By Adam Fraser
As widely reported and discussed, in mid-April the major UK pub group Wetherspoon’s closed all of its social media accounts, covering its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles.
As a high profile business, making a controversial, somewhat contrarian move, the strategy invoked wide-ranging discussion.
- He had always thought the idea that social media was essential for advertising was untrue
- The increasing amount of time spent by staff dealing with social media messages
- Concerns about the security of data
- The unhealthy social media “compulsion” of many customers
- He was not convinced that being on social media sites brought any commercial benefit to the business
In summary, as headlined in this article in the UK Standard, “We’re quitting social media as its a waste of time”.
The company’s PR advisor chimed in that he wasn’t a fan of Twitter – “Give me a 200-word story in The Sun or The Times any day over a tweet.”
Instinctively the focus was on the megaphone – shouting at customers, reach and frequency. Brand-centric – what can social media do for ME? How can WE drive more sales?
The customer-centric view was largely forgotten. What do our customers need from us? How can we enhance the customer experience? The value of social listening to understand customer feedback and broader attitudes and sentiment. Answering customer queries on social media in real time on a channel of their choice. Listen and respond. Two ears and one mouth.
The overall commentary around the Wetherspoon’s decision was largely positive. I wonder how it would have differed from the lens of “Wetherspoons drops all focus groups and stops answering the phone”.