Why Would Weatherspoons Shut Down Their Social Media?

April 24, 2018

Last week, I had two wonderful guests with me, Sonny and Stapho from The Marketing Family. We talked about LinkedIn and Facebook, setting a business in a different country and their backstories.

If you haven’t already, check the last episode and see what Facebook groups can do for you and your business.

This week, since my airbnb's Wi-Fi connection here in Belgrade is a bit sketchy it's just going to be me talking to you. But don’t get your hopes down, I still have fire for your ears.  

Think of it as a date - a business date.

As I mentioned, I’m recording this episode from Belgrade, Serbia. I came here to do a keynote seminar about LinkedIn lead generation and I’ll be releasing a full video of that soon so stay tuned and don’t miss the secrets of LinkedIn delivered by yours truly.

Do you remember that two episodes ago I talked about the top social media stories at that time? Well, now I’ll tell you about the biggest social media story to hit the UK over the last week.

This story’s packed with value for you so even if you’re not from the UK, stay with me.

This week, I’ll tell you all about Wetherspoons closing all their social media accounts

What's This Episode All About

  • What Is Wetherspoons
  • What Happened to Wetherspoons Social Media
  • Most Iconic Wetherspoons Social Media Disasters
  • Why Your Social Interactions Need To Be Human

What is Wetherspoons

Wetherspoons is a huge UK pub chain founded in 1979. They have close 1,000 different pubs and 40,000 employees all over the country.

Last year, their revenue was £1.6 billion, which is close to $2.2 billion. As you can probably tell, they’re a HUGE company here in the UK.

Wetherspoons is know as one of those places you go when you’re super young and want to get cheap booze and party. 

Maybe it’s not the best place, but almost everybody in the UK has been to Wetherspoons at some point. And everybody loves it for some very strange reason.

What Happened To Wetherspoons' Social Media 

This week, Tim Martin, the company’s CEO decided to shut down all their social media (from all their locations) which is roughly 900 accounts including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

To me this is really strange because in the hospitality industry and the retail industry social media is SO key for communicating with your customers, sharing information and stories.

This led me into doing some research on the subject because I didn't think the reasoning behind this move was too clear. 

Tim Martin, the company’s CEO released this press release and mentioned they were quitting all social media.

The main reason to the move was trolling (people do troll Wetherspoons from time to time), data and safety concerns, and finally, because the company thinks there is a trend of unhealthy social media use among its customers.

If you ask me, this is all a little bit of an overkill and rather ironic too because this guy runs a business of pubs where everybody is drinking alcohol. That kind of dilutes his moral high ground.

If we look back a year ago the company released an app where you can order and pay for your drinks and food from this app. And now, a year later they’re just shutting the company’s social handles.

What do you think about this move?

My Two Cents On Wetherspoons Move:

I used to work at Hootsuite and the industry looked after was Hospitality and Leisure. I spent a lot of time talking to these large hospitality chains about how they could use social media to generate more sales and get closer to their customers. We had some great examples of companies improving their services by using social sales.

That’s why I think this move is so crazy; this also leads me to wonder whether or not we’ll see more of this happening over the next year.

It seems like the GDPR, and all these new privacy policies as well as what has happened on Facebook recently has shaken the foundations of social media.

It will be interesting to see how this will all pan out.

Now, let’s get to the funny part of this episode.

Most Iconic Wetherspoons Social Media Disasters

If you take a look at #wetherspoons on Twitter, you'll find some golden tweets. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorites.


We can see how fast and efficient Wetherspoons were, especially when they tweeted back 5 years later.

Another offavouritesites is this one, where a girl asking for free drinks at her local Wetherspoons got a little bit more than just free booze.

And this has happened to more people than just one girl, so you can kind of see a pattern here.

And now that we’re at it let’s also take a look at how brands interact with their customers and people all over the internet. You’re probably familiar with Wendy’s roasting people, but let’s take a look at these brands, too.

Now, going back to Wetherspoons many people suggested that they are closing their social media accounts because of poor engagement rates; and if you look closely at it, they really were pretty poor at social media.

If you look at their social media, you can see most of their interactions are merely customer service and that their announcements were clearly scheduled months in advance.

So they weren’t one of the most active and engaging brads out there.

Other people say this is a PR stunt to get more people to talk about the brand and that also makes sense because their social mentions have skyrocketed over the past week.

Why Your Social Interactions Have To be Human

As you can see from the images when brands behave like humans they get better levels of interaction with people. Also, their posts go viral more often which is something really important if you’re representing a brand or branding yourself.

You don’t need to be rude and roast everybody. Instead, you can use these outlets to showcase your personality and make people have a good experience when they’re dealing with you.

In a world of boring, scheduled, corporate tweets we see every day we have to be different to stand out.

So, next time you’re thinking of scheduling that post, think again and try to make your interaction more human-like.

There are many tools out there you can check to make this happen, and your engagement rates will also improve a lot when you do it.

So, let’s try to take Wetherspoons social demise and try to engage people in a more personal, human way.

Thanks for being here today everybody. I know this episode was a little bit shorter than usual, but I don’t want it to become boring; that’s why I mix things every episode.

I always want to give you value, interesting stories, and the truth behind the worlds social media news.

Next week, I’ll be back with another interview, so make sure you tune in.

Thank you!

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