UK cinemas are failing to harness social media to help sell tickets, according to recent data.

Only 0.6 per cent of online ticket sales in the UK are driven by Facebook and Twitter, said Stan Ruszkowski of Webedia Movies Pro, a company which works across digital solutions for the cinema sector including digital marketing, ticketing, publishing, business intelligence and data services at the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) conference.

Ruszkowski said that search traffic, such as Google and its competitors, drives 78 per cent of online ticket sales, including through the showtimes listed directly in those search engines, which Webedia oversees in the UK.

Fifteen per cent of online sales are driven by direct traffic, which is when users visit a cinema’s website directly, 5.3 per cent through referrals, which accounts for third-party websites including IMDB, and 0.38 per cent via email.

Ruszkowski said that failing to harness social media so far was an opportunity rather than a misstep.

“We think we’re in the most exciting period for movie-going,” he said. “We’re trying to ensure studios and exhibitors make the most of these huge opportunities.

“Facebook is a huge opportunity,” he said, adding that the widespread consumption of film trailers on the platform was not being capitalised on because consumers “have to go elsewhere to buy tickets”, insisting that this was leading to a 20 per cent drop-off.

“It’s about making it easy for the consumer, it’s about that end-to-end experience, seamlessly seeing a trailer and then buying a ticket,” he said.

Recent updates to GDPR regulations, which will tighten companies’ usage of personal data, creates an issue for the integration of cinema ticketing systems into social media platforms due to the issue of who owns the data.

Ruszkowski also highlighted that Ticketmaster now does 5-6 per cent of its sales through social media, illustrating the potential for the cinema industry.

Image: Tracey le Blanc