ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

Facebook evolves into go-to platform for social ticketing

With a growing number of consumers turning to mobile platforms to research local events and make plans with friends, event marketers are striking while the iron is hot and introducing new social ticketing solutions on Facebook.

On the heels of Ticketmaster and Eventbrite beginning to sell tickets directly via Facebook, SAP Event Ticketing is also hopping on the bandwagon and introducing its own social ticketing platform. The plethora of marketers permeating the space and setting up shop on Facebook suggests that consumers will likely base more of their purchasing decisions around which of their friends are attending certain events, and the location of their friends’ seats.

“We believe mobile and social commerce is not the future, it’s actually what’s going on now,” said Ophir Zardok, CEO and founder of Evento. “Like in any other industry, the mobile commerce is booking and people preferring to do their transactions right here, right now.

“The problem in the ticketing industry is that only few companies adapted to huge demand of mobile ticketing and now that there are companies like Evento that offer really cool, engaging, easy-to-use mobile ticketing solutions, the purchases start to be driven by mobile.”

The new buzzword
Whereas social commerce was the mobile buzzword several years ago, social ticketing is cementing its status as the buzzword of 2016. A slew of event marketers are optimizing their platforms for social media after discovering that consumers are highly influenced by their friends and the events they choose to attend.

Ticketmaster’s research department, Live Analytics, found that 52 percent of users are interested in finding out where their Facebook friends’ seats are at events, per a study published in August 2014.

With SAP, Eventbrite and Ticketmaster now enabling consumers to purchase event tickets via Facebook, social ticketing is bound to take off in an even more pervasive way.

Facebook lends itself well to mobile ticketing sales pushes, as its users can easily view upcoming events in their areas, as well as events that their friends have confirmed to attend. Consequently, if an individual wants to invite his or her friend to a rock concert the following month, he or she can simply send an evite to that person, who may opt to purchase a ticket.

Evento Social Promotion has also uncovered another lucrative feature for event marketers: social seating maps. The platform has created a Facebook-complementary map that allows users to view where their friends are sitting, enabling them to reserve seats right next to them, if they prefer. Ticket buyers may also invite other consumers to join their party.

The company’s platform integrates with other ticketing systems as well, which gives event owners the ability to sell via Facebook without changing ticket suppliers.

Social ticket stubs
Consumers appear to be quickly adopting the influx of ticketing options presented to them through mobile applications and social media, an observation that should be unsurprising to marketers.

“Events are social; it only makes sense that people will purchase tickets in a social way,” Mr. Zardok said. “Since Facebook is the leading social media platform in the world, the promoters and the fans are now shifting to social ticketing.

“As we see it, with our clients and their users, there is a massive shift to Facebook.”

Mobile and social-enabled ticketing have also captured the attention of brands in several other sectors.

Regal Entertainment Group is the latest movie theater chain to adopt digital ticketing by teaming up with mobile app Atom Tickets, which enables consumers to send invitations to friends via social media, pre-order concessions and purchase advance tickets (see story).

Additionally, the flurry of mobile ticketing innovations seen by marketers in a slew of industries suggests transportation companies will also begin investing more heavily in these solutions, due to the sheer convenience and last-minute purchasing ability they offer (see story).

“The biggest challenge is how to build a social ticketing platform,” Mr. Zardok said. “The fact that the ticketing system has Facebook integration doesn’t make it social. We have been doing ticketing ‘trial and error’ on Facebook for the last 3 years.

“We have learned what works and what doesn’t work, how to engage the fan without pushing too hard on the fan to engage.”