Can you make money in social media?
That’s a great question but a dangerous question to use as a starting point. Dangerous because the primary goal of any presence we have in a social network shouldn’t be to drive revenue, but rather to build a relationship with your best fans. That doesn’t mean that relationship can’t also drive something more (like revenue), and there are programs that are testing these waters in interesting ways. Today, I’ll share some interesting examples from the Big East Conference.
While in general social networks should be focused on driving awareness and excitement, Pinterest is the network that is most built to be shopped. When consumers (or fans) to create their own boards, they are effectively identifying things that they like. Makes you ask the question then: why not make those things available to buy?
Enter U Conn.
Connecticut Athletics Built Out a Pinterest presence with a sharp goal of driving product sales. As you can see here (or below), it feels like… Pinterest. And I mean that in a good way. It is very easy to take and re-pin anything you like. And if you really like it, you could also see this entire board as a virtual store to shop from. Pretty cool idea to take inspiration from!
But how do you apply this thinking more directly to ticket sales? Tough question and I’d argue the best ways to do this are to think differently. Social networks should make it easier, more fun, and more desirable for you to buy a ticket, but should never make it feel like you are being pitched. We wouldn’t want our friends to try and sell us things on Facebook or Twitter, right? So how do you make it easier? It’s all in the details.
Rutgers combines visuals, sharp copy, and a memorable/aspirational URL strategy to drive ticket sales. (Side note: that may have been one of the geekiest sentences I’ve ever written.) As you can see on their Facebook page below, Rutgers pairs a bold image with a URL that is not gets at the heart of why you want the ticket in the first place. And it’s easy to remember. Love this idea of using the URL as a reason to make it easy, and adding it to a visual that is powerful enough for you to like or share.
But how do we introduce more fun to the mix?
Villanova Athletics introduces the idea of ticket upgrades to their Facebook fans. What if programs rewarded their best social media fans or followers with upgraded experiences? This is one of those rare chances to offer real value at very little cost. And, as a bonus, it would be the way to replace those fans who randomly are chosen in the arena to move to a better seat! Now Villanova isn’t all the way here yet… but if they push just a little further, they introduce a layer of fun that brings tickets into the conversation.