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Twitter’s growing influence on ticket sales reflects spontaneous shopping trend

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December 11, 2014

The Hobbit's Twitter account

The Hobbit’s Twitter account

Online ticket services such as SeatGeek as well as movie studios are seeking out Twitter for mobile ticket sales through Promoted Tweets and embedded links, reflecting the social network’s potential as a platform for mcommerce. 

As uses of social commerce are becoming more possible with Twitter’s Buy Now feature, ticket search engines such as SeatGeek, Fandango and Movietickets.com can leverage this feature to reel in more sales. Consumers are more open than ever to mobile deals, proving that the Twitter News Feed is an appropriate place to reach them.

“Twitter is already a real-time source for news, photos and video clips, so it only makes sense for the social network to enter the space of real-time ecommerce deals as it looks to broaden its revenue stream,” said Guillaume Lelait, general manager at Fetch USA, San Francisco. “The Twitter Buy Now feature is a great outlet for companies looking to sell time-sensitive items such as event tickets and travel deals, and social platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat are exploring ways for brands to easily advertise new deals.

“This makes it easy for consumers to access these deals easily with simple purchasing,” he said. “Event and ticket providers such as SeatGeek can especially benefit from the growing spontaneous purchase trend, along with the online travel industry, and we see more interest from marketers to capitalize on the spontaneous shopping trend.”

How to
SeatGeek is using Promoted Tweets that advertise Taylor Swift’s upcoming music tour. The ads claim that downloading the SeatGeek mobile application automatically enters users in a chance to win tickets to a Taylor Swift show.

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SeatGeek’s ad on Twitter

With all the recent buzz on Taylor Swift’s new album, Twitter users are likely to notice the image of Ms. Swift and are more led to download the app. Giveaways are always a good move to entice consumers to act.

There is a direct icon in the tweet to install the app. Also, the App Store rating for the app is provided, showing the reliability of the app, which will encourage users to use the app for future shows and events.

Similarly, The Hobbit series upcoming film The Battle of the Five Armies to hit theatres Dec. 17 is maintaining its own Twitter account. The account posted Dec. 4 a link to purchase tickets ahead of time and alerted readers with a note that said, “Not being able to see #TheHobbit on opening day will drive you mad. Get #TheHobbitTickets now.”

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The Hobbit’s promotional tweet

The tweet included a link to Movietickets.com, where users can search for a particular day and time they are interested in. The site is optimized for mobile users and activates location tracking to deliver a list of theatres closest to users.

Direct links provide one-stop shops for consumers, and when they are most likely active on social, leveraging Twitter is a useful platform.

Entertainment is intertwined with social, and the two pair well together.

Competitor threats
With the potential of Twitter emerging as a commercial route for the entertainment industry, there is a difference of opinion that it could lead to the extinction of competitors such as Fandango.

“It definitely has the possibility to take away some of Fandango’s business, especially if the ticket companies are offering special deals and pricing,” Mr. Lelait said. “However, there is potential for Fandango to leverage Twitter for their own ticket sales as well, perhaps offering last-minute movie tickets at discounted prices to shows that aren’t at capacity.”

However, others disagree and believe there is enough room in this space for both to last. Since Fandango users know what they are looking for upon going to the app or Web site, the ticket search engine still has lasting endurance.

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The Fandango app

“While Twitter could become a nice complementary outlet for increasing ticket sales with an engaged audience, it’s unlikely that it will replace pure-play outlets like Fandango who cater to consumers who already know what they’re shopping for,” said Todd Herrold, senior director of product marketing for Kenshoo, San Francisco. “These consumers don’t need to go to Twitter to seek out conversations to entice them to purchase concert or movie tickets; they simply need a place to purchase the tickets they’re already interested in, and Twitter is unlikely to compete with Fandango and its competitors for this slice of the market.”

The winner in this competition is ultimately Twitter. Leading ticket search engines can all benefit from social presence and increasingly from mobile-social sales.

“Twitter provides a great outlet for real-time conversations occurring around social events like concerts or movies, and such shows great potential for brands to engage audiences who have expressed interest in their events,” Mr. Herrold said. “As Twitter continues to extend and enhance its direct response offerings, it will become an important channel for driving additional ticket sales.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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