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Spirits brands like Bacardi and Beefeater are abandoning Twitter – here’s why

In the wake of Wetherspoon’s retirement from social media, new research has revealed how household names like Bacardi and Drambuie are abandoning Twitter in their droves.

Research carried out by drinks specialist agency YesMore has found that a number of spirits brands including Bacardi are moving away from Twitter as a means of engaging with consumers.

More than 40 per cent (42.3%) of the 100+ spirits and liqueur accounts surveyed had not posted at all within the past month. More than 32 per cent (32.4%) had not posted within the past three months. And just over 20 per cent (20.7%) had not posted in a year or more.

Bacardi, which has a follower count of just over 100,000, last posted on Twitter in December 2017. Beefeater, meanwhile, hasn’t tweeted to its 3,000-strong audience since March 2017.

Tom Harvey, new client director at YesMore, said that quite simply, core brands have overstretched themselves on social media. Spirits companies typically have a minimum of three social media accounts (usually Twitter, Facebook and Intagram), but keeping these up-to-date and responding to consumers is a labour-intensive task, and increasingly companies are reluctant to hand the work to an unskilled intern.

Looking at brands owned by Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Bacardi, Beam Suntory and Campari, the study found that each new brand added to a portfolio comes with a minimum of three new social profiles, and on top of this new accounts are also made for key distribution territories (Bacardi, for example, has a separate Twitter account for its UK market). Some brands can have as many as 10 social media profiles for just one brand.

“It’s clear that brands are suffering with too many channels and profiles across multiple territories – they are simply getting overwhelmed with places which they are supposed to post content – and the days of ‘getting the intern to do it’ are long gone.

“It seems that some brands need to reinvent how they use social media to come up with a strategy that works across all platforms with whatever level of resource and investment the brand has.”

A spokesperson for Beefeater told the drinks business that its social media teams have a lot of flexibility depending on the platform and region, which may go some way to explaining why the gin brand’s US account hasn’t posted in over a year, while Beefeater España’s last post was this morning.

“Social media is an important part of our marketing strategy and we use a range of channels,” it said.

“Our priority is to connect with our audiences where they most want to hear from us and, because that can vary from country to country, each market will use social media differently.”

Bacardi has been approached for comment.

The news comes after pub chain JD Wetherspoon closed the social media accounts for every single one of its 900 venues, with chairman Tim Martin citing recent concerns over data security, general misuse and its addictive nature as reasons for the move.

Martin said in a statement: “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.

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.

“We will still be as vocal as ever through our Wetherspoon News magazine, as well as keeping the press updated at all times.

“We will also be maintaining our website and the Wetherspoon app and encourage customers to get in touch with us via our website or by speaking with the manager at their local pub.”

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