Marketing / 07.30.18
2 Truths and 3 Lies About Social Media for the Ticketing Industry
"Social media has become a part of nearly every aspect of our lives, for better or worse. Live events organizations must be active on the channels their customers use in order to stay relevant and top of mind."
So says Nick Begley, senior marketing manager for AudienceView, a leading provider of solutions that fuel ticket sales and attendee engagement for live events worldwide. Begley speaks from experience, having joined the AudienceView team back in 2010 and, in his words, "worn many marketing hats" in his nearly eight years with the Toronto-based company. Currently, his focus is on engagement marketing, leading the event and social media strategy for the Canadian organization.
Begley is familiar with the fact that too often, ticketing marketers get caught up in the many pitfalls of social media. How often should one post? What kind of content should one post? Who should be posting?
In this article, Begley takes us into the world of social media for ticketing, offering two truths (tried-and-true social media tactics) and three lies (common social media myths). Don’t wait to up your social media game; in today’s competitive digital market, you need to know the ins and outs to stay afloat.
Two “Truths” ― Tried-and-True Social Media Tactics
Truth No. 1: Go behind the scenes.
"It's, of course, important to promote upcoming events and include 'buy' links," Begley said. "But creating and sharing compelling content is what really moves the needle for a live events organization. As an industry, we need to focus on the amazing people who create the art and wow us with their athleticism."
This “focus” can refer to offering unique, behind-the-scenes content, which could be as simple as using Facebook Live to broadcast batting practice or asking an actor to host an Instagram takeover, Begley says. These content efforts give audiences a taste of what they could be missing out on if they don’t attend a certain event.
Truth No. 2: Generate FOMO.
“Positioning the content we're offering on our stages or playing surfaces as 'can't-miss' versus 'nice-to-see' will build your brand and undoubtedly fill seats,” Begley said. “In essence, the more FOMO [fear of missing out] you can manufacture with your social media content, the better results you’ll see.”
One effective way to boost FOMO is to collaborate with attendees. Begley suggests providing eventgoers the opportunity to take a dynamic photo they might share with their network via social media. If you don’t currently prioritize on-site photo locations and Geofilters, now is the time. Word-of-mouth marketing via social photos is an easy, budget-friendly way to increase your organic reach.
In terms of the social media channel (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), where marketers and social media managers should focus their time is still largely dependent on their audience.
"The social media channels that are most effective for an organization are largely dictated by their customer base or genre,” Begley said. “I’m still bullish on Facebook as a channel that is effective for event promotion and remains a source of information from the millennial to the baby boomer. Instagram is also massively popular ― especially with millennials and Gen Z ― and should be a part of your social media strategy in terms of brand building. Live events organizations are at an incredible advantage because venues, performers and athletes naturally offer striking and powerful imagery that plays well on Instagram."
Three “Lies”: Common Social Media Myths
Lie No. 1: Broaden your appeal as much as possible.
Begley cautions against trying to appease your entire audience; instead focus on whom you’re trying to reach, why they should care about this event and specifically where you should be connecting with those people.
"It’s critical to use the right social media channels to reach your customers," Begley said. "Less is more. Live events organizations must also be very intentional in their use of social media.”
Lie No. 2: Sacrifice quality for efficiency.
Although it’s tempting to create one post and blast it out across all your social media platforms, Begley also warns against copy-and-pasting social content. Speed is not always effective.
“At a high level, you must create content for specific channels rather than posting the same photo or copy across the board,” he said. “On a tactical level, it's important to pay close attention to details ― like properly sizing images ― for each channel you are using."
Lie No. 3: Social media is only for the youth.
Older ticket buyers, sellers and event promoters aren’t any less adept when it comes to social media than their younger counterparts.
"I think it's dangerous to ever stereotype a generation," Begley said. "I do, however, think the younger generations tend to be more tech savvy because they grew up online as digital natives and are more open to trying new ways to engage with technology. Ultimately, it's in our best interest to understand the online preferences of older ticket buyers and cater to them, to a point, because they often have the time and discretionary income to support arts and sports organizations. And as much as veteran marketers need to learn how to communicate with younger customers, the same holds true for millennial-age social media marketers communicating with older customers."
Begley says that since we have a multigenerational workforce, we should be leaning on our coworkers to be our checkers and sounding boards. He suggests teams cultivate an open culture that encourages feedback on social media messaging. If someone thinks a voice isn’t working for social media, that person should feel empowered to raise their concern and offer a solution.
What’s the Future of Social for Ticketing?
With all that in mind, where are we headed, as an industry, in relation to social media? Begley sees a future that includes more recognition for genre-specific influencers and thought leaders.
"[We'll see] technology that helps live events organizations identify and reward micro-influencers," Begley said. "Most live events organizations can't afford a Kardashian to promote their brand or event. So, we need to find our customers and passionate community members ― mommy bloggers, for example ― who have a big influence on social media and then offer them incentives to promote our content."
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Tags: Social Media, Mobile, Digital Marketing