Never one to miss a PR trick, JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has revealed – on Twitter, naturally – that every one of his pubs is coming off all social media channels to concentrate on the job in hand, to wit, selling cheap drink. No more Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like for each of the chain’s 900-plus outlets. How will their legions of locals manage?
While I reckon I’d probably revert to burying myself in my own Twitter timeline rather than talk to the Brexit bore with his ridiculous West Country burr if I was stuck next to him in one of his Death Star boozers, I can’t find too much to take issue with in his reasoning.
Because the thing about the democratisation of the means of communication is that it applies to everyone, eejits and all. If the folk who drink in JD Wetherspoons pubs want to engage in conversation, then taking the time to read their offerings and decide whether to reply is, believe it not, someone’s job, and a thankless one at that.
I suspect Tim Martin isn’t really one for being confronted by an audience eager to tell him anything, so perhaps his motivation in ditching social media, (apart from the headlines he has garnered), is something to do with a well-honed sense of righteousness.
But with a business model reliant on tight margins his estimate that bar managers – who each had the “keys” to their own individual pub’s accounts – were spending two hours a week updating their channels when they could have been serving punters is no small biscuits.
Of course he might have been wiser to centralise all of his social accounts to specialist teams in head office or farm the task out to someone else, but what’s done is done.
Who knows, maybe the notion of people talking to each other in pubs rather than messaging them might take off?