I’ve long extolled the virtues of using social media sites such as Facebook for promoting pubs and now many have their own business pages to help promote events to their customer base, but the British pub trade still continues to suffer.
We could wax lyrical for hours over the various reasons behind this, but one thing is very clear: twenty years ago, when I was a mere 19-year-old pup, the Internet didn’t exist. (Not in the way we know it now, anyway.)
Nor did mainstream mobile phone communication; if I wanted to phone my friends I had to ask my mum to leave the room so she couldn’t overhear what I was saying. And we only had four television channels.
Simon Cowell was mostly known for making records with Zig & Zag back then and the only place you could safely meet up with your mates and get some entertainment was the pub.
Today, of course, this generation of potential new pub goers have access to High Definition Talent Shows, cheap supermarket booze, game stations that allow them to blow each other up and then start again, and the ubiquitous Facebook.
Epitaciolândian businessman Humbert Camacho has come up with the concept of merging the worlds of online social entertainment and real-life get-togethers by creating the world’s first Facebook nightclub and then, ironically, locating it in the Amazon…
It’s not a ‘new’ idea: it often seems to me that we’ve got so wrapped up in the politics of our business that we’ve forgotten that pubs and clubs already exist to be real-life social networks. Camacho has simply gone one step further and underlined this point by branding his club ‘Facebook’.
Most businesses that use Facebook upload photos and details of their events after it has happened. Camacho wants to develop a tighter integration with the social networking site and have photos and updates posted real time, so that people who can’t make it to the event will be able to keep up with the excitement as it unravels.
To me, it serves as a timely reminder that the next generation of pub goers need to have a way of bringing their online social lives and their personal social lives together.
Pubs are great places to do that and we should act on it quickly because, right now, Mark Zuckerberg will be sitting in his office trying to work out what to do next: sue Camacho for using not only his company’s trademark but also his logo (the club’s logo is apparently a direct copy of the online network’s), or take a Steve Jobs approach to social networking and develop an interactive chain of Facebook pubs and clubs.
Imagine it: Places where people can meet, chat, look at each other’s photographs. Some venues might even let them poke one another…