In 2005 a new term was developed: social commerce. According to Wikipedia, social commerce uses social media to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services. And with more than 800 million active users, it’s not surprising that a subset of social commerce is Facebook Commerce.

Ticketmaster recently released an application taking advantage of Facebook Commerce. The interface lets you to buy tickets through Ticketmaster without leaving Facebook. In addition, the app makes suggestions as to what concerts you may like, based on your Spotify listening history. You can also tell your friends which events you want to go to, when you’ve bought tickets, and where you’re sitting.

While it seems like more than ever big brother is watching every key stroke we make, the real goal of the program is to promote concerts. Officials say that 40 to 50 percent of tickets at shows go unsold because people didn’t know about them. By plugging into our Facebook and Spotify habits, Ticketmaster hopes to fill and sell-out more shows. But if the goal is to promote bands, then Spotify, and other groups, should take it one step further.

Ticketmaster sells tickets to the large concert halls and venues. Typically these venues see artists that already have a large following. Often people travel for a concert, which means they also have to book a hotel room and maybe even a flight. If people go to that extent to see a favorite band, then they probably already follow the tour schedule.

But what about bands that play at music festivals, bars, schools, or even for free in public parks and restaurants? Ticketmaster doesn’t sell tickets to these events, so Spotify users still might not know that their favorite artist is performing nearby. If 40 to 50 percent of seats for well-publicized, large-scale events are empty, imagine how many are empty in smaller venues. 

We need to step away from social commerce, and return to where the business came from: social media. Social media has always been about sharing – whether it’s a funny cartoon we come across, inviting friends to a birthday bash, or browsing things to do this Friday night. Instead of trying to sell us a ticket, use all that data to appeal to our musical tastes. If we know the app will tell us about everything, not just Ticketmaster tickets, we’ll be more inclined to use it. And who knows, maybe we’ll even buy a ticket.

Posted on February 2, 2012
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