Using Facebook to Sell to the Elusive Group Buyer

Capacity Interactive AUTHOR: Capacity Interactive
Feb 17, 2017
Min Read

Blog Boston Ballet Group Sales-01-1.png

A group of hyenas may be called a cackle and a group of owls may be called a parliament – but a group sale? I like to call that a win.

A group sale is an elusive creature that can drive 10 to 100 to even 500 tickets. If you know group sales – you know it can be a challenge to market them. How can you reach audiences that buy large quantities of tickets? Are they only in our dreams?

The Setup

Capacity Interactive has been working with Boston Ballet since 2014 to develop a holistic digital marketing strategy. A major part of their season, and our work together, is around their annual production of The Nutcracker.

In addition to our work to drive single tickets and subscriptions, the Boston Ballet team inquired about digital marketing efforts to support group sales. A group sale is a big purchase and, for many organizations, the purchase path is different than the path for a single ticket. Often times, group ticket buyers are given the option to speak with a representative over the phone, rather than making the transaction online. This allows for a more personal and attentive experience for someone looking to make this kind of investment.

Recently, Facebook added a handful of new campaign objectives – theses are goals that Facebook sets for advertising campaigns. One of these new objectives is called ‘Lead Generation.’ We thought it would be perfect to help meet the goals of this campaign. This objective gave us the chance to flip the script and contact the buyer rather than the buyer contacting us. Plus, we could track success of the number of leads driven and the number of leads converted.

“How does it work?” you may ask.

Lead Gen 101

Lead generation, like it sounds, is the process of attracting and converting prospects into leads. A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your organization in some way, shape, or form. For example, your website (hopefully) has a way for people to enter their email address so they can be added to your email list. They’ve raised their hand and said, “I’m interested in hearing more from you.”

In the world of Facebook, a Lead Generation objective creates a form within a Facebook post to gather information from users. An organization can receive information from potential ticket buyers in 5 easy steps – the user doesn’t even have to leave Facebook!

How It Works

The posts look like any other promoted post on Facebook. They feature copy at the top and a photo or video for the creative. They also include a headline and a call to action button depending on the goal of your campaign.


Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker group sales campaign promoted an exclusive Facebook offer (40% off) as well as copy that connected groups to the holiday spirit of this performance (“More the Merrier”).

Once a user interacts with the call to action button they are brought to a welcome screen. This screen is optional but gives the organization a chance to prepare the user before they input their information. 


The next screen is the actual form. Since people’s attention spans are incredibly short, Facebook recommends that you only ask 3-4 questions maximum. We simply asked for an email address, name, and phone number. 

From there, users will be asked to review your organization’s privacy policy and submit their contact information. 

The Results

We ran Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker group sales campaign for 4 weeks, targeting two bottom-of-funnel audiences: a CRM list and Facebook users who visited the group sales page on Boston Ballet’s website. We gained 18 leads total and spent just under $300. Of the 18 leads, 4 converted resulting in 138 tickets sold and $8,228.00 in revenuea 2,702% ROI.

The beauty of this objective is it allows the organization to harness Facebook’s powerful storytelling and targeting capabilities to find group sales prospects. These prospects can easily enter their contact information – all within the Facebook platform. Your group sales team has the information they need to follow-up with these leads in a timely manner.

It truly speaks to the core of permission marketing – these users have opted in to hear more from your organization, making it more likely that they will convert in the future.

The opportunities provided by the Lead Generation objective are endless. We are implementing it into season subscription and donation campaigns. Subscriptions and donations are large financial commitments – similar to a group sales purchase. The Lead Generation objective lets the user opt-in before taking the leap and allows the organization to guide the relationship.