Back in 2003, that bunch of Harvard geeks who set up an illegal get-to-know-you web site could hardly have dreamed they were changing the way we live our lives. Facebook usage continues to grow exponentially and has set off a seismic shift in communications and consumption.
The Lowry continue to develop their strategic approach towards social media and their latest development now enables its Facebook followers to book tickets directly via the social network site.
The Lowry is one of the only arts organisation to provide this feature, enabling its communities to buy tickets directly via Facebook. Others include Manchester's Band on the Wall and The Garrick in Lichfield.
For the current financial year, Facebook has been the number one referring site to following a strategic approach to social media presented as part of The Lowry’s overall digital marketing plan. Fans of The Lowry’s Facebook page have also increased by 85% in the last financial year as a result of this strategy.
With the rise of Facebook as an essential marketing tool for organisations, The Lowry worked with Web Advertising to embed their events programme within the social network site. Whilst the tactics serving this strategy focussed on more than sales, the importance of social media as a driver to the website led The Lowry and developers Web Advertising to look at integrating the booking process so that visitors to Facebook could book tickets directly from there.
Robert Martin, The Lowry’s Digital Marketing Manager commented:
“We have worked hard to make sure that social media supports The Lowry in all of its functions, not just commercial ones. We use Twitter and Facebook in different ways to spread information about events, our community programme, insider gossip (“Willem Dafoe is eating soup in the canteen”) and, crucially, as a listening platform. Recently when we saw Facebook take over Google as The Lowry’s top referring site, we asked our developers Web Advertising in Leith to look into ways in which we might make it easier for people to book tickets directly. And they’ve done it! Now, you can book tickets right from our Facebook page for all Lowry events.”
Andrew Adamson of Web Advertising says:
“Live performances and ticket inventory taken from the Box office system into the Web Advertising CMS (Content Management System) now allows the website to share that information with Facebook users. The Facebook Events Page is a web application that runs in the context of Facebook. The application retrieves the current event information from the website via an exposed web service. The event information is kept short to keep the loading time down with users encouraged to click a link to the website for more information or to book the event, thus helping to drive more ticket sales through The Lowry website.”
The Lowry’s strategic approach to social media has paid dividends in the past, with groups forming on Facebook under their own volition following engagement with the organisation and, according to Robert, booking tickets via Facebook the natural next step.
Robert Martin concludes “We wouldn’t want Facebook to become just about sales – that would ignore all of our efforts to create a community. But we do want to make sure we service that community with functionality that enables them to interact with us as easily as possible. “
Like www.facebook.com/TheLowrySalford to see the Events functionality in action.
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