Why Wetherspoon closed their social media accounts

Author avatar

David White

17% of posts about J D Wetherspoon are negative – that will increase now they’re off social

“In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social accounts for individual pubs and head office”

Source @JDwtweet (RIP)

Wetherspoons tweet

J D Wetherspoon has ceased posting on social media and closed all social accounts with immediate effect. This follows the pub chain’s decision to delete its entire customer email database and stop sending newsletters in July last year.

The reasons behind this decision are still surfacing but it’s difficult to understand why the move has been made. Wetherspoon stated that it will “continue to release news stories and information about forthcoming events on [its] website (jdwetherspoon.com) and in [its] printed magazine – Wetherspoon News.”

…the company made the announcement on its social channels.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter if the company uses its social media channels or not since people will continue to mention its pubs – only now it can’t respond.

Using Crimson Hexagon’s social listening capabilities I researched what’s been said about Wetherspoon on social media for the past 12 months. On Twitter alone 223,742 people posted about the brand – and failed to tag it in the post.

Volume of social conversation surrounding Wehterspoons

Of these posts 17% were negative and possibly put off new potential customers from visiting their local pub.

Sentiment of social conversation surrounding Wetherspoons

Social isn’t just a tool for marketing, it’s also a chance to tell your side of the story and engage with customers on a human level. Wetherspoon now have to work out how best to manage any customer service or negative posts on social, but no matter how they choose to tackle this, no one will be able to see them do it!

If we take our analysis one step further and look towards Google Trends, we can see that the search volume around ‘Wetherspoons’ has been on a steady increase since 2004:

This shows that people are clearly searching for the brand, but with a lack of social presence they will now have less resources online to answer their queries.

My guess is that this move will last no longer than 12 months. Customers do not only engage via social but crave it. A recent study by Statista showed that we spend up to 135 minutes per day on social:

Graph showing how much time is spent on social media

The brand will continue to grow with or without social as it continues to open new pubs and restaurants – and be a staple on the British high street. However, the growth potential could be exponentially higher if they’d continued to remind the public about what they offer through their social media communications.

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