The Barley Mow pub in Brighton has been writing funny quotes on its blackboards for 16 years.
Just over two years ago, the pub started to post images of the day’s A-board on Facebook – boosting comments and visits to its page.
Licensee Julie Karuzas explained: “We have had quite good feedback. I get a lot of people who stop to read it outside. I get people who pass and ask ‘Who does this? It brightens my day’ sort of thing. That is quite nice.
“I am not sure it brings any more business in, but it gets us noticed on social media.
“We have had boards that have gone around and around and had what looks like 1m+ hits.”
Boards that have garnered social media traction include a joke ribbing vegans.
“One of the more controversial ones was a tofu one and that went and is still going around,” Karuzas explained.
“That was ‘How to prepare tofu: throw it in the bin and cook some bacon’, and that well, as you can imagine, vegans and vegetarians went a bit nuts on that one.”
Ed Davies from Raising The Bar, which provides social media training and website creation for pubs, agreed that unique A-boards can have a positive, yet indirect, impact on a business.
He said: “Writing witty, eye-catching A-boards and sharing them on social media is a great move for pubs because it’s the type of content that works best on social – ‘infotaining’.
“While it's not likely to bring people in directly, by being shared so easily, it can get your pub name in front of more people and raising your profile in the local area.
“It's more about branding – giving people an idea of what to expect when they come in.”
Constantly updating the boards will encourage people to check them each time they pass the site, Davies explained.
“This means the next time you have a promotional message instead of a humorous one, it will get more attention than it otherwise would have,” he said.
Rebecca Dickson, social media manager at agency KK Communications, shared the view that A-boards are an easy and cheap way to garner positive attention.
She said: "If you write something that’s so funny or so inspirational people want to share it to their own social media channels, you’ve opened yourself up to a whole new customer base that could quite possibly convert into revenue.
"Alternatively, post something promotional on your A-board or your social channels and you lose that shareable opportunity.
"Always ask yourself the golden question, 'would I be happy to post that to my own account?'"
Coming up with new ideas is also enjoyable for the team, Karuzas added.
“It is always a bit of a laugh, trying to come up with the next best one. We sort of follow it and see how far they have gone.
“It is good fun for us, coming up with something as good because the ones that will travel all around the world and back.”