Social media and conversion

Tech Notes

The Australian Ballet mentions that they notice a spike in ticket sales when they post a compelling picture on their facebook page.

“When we pop a photo up on Facebook, we will see a sales spike that is directly attributable and that’s pretty exciting.”

The Australian Ballet case study at Connect Arts On the face of this we might assume that social networks + compelling picture = money. While this might be part of the story it is not the whole picture.


The missing component is `conversion` or the ability to convert traffic into goals (or KPIs–key performance indicators). In this case the goal is ticket sales. Although you might have a lot of eyeballs captured by a picture like this without a path to the checkout the traffic generated is not performing well. Its like sale shopping at Myer with all the tills closed off. If we were to look at the Australian Ballet scenario what we would hope to see is a clear path from their facebook presence to the checkout. This would be a simple matter–include a link directly to the booking page for the current performance that clearly encourages visitors to buy. Some shopping cart products even allow you to construct a link (that can be used anywhere on the internet) that adds a particular product (including its various attributes) to be added to a cart and the visitor directed in to the checkout part of the workflow (rather than the cart–the usual precondition for checkout). For example this link on my website that adds flowers and chocolates into the checkout lane of my favourite florist.… Even if we don't want to take it that far, getting these eyeballs to where they can see the buy button is the best way to convert them. Make sure that you take them to the relevant page (rather than the front page where they are likely to bounce) and ensure that the `call to action` or buy button is above the page fold (where the screen on a laptop would cut the page vertically–like the fold in a newspaper). To take this one step further and make the whole thing work well in offline media (TV, posters, print media) all I do is tag the link with a campaign code and shorten it with a tracked URL shortener. See these two posts about that. Campaign codes and Google Analytics Short URLs and QR codes

Tune your content

We've taken this methodology into the wild with an international performance company. They mentioned that they had noticed traffic spikes after a particular TV series each night that it aired. A week in advance of the company's appearance on the show we created a page about that TV show and the company's long history of involvement in it. A very informative and well written piece supported by user contributed video (via YouTube) and images from the media. All broken links that we found in the wild that referred to this involvement we repaired and directed to this page. And this page had two clear calls to action. One to buy a ticket–another to book a workshop. All of this we monitored carefully with Google Analytics goal tracking to ensure that the traffic spike that we expected converted into sales.

Analyse, debrief, rinse and repeat

Four weeks later after the series finished we wrote up our report. We compared the final four weeks with the preceeding four weeks (during which the show was also on air and the company had had involvement). If you would like us to help you tune your presence for conversion please contact Zina Kaye. She will be happy to talk to you.