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Does your business need social media?

Naomi Busuttil
By Naomi BusuttilPR and Social Media Manager
5 minutes to read

In the wake of JD Wetherspoon’s brazen and sudden move to close all its social media accounts, its chairman Tim Martin said ‘I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever’.

This bold statement can’t go unchallenged. So we’ve had a look at why social media is one of the most important communication tools at a business’s disposal.

It’s fast

We live in a digital age and social media is one of the best forms of communication available to brands. If you need to get a mass message out quickly, your best option is to draft and issue a social media post. It’s fast, to the point and instantly reaches your audience. That’s why so many of us turn to social media to read breaking news updates, look for recommendations, and find offers and promotions.

It’s part of a wider plan

Others would argue that you don’t need social media when you have a solid PR plan, but social media is an important component in any PR strategy.

Carefully executed PR activity can work really well, but even in crisis management situations, it’s much more of a slow burner. A press release can take anywhere from an hour to a full day to draft, approve and issue. Great for increasing brand awareness, but not ideal if you need to promptly communicate a message.

One of the best examples of social media as a fantastic communication tool is Facebook’s crisis response feature. Since its introduction, the tool has been used in some of the world’s biggest crises to help users quickly notify family or friends of their safety en masse.

You can join in the conversation

If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, how can you oversee and join in with the conversations happening around your brand? How can you identify and respond to customer queries and complaints? And, in the very worst situations, how can you control negative or untrue claims about your business? The answer is, you can’t.

Our own Managing Director agrees, Chris said: “We know that most conversations now take place online and if your business isn’t present, you can do very little to control or respond to that dialog. You also miss out on the chance to gain valuable insight into the conversations taking place and provide support to your audience.” So we certainly won’t be deleting our channels anytime soon.

Wetherspoon’s might be taking social media at face value and consider it as a one-way conversation. But the reality is, social media is an invaluable tool that if used well can help brands instantly communicate with their customers, improve customer service and shape the chatter and perception that surrounds them.

What do you think of Wetherspoon’s deleting its accounts? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit: iStock.com/Wachiwit

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Articles by Naomi Busuttil