British pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon has made a risky move and deleted all of their social media accounts. The chain, which has 900 locations in the UK and Ireland, made the announcement on Twitter the day before their accounts went dark.
The company’s chairman, Tim Martin, stated that he doesn’t believe the move will have any effect on the pub chain’s business, and cited social media’s addictive nature as one of the reasons behind the decision:
We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business. I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers…
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.
The company’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts have since been deleted, and their only remaining online presence is their website.
Wetherspoon has had a bit of a reputation for not having the best online presence anyway – like the time they responded to this tweet five years too late:
And now, since they’ve quit social media, criticism of the company online has only increased – but they have no way to combat the negativity. Perhaps instead of quitting cold turkey, they should have improved their online presence and responsiveness to customers; such a move would likely have better results. Only time will tell if this decision will come back to bite them.