I’m not going to pretend to be non-partisan here. I hate Wetherspoons (officially titled JD Wetherspoon) and a lot of their attitudes, but I love cheap pints, quick food and will tolerate dim lighting.
So, I found it strange to agree with Wetherspoons’ boss Tim Martin on a turbulent issue for once. He says that closing their social accounts won’t affect business, and he’s right.
‘Did you see what Wetherspoons said on Twitter?’ said no one ever, until now when they said they’ll stop going on Twitter.
The old chain have never taken advantage of their social accounts while many others have like KFC, McDonald’s or BrewDog. They’ve come in with campaigns that have pulled in the punters, while Wetherspoons wants to stay as the place where the beer is cheap, the lights are low and everybody knows your name. In other words, they’re not bothered by any new custom or engaging a new generation.
Just like your Grandad, they’ve never really cared for social media. They don’t know about it and they don’t really want to know. They dipped their toe in that one time and it scared them. It’s understandable really because it’s mostly a young person’s game and Wetherspoons is not a young person’s brand.
So, closing their accounts won’t literally affect their current sales but it’s going to affect them in the future. Considering the new generation are drinking less and pubs are still closing, they’re missing an opportunity to boost the brand and get new followers IRL. It doesn’t really add up considering the big chain’s boss argued that drinking in pubs would be safer for teenagers.
They’ve also succeeded in sounding self-righteous about people being anti-social and using their phones, while also being a company who’s developed a service where you can order food and drinks to your table…on your phone.
Wetherspoons have really missed an opportunity to educate and engage with other demographics, like ‘millennials’. I mean, they’ve been doing vegan and gluten-free meals, some even with avocados in! So, why give up on ‘millennial marketing’ now? Why don’t they install a choice of comfy, groovy chairs, more laptop charger ports, and gourmet coffee and tea options so millennials can Instagram and boost the ‘spoons brand worldwide?
They’ll have to brighten the lights first.