Tag Archives: Sharing

How Social Networks Help Your Event Sell Out

22 Nov

Last night, I had a bunch of friends over for a Thanksgiving potluck.  As we were sitting around after dinner, drinking coffee and lamenting Northwestern’s loss at historic Wrigley Field on Saturday, I started thinking about the power of social networks to bring people together.  There were my friends from high school, fraternity brothers, my girlfriend’s roommates – all together, sharing pie, and all because of the various ties of my social network.

So what does all this have to do with ticketing and event marketing? Quite a lot, it turns out.  Social networks – who we know and how we know them, and in turn who they know – are a fundamental thread of the fabric of society.  A lot of researchers, business analysts, and bloggers have spent time trying to quantify the benefits of a social network and the role that such networks play in our lives.  The Casey Foundation, a non-profit that helps disadvantaged children, authored a study on the role of social networks in strengthening families and transforming communities.  Academics James Fowler and Nicholas Cristakis wrote a book on the subject entitled Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, and the book was named a must-read for 2010 byGood magazine. (See Fowler’s intriguing interview on “The Colbert Report” here.)

The book’s premise is simple: “Social influence does not end with the people we know.  If we affect our friends, and they affect their friends, then our actions can potentially affect people we have never met…We believe that our connections to other people matter most, and that by linking the study of individuals to the study of groups, the science of social networks can explain a lot about human experience.”

People follow the lead of their social networks.  More often than not, you like the same bands as your friends, wear the same styles, go to the same parties.  But the power of social networks goes deeper than that: not only are you connected to your friends, you are also indirectly connected to all their friends, and so on.  Tapping into these tertiary connections can help you find a new job, a great new band, or even a place to crash for the night in a random city after your flight gets cancelled.

The same thing happens when you host an event – in this case, a charity benefit bar night. First, you share it with a couple of close friends, e-mailing or calling them to make sure they’re coming, and tell them to invite as many friends as they want.  Then you post the event on Facebook, and invite everyone you know.  Well, they’re not all going to come, but when they reply to the event invitation, that shows up in their news feed, where one of their co-workers sees it when he’s surfing Facebook bored at work.  You’ve never met this person, but it turns out she’s a big supporter of your cause, and she comes to your event with a bunch of friends and a fat donation check.  The power of social networks, jumpstarted by the Web, is key to exposing your event to its full potential.

FanFueled understands the power of sharing and the value of social networks to publicizing events.  We’re the first online ticketing service to reward fans for sharing events, because we recognize that fans’ shared interests and social ties, not street team flyers or newspaper listings, are the best way to bring like-minded people together for a successful event.  Our rewards model follows this logic – we pay for referrals along several “degrees of separation.” It’s possible (and easy) to earn rewards from tickets bought by someone you don’t even know when you share your unique referral link, your friends buy tickets from it, and then they share too.  That’s the power of social networks, and the heart of what FanFueled stands for.

Today’s News: The Plot To Overthrow Ticketmaster

15 Nov

The ticketing industry is widely fragmented: Ticketmaster sells more than 130 million tickets a year, while numerous small companies compete for the rest of the live-event pie.  The most recent issue of Wired has a fantastic piece on the subject.  Its point: the ticketing industry is wide open for a new competitor that goes after Ticketmaster’s biggest weaknesses.  Wired reports:

“For all its clout, Ticketmaster has two major problems.  Most obviously, it gouges ticket buyers.  But less talked about is its lack of flexibility.  With an old codebase, a huge customer roster, and a long-established way of doing things, Ticketmaster is notoriously slow to innovate.  Its new CEO, Nathan Hubbard, points out that his company is starting to add features like interactive seat maps, but even he acknowledges that it can’t ‘turn on a dime like a startup.’

“Virtually all the new ticketing startups aim to lower service fees to fans.  But because this isn’t necessarily important to venues – in fact, it may run counter to their interests – the new guys must focus on Ticketmaster’s second weakness: its inability to innovate.”

