Turning social media into a reliable revenue stream has been a challenge for most industries. But even as the path to profitability remains uncertain, maintaining a presence on sites such as Twitter and Facebook is increasingly essential — especially for those in the ticket resale industry.
A recent survey released by the Switzerland-based Amiando, which offers tools for online registration and ticketing, revealed that 77 percent of responders who use social media do so in order to “increase awareness” while 51 percent see it as a way to “increase customer loyalty.” Only 28 percent said they used it as a way to “increase ticket sales.”
All these findings are right in line with the philosophies espoused by SeatGeek’s Russ D’Souza, whose company has active Facebook and Twitter accounts. D’Souza sees social media as a way to add a bit of personalization to an industry that has battled image problems in the past and has a bit of a “faceless” reputation.
“I think people are sick of the concept of a company as a faceless organization with no interaction between the company and customer,” D’Souza said. “[In] ticketing, where there’s obviously some negative thoughts and people have heard negative things about the industry, I think it’s really important for anybody in a ticket agency to be out there and have an organization that is willing to talk to consumers and answer questions. I think it’s important to show a trail of caring for customers and [customer] interaction, even if has nothing to do with buying a ticket.”
The Amiando survey revealed that Facebook (84 percent) and Twitter (61 percent) were by far the most popular social media tools used by those surveyed. And while Twitter is the hotter and hipper of the two platforms — Twitter announced Thursday, June 30 that it handles 200 million tweets daily, up from 60 million tweets a day last June — D’Souza believes Facebook remains the preferred method for ticket brokers because it’s easier to communicate on Facebook and because posts on Facebook have a longer shelf life than those on Twitter.
“We get a lot of feature articles that we post to our Facebook account and I think you get more interaction because you can see how people like it and communicate in line — it gives you a better broadcast medium than Twitter,” D’Souza said. “Twitter gets updated frequently and with all the new content, it’s easy to get out of sight, out of mind. Whereas the Facebook news feed tends to get updated less frequently and [people can] see a history of what we’ve done.”
Social media also comes in handy for industry events such as Ticket Summit, which is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13 through Friday, July 15. Ticket Summit is promoting the event with both a Facebook page and a Twitter account, each of which will allow those who can’t attend the conference in Las Vegas to at least observe what is going on in real time.
“Somebody Tweeting [who] the current speaker is and maybe a link to the video on Facebook — stuff like that is just to build engagement with people who couldn’t make it,” D’Souza said. “A lot of brokers aren’t going to be able to make it to Vegas this summer but they can feel a connection with what’s going on with Ticket Summit.”