British pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced the closure of all its social media accounts, including its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts for both head office and its individual pubs.
JD Wetherspoon had over 100,000 followers on Facebook and 44,000 on Twitter.
The company said no jobs will be affected by the decision.
JD Wetherspoon said in a statement:
“In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts for individual pubs and head office.
“Rather than using social media, we will continue to release news stories and information about forthcoming events on our website (jdwetherspoon.com) and in our printed magazine – Wetherspoon News.”
The move “follows the bad publicity surrounding social media, including the ‘trolling’ of MPs and others, especially those from religious or ethnic minorities,” the company said.
In a tweet no longer available, Chairman Tim Martin said: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business. I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.”
Mr Martin told the BBC: “We were also concerned that pub managers were being side-tracked from the real job of serving customers.” Adding, “I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever.”
“No impact” on PR for the pub chain
The man who handles Wetherspoon’s PR, Eddie Gershon, told PR Week that the closure of the social media accounts will have “no impact” on PR for the pub chain.
“I don’t believe it will have any impact on PR for Wetherspoon,” Gershon told PR Week.
He added, “There are obviously millions of people that love Twitter, but personally I am not a big fan and it is clear that my client feels the same way.
“Give me a 200-word story in The Sun or The Times any day over a tweet.”