For better or worse, Ticketmaster is the standard against which all other ticketing companies are judged.  As a result, new competitors have turned to social media integration, lower fees, and powerful analytics in order to differentiate themselves.  While Ticketmaster has a huge database of customer names (and the bands they’ve seen), the company’s sheer size makes it nearly impossible to use that data in a meaningful way.  When event promoters and artist management can apply that sort of demographic modeling, they are able to implement more effective marketing strategies that reach out to fans directly. (In related news, Chicago’s Jam Productions is suing Ticketmaster to be released from its pre-merger contract over concerns that rival promoter Live Nation could access confidential business information through Ticketmaster and use it against them.)

The fact of the matter is, Ticketmaster protects its bottom line by working for the venues, not the fans.  Fred Rosen, who ran the company from 1982 to 1998, used this realization to grow the company into the juggernaut it is today by thouroughly undercutting its main competitor, Ticketron.  Here’s how: Continue reading

Dan Black LIVE at LPC – A FanFueled Event

22 Oct

Dan Black closed out his U.S. tour with a show sponsored by FanFueled at Lasalle Power Co.

The weekend started early here in Chicago as fans packed Lasalle Power Co to see British rocker Dan Black finish up his U.S. tour before heading back to Europe.  His set was full of energy, and the intimate nature of the third-floor venue got everyone involved.  Black was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards this year, and performed at Lollapalooza this summer.  His return to Chicago was a blast – join us for the next show in FanFueled’s fall concert series, Space Capone w/Jeffrey David on Friday, Nov. 5. Get your tickets now, and start sharing to earn rewards:  Last night, one lucky fan, Lexi Berg, won a pair of tickets to the sold-out Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem show at the Aragon.  How’d she do it?  Her referrals were responsible for bringing more fans to the show than anyone else.  You could be next…

Check out a full album of pictures on our Facebook page, and here’s  a video from the show:

FanFueled shares the wealth

18 Oct

We like to share, and share the wealth – that’s the foundation of FanFueled.  In this post, we’ll get into the “nuts and bolts” of what makes FanFueled work, and how it can supercharge your event’s success.

FanFueled is powered by sharing.  Who knows you best?  Your friends.  And what are you more likely to read, an e-mail blast from LiveNation telling you about every show coming up in your city, or a buddy’s Facebook post about a concert he wants you to go with him to?  When you share with your friends, you earn commissions based on each ticket sale you cause.  That means that the more sharing you do, the more rewards you earn.

Still having trouble?  Here’s a real-life example, where you can see just how sharing helps you earn and spread the word about events.

This approach is a big deal – it turns the top-down nature of event promotion on its head, adding real value to the social experience of your event.  Word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising – 50% more influential than TV or radio ads, according to a recent study. The fans are key to an event’s success, and FanFueled puts the essence of the event back in their hands through the power of sharing.

FanFueled announces easy-to-use referral program

1 Oct

We’re all about sharing, and now we want you to share us. FanFueled presents yet another way to earn rewards by sharing: refer a new event organizer to FanFueled.com and earn a 12.5 percent commission on every ticket they sell for the next year.  Here’s how it works:

First, log into your FanFueled account.  You’ll see the “Refer a Friend” link on the top right, below your rewards total.  Click it, and you’re prompted to enter a friend’s e-mail (one at a time, please), and you can edit the message they’ll get.  Clicking “Send Invite” will send them an e-mail with a link to join FanFueled.  This link allows us to track who referred them, and reward you.  After that, you just sit back and count your money.

Since FanFueled works for events of any size, it doesn’t matter who you refer.  You’ll earn the same 12.5 percent of the fees we collect, whether it’s a 20-person backyard BBQ or a 10,000-fan concert, for a whole year after your friend joins FanFueled.  It’s our way of giving back to you, the fans, for fueling FanFueled’s growth.

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