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The exterior of a JD Wetherspoon's pub
Business & Finance Series: Expert Comment

JD Wetherspoon closes all social media accounts

Professor André Spicer comments on JD Wetherspoon’s decision to shut down its social media accounts for its 900 outlets.

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Professor André Spicer said:

"JD Wetherspoon’s decision to shut down its social media accounts make sense for three reasons. First, they had few followers on their channels and their customers don’t care about the firm’s social media profile. They’re not lured into their local establishment because of a fancy Facebook page, they go there for cheap beer and food in what they find to be a convivial environment.

"Secondly, shutting down social media also dramatically reduces the risk of reputational damage. It means a fracas in one pub that is posted on social media cannot undermine the whole company’s image.

"Lastly, leaving social media is itself a social media stunt – it will get people talking. This Luddite move will probably appeal to many of Wetherspoons’ regulars.

“The big question is whether this will lead to a wave of other firms leaving social media. Other bricks and mortar businesses with high reputational risks may follow the pub chain’s decision. This decision could be good - individuals who leave social media report they are able to focus on activities which matter to them more, and this could be the case for other organisations too.

"The danger is that firms could lose control over the stories told and shared about them on social media, which doesn’t bode well for reputation management."

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