Do Likes Equal Ticket Sales? How Baylor University Tripled Purchase Rates

Do social media likes equal ticket sales? Baylor University decided to test it out as part of its strategy for selling season tickets for their upcoming basketball seasons. Their answer? Yes. Yes they do. And we have the proof!

But first, let’s take a look at the for-profit world and Lilly Pulitzer. By tracking Facebook engagement, they found that customers who added items to their wish list online spent more than those who didn’t. So they created ads hinting at wish lists for users who hadn’t yet placed an order.

What happened next? A 67% increase in sales conversion rates. All from social media.

Easy peasy.

Social media is an essential tool in building better relationships between companies and their customers. When Baylor wanted to boost ticket sales, they followed companies like Lilly’s lead and prioritized follow up conversations with their most engaged fans on Facebook.


Like most colleges, Baylor was locked in on previous season ticket holders as targets for new tickets. But they also noticed significant activity on their men’s and women’s basketball Facebook pages from people who had never purchased season tickets. With the help of EverTrue, they identified these people and reached out to this brand-new audience.

Results from that new group blew the national average away. Tons of people from the group were interested in talking about purchasing tickets. They had conversations with 40% of the prospects who had engaged with the women’s team, and 30% from the men’s side. Those conversations yielded a 10.64% purchase rate for women’s tickets and 6.56% for men’s.

The national average? That’d be about 3%. That’s at least two and three times what they otherwise would have expected.

Just by targeting their most socially engaged fans, Baylor reached a whole new group of prospects and came up with incredible results almost immediately. With pretty minimal work, they turned great engagement from supporters directly into real dollars.

“This helps validate a win for Baylor and Baylor Athletics,” said Shauna Magnusen, Assistant Director of Prospect Development and Project Management at Baylor. “Using EverTrue to connect social media activity to fundraising and ticket sales really works and we’ve quickly seen the return on our investment.

“The value of taking this approach is that we get a better response. Even if the people we reach out to aren’t interested in buying tickets, they still respond faster and with more frequency than if they’re not engaging with Baylor’s Facebook pages. And we can use that response to help guide our next interaction.”

If you step back and think about it, this method is bound to be effective; they simply hyper-focused on active, engaged users who happened to not have a purchase history.

Baylor’s athletics team is already using this exact outreach strategy for the football team’s Signing Day and they plan to use it routinely for ticket sales and events, where they anticipate it will boost sales and attract first-time buyers.

And the benefits don’t stop at ticket sales, either. The strategy also brought in leads for annual gifts and prospects for the Bear Foundation, their membership-driven fan organization for supporters of Baylor athletics.

So, we feel pretty good about saying that, yes, social media likes equal ticket sales. You could even take it a step further and say engagement equals dollars. Baylor’s already enjoying the benefits of it. You can, too.

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