By Stephen Everett, Digital PR Executive
This week saw British pub chain JD Wetherspoon quit social media with immediate effect. The news came as a shock to many because these days, a social media presence is considered essential to promoting your brand and customer support. Yet, JD Wetherspoon decided these accounts weren’t needed. Why?
The renowned group pointed to bad publicity surrounding social media for their reasons for leaving. Chairman Tim Martin says he believes society would be better off if people cut the amount of social media use. There may be an argument for this but what about the consequences? Wetherspoon, like many other businesses, has put a lot of effort into captivating their social media audience with hundreds of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram accounts in place to cover their 900 pubs nationwide.
But were they completely successful? Generally speaking, companies with hundreds of accounts can struggle with engagement rates due to the sheer number of different people managing the feeds, all with differing abilities, and personalities. Inconsistency in key messages, tone of voice and quality can leave the social user confused – and even a bit frustrated with the brand. If you consider how time consuming managing an effective social media strategy is, while keeping so many different accounts aligned to company strategy, you can understand why a business may feel social media doesn’t suit them
So what will JD Wetherspoon be missing out on?
Social media now plays such a vital role in reaching a wider audience for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Without a social voice, businesses will lose valuable insight into what resonates with its audience, who spend time on those channels. These insights allow organisations to take on feedback from a range of demographics to change and develop their products and services to target new customers and build customer loyalty. However, social media is only an important marketing tool if used properly — it can become worthless if in the wrong hands. How you process the information you receive from social media is key to making it work for your business. You can have the most engaging account the ‘Twitterverse’ has ever seen but without the ability to gather insights from the data generated by the accounts, the value is lost.
Of course, social media doesn’t fit every company’s needs. At Whiteoaks it’s our aim to consult our clients on how social media fits with their business strategy and objectives. For example, some brands are more suited to LinkedIn, some Twitter, some both. The results-driven nature of our agency is also engrained in the way we represent our clients on social media, as our clients’ business goals are always at the front of mind. Consistency of message, professionalism and proper data collection methods are key ingredients to what we believe ensures social media success. Without these ingredients, there is no pint….