Wetherspoons leading the way?
Paul Hunt is a marketing consultant
It’s probably safe to say that the last few weeks may be a watershed moment for social media with the Facebook saga still rumbling which will undoubtedly have ramifications for all of us going forward.
Once upon a time Facebook was just a simple place to post your holiday snaps, catch up with old friends and check up on frenemies.
Fast forward to 2018 and this year is really seeing various watershed moments for the future of social media and one such moment happened last week.
This was the decision by Wetherspoons to shut down all its social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) with immediate effect.
The pub chain linked the move to bad publicity surrounding social media including the “trolling” of MPs and said its decision had also been influenced by concerns regarding the “misuse of personal data” and “the addictive nature of social media”.
Maybe more importantly though, Tim Martin (the founder of the pub chain), stated that he was concerned that pub managers were being side-tracked from the real job of serving customers and he said “I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever.”
Honestly, I think he’s right and let’s face it, have you ever chosen to drink at a pub due to its Twitter action or post on Facebook? Probably not.
The question is, should you follow suit?
It’s clear community and social media management is a full time job and where a business doesn’t operate in a physical space, then adopting marketing strategies and media that helps engaging with customers is vital, so social media has a part to play here.
Like all things though, if you don’t invest time in developing a robust and engaging strategy with measurable goals then don’t be surprised if your efforts fail or don’t meet expectations. Also, if you haven’t the time or resources to actively engage via social media, think long and hard about starting, as for you the Wetherspoons’ example might be the right one for you to follow for now.