A new attempt to answer the digital age's most burning question—whether social media drives sales—has also revealed an atonishing fact about Facebook and Twitter posts.
Sharing on Facebook is five times more valuable than sharing on Twitter, according to a new study.
The data was collected by Eventbrite, a "social event discovery" engine that's changing the way we find events, and revolutionizing how event organizers sell tickets online. Essentially it's a social networking tool for event listings—like Ticketmaster, but good. When users buy tickets on the site, they can easily share the event through various social media channels. Users sifting through events online can see which of their friends are going to concerts or conferences or cooking classes. And event organizers, thanks to Eventbrite's analytics dashboard, can track all this data in real-time. Organizers can directly attribute ticket purchases to a specific social distribution channel—they can, for example, compare the value of a Facebook "Like" versus a tweet.
"It brings a level of business intelligence to the ticketing industry, which has really lacked that," says Tamara Mendelsohn, Eventbrite's marketing director. "We track every sharing mechanism—wall posts, tweets, etc.—so we know how an event has been shared, and can track the resulting of ticket sales."
So imagine: Taylor Swift just announced her fall tour. Whoa. She'll be performing in your area. You want to go, but aren't sure who else is a fan. Calling up your friends and asking whether they want to hit up the Taylor Swift-Mylie Cyrus extravaganza isn't worth the potential embarrassment. What do you do? Enter Eventbrite, where you can share the concert with your Facebook friends and discover which of your Twitter followers is secretly a Swift fan.
For its report released today, Eventbrite mined all this data over the past several months, analyzing how sharing an event through social media translated into ticket sales. On average, sharing an event on Facebook translates to $2.52 of ticket sales. On Twitter? Just $0.43. Sharing through email took second place at $2.34, and even LinkedIn topped Twitter at $0.90.
The great disparity between Facebook and Twitter isn't surprising. According to a recent poll, users of Facebook have physically met more than 88% of their friends; on Twitter, users have not physically met 48.2% of their followers. So when Taylor Swift announces her next concert, you're far more likely to buy tickets from a close friend's Facebook post than a near-stranger's tweet.
So ... anyone here up for the Justin Bieber show next week?