebook’s dealings with Cambridge Analytica, as well as ongoing issues with trolling, addiction, and the misuse of data.

Speaking to the BBC, Chairman Tim Martin shed further light on the circumstances that led to this decision.

“We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business,” said Mr Martin. “We were also concerned that pub managers were being side-tracked from the real job of serving customers. I don't believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever.”

The chairman further stated that the chain had taken the opinions of its pub managers into account when contemplating the closure of these accounts, finding that “90-to-95% felt that using social media was not helping the business.”

Given the criticism that has been directed at some of the world’s largest social media platforms in recent times, Wetherspoon’s motivations do make a certain amount of sense. Whether this is a signal of the beginning of a wider trend in the business world time will only tell, but when asked whether he expected that to be that case, Mr Martin told the BBC that he was hoping not.

“Currently we’ve got a massive commercial advantage because everyone else is wasting hours of their time.”



Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @Songbird_Sam

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UK Pub Chain JD Wetherspoon Abandons Social Media Platforms in Dramatic Fashion Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Monday, April 16, 2018 Rating: 5
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