Facebook Leads e-commerce Push Into Ticketing
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Q&A with Sue Young, head of Facebook Events
Sue Young, head of Facebook Events, spoke to Venues Today about Facebook’s push into the live entertainment space, how they are working with ticketing companies like Ticketmaster, Spectra Ticketing and Eventbrite and showcasing events from everyone.
How do you see the future of integrating ticketing and social media?
We think ticketing and social media are becoming the present and are definitely the future. Bringing tickets to the people is a trend we've heard mentioned repeatedly at industry events. And ticket sales are becoming more about creating meaningful relationships with people so they become subscribers, followers and repeat attendees instead of simple, isolated transactions. Facebook has a unique ability to help foster those relationships and keep your audience engaged and interested.
How far is Facebook with integrating ticketing?
We currently support the ability to sell tickets on Facebook through Ticketmaster and Eventbrite and the ability to publish events via Official Events with Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, Spectra Ticketing, Ticketfly and AXS.com.
What value does this bring to Facebook?
Our goal is to make it easier for people to discover what to do or where to go in the world around them, and with our new ticketing feature, we're helping the more than 550 million people using Facebook Events each month find new events and quickly buy tickets. In our research, we found that some of the top reasons people don't go to an event are because they found out about it too late or they didn't know who else was going. Facebook offers solutions to both of these without organizers lifting a finger. As long as you schedule well enough in advance, once people begin RSVPing and sharing your event, their friends start to follow.
What are the different ways fans discover events on Facebook?
The most popular way people discover events on Facebook is in their news feeds, when they see events their friends are connected to. You can also see suggested events on the events bookmark, like those popular with your friends and community, and by searching for events. In addition to giving people meaningful social context around events they might be considering attending, people can save their payment information with Facebook for future purchases; making ticket purchasing easier and faster, especially on mobile devices.
Can you explain Facebook “Power Users’?
They are a very dedicated group of event users. We’ve made a separate space for them to interact with Events on Facebook in the new, standalone Events app we launched in October of last year. As an event organizer, any event you create on Facebook appears in the Events app and the discovery surface on Facebook.com and in the Facebook app, at no cost.
What value does Facebook Events bring to the company?
Facebook is all about helping people create meaningful connections. One of those ways is using Facebook Events to discover things to do with friends and family that mean something to you, like go to your favorite team's games and then stay connected to the team's promotions like when season tickets go on sale.
How does being displayed on Facebook improve ticket sales?
While we can't share exact metrics, we can share that we've seen over 40-percent year-over-year growth in people engaging with public events created. We've also seen that more than half of all Facebook Event RSVPs, sharing and commenting in Events are happening on mobile, and ticketing is already designed for mobile so it's quick and easy, which means people are more likely to complete the process of purchasing a ticket.
How do venues get their events posted?
It’s easy. They just need to create one, for free. Either a person or a Page can create an Event, add co-hosts, share info with everyone who has RSVPed in one place, all with no email spam filters and boost posts. Your Event is seen by the people in their news feed and in the dedicated Events bookmark where people see events popular with their friends and community and search by Event type and timing.
What are the rules and process for getting events posted?
The process is easy and the rules are simple. Create an Event that abides by Facebook's general community standards. We've got a great overview of how to post and best practices at events.fb.com.
What is the impact of posting the events? Have venues reported seeing higher attendance because of Facebook exposure?
We've gotten great feedback from our partners that posting on Facebook helps them drive sales and attendance. We've done an analysis of the best ways you can promote your event on Facebook and, while ads are the top, the second is sharing to other pages and profiles, with RSVPing as a close third. So don't forget to share your event to your page, add co-hosts and encourage both your page followers and RSVP’ed attendees to share with their friends.
How does the deal work with the ticketing companies? Does Facebook get a share of the revenue or do ticket companies and venues pay a flat fee to get access on Facebook?
We don't take a cut of anyone's revenue. Right now we're focused on giving people the best experience we can, quick and easy ticket purchase.
What is Facebook’s marketing and strategy plan around ticketing?
We're working closely with our ticketing partners to help them raise awareness of ticketing on Facebook with their clients.
Does Facebook have any plans to offer tickets straight to their users, as in not through a ticket company but a standalone service of Facebook?
Our primary focus is to help our ticketing partners sell more tickets and give consumers an easier way to attend the Events that interest them.
Anything else you would like to share about Facebook, ticketing and venues?
If you are thinking of investing thousands in building your own app or mobile-optimization of your website, first test on Facebook for free. We have the audience and the built-in interface already so you don't need to build your own. If you use Ticketmaster or Eventbrite, reach out to your account manager who can seamlessly get this set up for you.