Social Media Drive Dollars, Users to Eventbrite: CEO


While Wall Street may question the real value of social media companies like Facebook, there is no denying that social sites are driving major growth in social commerce, said Kevin Hartz, the Eventbrite co-Founder and CEO.

"Facebook's perception on Wall Street is that it's a non-money maker that experienced a failed IPO," says Hartz. "We identify Facebook as a valuable money maker that has been a catalyst for Eventbrite's business. There is a lot of punditry in the market around the value of social media companies, but there is real business taking place in social media and it's moving at a fast clip."

With over $1 billion in gross ticket sales to date, Eventbrite looks to be well on its way to challenge larger rivals in the ticket space, such as Ticketmaster, and the company's success has been largely impacted by social media companies, specifically Facebook and Twitter, Hartz said.

Eventbrite released a social commerce report Tuesday that offers a glimpse into just how social media has effectively driven users and monetization for the company.

Eventbrite's social commerce report uses two metrics to track social commerce behavior: visits per share (the amount of traffic generated by each act of sharing) and dollars per share (the average value of the additional tickets sold through a social share).

Over the last two years, the average number of people who click on an Eventbrite link shared by either event organizers or attendees through social media have increased from 7 to 17 visits per share. How does that translate into monetization?

According to Eventbrite, the value of a social share across all social networks on average drives $3.23 in additional revenue for an event. Facebook drives more revenue from ticket sales than any other social platform.

"Social media is being ingrained in commerce by driving business revenues and profits," Hartz said.

According to the report, one Facebook share generates an average of $4.15 in additional revenue back to the event organizer.

Twitter drives $1.85 per social share, a 330 percent increase from two years ago. Hartz said this statistic was the biggest surprise.

"This particular data point raised our eyebrows to the monetary value of Twitter," said Hartz. "The takeaway is that we will examine the Twitter platform much more closely as source of commerce and distribution. We previously thought Twitter was more for information dissemination and we are now changing our view and looking at it in a new light."

Eventbrite's growth has exploded over the past year and the company is projecting that it will process $600 million in ticket sales in 2012. Eventbrite has also made a bigger push into global expansion in 2012.

Events on the Eventbrite platform were used in over 175 countries over the past year.

"We are looking to bring Eventbrite's business out to the wider world through our study of social commerce behaviors and trends," Hartz said.

-Amy Pack is a producer for CNBC covering startups for "Squawk on the Verge".