Last week we heard that UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon is closing down its social media accounts for all 900 pubs and its head office. Many are left wondering if others will follow suit, or if this is actually a clever publicity stunt, or perhaps a cost-cutting exercise and a way to reduce all of the 900 ‘local’ accounts down to something managed by a corporate PR team? Time will tell, but with Wetherspoon’s founder and chairman Tim Martin very publicly declaring his position on Brexit, it is likely the corporate communications team has had to deal with negative comments and trolls, which could also be a contributing factor to this decision.

So, is this the death knell for corporate social media and should you now be deleting your business accounts?  We don’t think you should be too hasty!  Social media is here to stay, although with the very public privacy and data use breaches and the imminent GDPR regulations coming next month, we will be seeing a much needed shake up of how businesses gather and use data.

Read our five reasons why you shouldn’t abandon your favourite platform just yet!

1. A great way to engage clearly and directly with your audience

Your news feed doesn’t need to be a platform for complaints (the much commented on Tweet from a Wetherspoons customer who complained about slow service in 2010, that the pub chain responded to a whole 5 years later probably isn’t the way to go) but it is a chance to hear what your audience really thinks about your service or product.  You can resolve any issues straight away – immediate action is usually always appreciated and you can turn a negative into a positive. Take the chance and engage directly and clearly with your customer or client in a cost-effective way.

2. The best method of sharing your content – fast!

They say that “Content is King” and that’s never been truer in a world dominated by social media.  But good, meaningful content can take some planning and thought but it’s really worth putting in the time.  Sharing unique ideas and concepts gives you a chance to tell your customers about you and the work you do.  If it’s content you’d be happy emailing to a friend, or if it’s some news that will make your audience feel happier, healthier and/or wiser then share it!

3. An effective way to use your own voice

A social media platform will allow you to use your own voice to reach out to clients, and, perhaps even more crucially, allow them to feel that they can contact you.  A recent Twitter conversation we had with a follower, led to them becoming a valuable sponsor for our client organisation!  Credible content along with direct responses can lead to real engagement. Share your values, make your interactions genuinely personal and you’ll build real business relationships.

4. Successfully drive traffic to your website

More than ever, people are using social media to hear the latest news, to learn new things and find out information.  Social media has also changed the way we look for entertainment and it’s right up there with TV and video games as a way to spend time out of work. Post regularly and consistently, write blog posts and articles, post video or webinar content and share them across social media channels, jump on news events and link back to your website.  The more people who visit your site, the higher it will sit in the Google rankings.

5. Effective channels to support your business strategy

There’s a good chance that a lot of your potential clients are already using social media platforms. Find out where they are and use those channels to support your business goals.  Check out where your competitors are getting traction and ensure that you use those platforms too. The key thing is to make sure that you are not wasting time or money and that your online efforts really are supporting your strategy and achieving your goals. If not, try something different!

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