Do you wonder about the value of a social media share? If it's an event managed on Eventbrite, the online registration and ticketing company can tell you to the penny. Today, Eventbrite announced findings from an October 2012 study of the revenue and traffic benefits gained when people share events on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The study evaluated two metrics in measuring social commerce behavior: visits per share are the amount of additional traffic generated by each act of sharing. Dollars per share represents the average value of the additional tickets sold through this share.
The bottom line: Facebook leads in pulling in extra dollars in ticket sales, adding an incremental $4.20 per share. Twitter was next, adding $1.66 per share to ticket sales, with LinkedIn pulling in $.67 for each share of an event.
Tamara Mendelsohn, vice president of marketing for Eventbrite, said she found it particularly interesting that the dollar value has increased despite the massive increase in social media usage over the last two years.
"Often, you find that early adopters of a platform are more valuable, more engaged and more likely to monetize at a higher rate. So we might expect to see the numbers go down from two years ago," she said. "But we've found the opposite: Over the last two years, the value of a share has increased. It's counter-intuitive."
Eventbrite uses a custom suite of social analytics tools developed in-house that lets it track and analyze sharing options and also where onsite each share takes place. The tools also tie back into its conversion funnels, so it can attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them.
Worldwide, each time an event is shared on Facebook, it drives on average $4.15 in additional revenue back to the organizer. On average across all social networks, a social share drives $3.23 in additional revenue for the event each time someone shares.
The data also shows a strong increase in the value of a social share across all networks, almost doubling across social networks. Since 2010, Eventbrite found an average 81 percent increase in average, aggregate dollars per share. Twitter had the greatest increase at 330 percent; Facebook saw healthy growth in value of 65 percent; LinkedIn dollars per share increased only 2 percent.
Mendelsohn acknowledged that this data is particular to the events category. "Events are inherently social, people want to share them," she said. In fact, a study last year found that people were more likely to click on shares made after a customer had purchased a ticket, which she attributes to the greater commitment to the event that this shows.
But she said that the continuing increase in engagement among social media users is valuable information for any kind of company.
Visits per share also increased from seven to 17 visits per share, with Twitter shares driving more event page traffic than Facebook and LinkedIn. Links shared on Facebook now drive 14 visits back to Eventbrite, compared with 11 in 2010. Twitter drives the most visits with 33 visits per share, while LinkedIn users visit Eventbrite event pages an average of 10 times for every link that's shared.
Mendelsohn thinks Twitter's higher production of visits per share is attributable to the brevity of tweets. While people can annotate their Facebook posts freely, the constraints of a tweet might prompt readers to click through to get more details. As well, Facebook connections tend to be more personal, she said, and therefore, Facebook posts might seem more relevant.
These trends were consistent across the 14 markets where Eventbrite operates. The study also identified some international trends. The proportion of people who share an event, compared to buying a ticket, was highest in Italy at 14 percent, with share rates are double those of Australia and Ireland (each at 7 percent), the two countries with the lowest share rates.
On the other hand, the British are most likely to click on their friend's links. Each time someone in the UK shares an Eventbrite event on Facebook, 22 of their friends and contacts click on the link.
While Ireland has the lowest share rate, shares have the highest impact on dollars per share, driving, on average, $10.37 in additional ticket sales. This held true on Twitter, as well, with each tweet driving $9.03 in additional ticket sales.
Dollars per share on LinkedIn is highest in France at $12.56, approximately four times that in the Netherlands and Italy, which are $3.33 and $3.21, respectively.
According to Mendelsohn, the global data definitely reflects cultural tendencies, as well as differences in adoption of different social media platforms. She said, "These numbers highlight a really important point: user behavior is different across platforms and categories, and now we know that it's different in different countries. Companies need to understand who your user base is, what platforms they tend to engage on, and what their behavior is. It will differ across platforms and countries."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014