September 07, 2011
/ by Jackie Kmetz
Social has been working its way into every nook and cranny possible on the web for awhile. I’ve enjoyed and taken advantage of many aspects of it over the years to keep in touch with friends, network professionally, promote myself and used product reviews to help me make purchases. But until the other day, I really hadn’t run across an integration that gave me that “duh, I should have had a V8” moment for a cool idea.
Enter Ticketmaster’s enhanced Facebook connectivity stage left. What potential! Except , duh, I think they should have had a V8 themselves and covered all of their bases before launching. Here’s the deal: Ticketmaster launched a Facebook app that allows fans to choose their exact seats and if you connect to Facebook while you browse, you can see if your friends have tickets and where they are sitting if they tagged themselves. The concept is pretty cool and this is an integration that I could see being useful combined with a Facebook Event.
The logic behind it is great. If you are buying tickets to a big show wouldn’t you want to know if any of your friends were going to the same show? Wouldn’t it be great to know where their tickets are so you can try to sit together or find them at the event? Of course! Ticketmaster has very enticing numbers behind the app too as they’ve shown each time a ticket buyer shared with Facebook friends that they were attending an event, the alert that showed on their wall generated $5.40 in additional ticket revenue.
That’s pretty impressive. Especially considering they are hoping this word-of-mouth marketing will help them sell the estimated 40% of live event tickets that go unsold. You can read the full Fast Company article about the launch here if you’d like more details. My first thought was boy I have to go check this out! So I went to Facebook, searched for Ticketmaster and went to their page. Then the all to common reality of companies rushing to execute a Facebook campaign or project sunk in.
After clearly putting some significant resources into the project, here is how they showcase it on their Facebook page—an empty wall. Such an easy thing to remedy! I had to go back to the article and make sure the launch had actually happened (it had). Then I looked at the profile picture… no picture? Not even a logo. My confidence was waning.
Still curious I plundered onward thinking I might learn more about this app on the Info page. No. Sadly no one had taken the time to explain how it worked, what it does. It just calls more attention to the incompleteness of the page with a “description here” message. When you click the app link it simply takes you to the ticketmaster.com site which makes you think maybe you missed something. After clicking on the app it appears that as long as you are logged into Facebook while on their site it checks for your friends automatically. The reality is you give Ticketmaster “access” via the app to your data when you choose to see your friends assocaited with a specific event. This was confusing and a simple explanation would have kept my excitement high and confidence on the positive side.
Don’t worry though. There was information on the Facebook page in the form of a number of scathing reviews of Ticketmaster farther down the Info page. Sadly most of these were complaints of folks who couldn’t attend recent events because of travel problems due to the hurricane. I understand why Ticketmaster couldn’t or would choose not to refund or swap ticket dates, but oh the goodwill that could be gained from a few understanding, sympathetic responses to their customers.
I could go on but I will stop here to make sure the lesson is clear (and Ticketmaster, if you are listening, there is still time to improve the situation!). Think like a consumer. Go through the motions like they will and the ways you don’t expect them to. Help them understand what it is and how it works.
Finish the job! If you are going to be integrated with Facebook at least complete your own profile page. Create, nurture and develop that relationship with consumers. Shake their hand digitally and introduce yourself, show us your face (logo) in a profile pic and tell us about yourself. Listen, engage and then when you’ve made something cool, like I think this feature is, make a ton of money off of it while you help me have more fun connecting with my friends at events. You are almost there Ticketmaster…
Do you see this type of misstep happen frequently too? Are there other cool apps and Facebook integrations that you’ve found that you are excited about?
All the best,
Social Intelligence Crusader
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