Lead generation strategy is at the heart of every successful business plan. These strategies have been undergoing substantial changes in recent years from the rise of new online and social media channels. Social media has opened an entirely new window of opportunity to the marketers for generating leads. We have earlier discussed lead generation with Pinterest and lead generation with LinkedIn in detail. But, when you are talking about lead generation with social media, you can’t ignore Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform. A recent stats provided by Digital Insights says, “74% of marketers believe Facebook is important for their lead generation strategy.”
Facebook is an excellent lead generation tool for both B2B and B2C marketers. With more than 1.1 billion users, literally every prospect, consumer and B2B decision maker is present on Facebook. So, if you want to generate a large number of leads it’s the best place to be on.
Here are some ways to boost your lead generation with Facebook.
1. Include a Call to Action in your Cover Image
In March, 2013, Facebook made changes in its page policy and removed the clause that prohibits businesses to include a call-to-action in their Facebook cover photo. Recently (in July 2013), it also removed the 20% text limitation rule. These changes made it easier to drive traffic through your cover image. But, before you add more text to your cover image, remember, visual is still the key in social media. Add more text only if it provides value to your followers. Including a CTA in your cover image will help you in engaging your audience and compel them to act.
Cover image is the first thing that people notice on your page as it’s the most prominent element on your page. So, it should be designed to reflect your brand perfectly. Use it to tell your consumers about your brand and what they can expect from your product or service. Update it often to get more exposure. When you change your cover photo, it gets into your fans News Feed. This helps you in getting more traction and increases the chances to convert your visitors into leads. Be creative and experiment with images; display your latest product or service in cover image, your current campaign promo or people using your brand offerings to see what influences your audience the most
Tip: Though Facebook doesn’t restricts you to include more than 20% text in your cover photo, try not to ruin your image with too much content. Use verbs to drive them into taking desired action instead of using technical terms.
2. Create Helpful and Informative Content
Online world is flooded with content. “27,000,000 pieces of content are shared everyday.” Create exclusive content for your page; content that evokes emotion in your audience, content that solves their problems, and that your audience wants to consume. Learn how to create viral content that spreads like widlfire earning you “likes” and “shares.”
“78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships.”
Burberry is a great example of creating great content on social media networks including their Facebook page. Their “Art of Trench” campaign is a successful example of how brands use the storytelling approach to build a social media community .
Add links to your articles in your Facebook content to encourage your users to visit your website. Once they are on it entice them by offering something which is helpful for them like a free eBook, whitepaper, case studies or webinars to capture their information. While creating content always follows the 80-20 rule, which says 80% of your content should be useful and 20% should be promotional.
3. Use a Compelling Offer to Generate Leads
Offers, such as free eBooks, discount coupons, webinars, and bootcamps are a great way to convert your fans and followers into leads. Let your target audience know about your offers by announcing through a status update or you can pin it at top of your Facebook page to attract your fans. Use your offers to drive people to your landing page where you can capture their details before giving them a freebie.
Offers are good not only in attracting your fans and followers, but they are a good way to do word of mouth publicity. Because when someone claims your offer it appears in their news feed and their friends and followers can see it which increases the chances of more people claiming it.
Tip: Always choose the “Online Only” option when creating an Offer to collect maximum information about him.
4. Start a Facebook Chat and Participate
Facebook chat is a virtual gathering of Facebook users to discuss a common topic. Savvy marketers can use this feature to bring their followers together on a selected discussion topic or you can also participate in other’s chat. Chat can be used as an opportunity to generate leads and this can be done by sharing a landing page resource in the chat. For example, if a user asks a question, you can include a link to your article or eBook or any other relevant information that you have on your website. But make sure you help people with valuable resources and not just to promote your own content.
5. Use Facebook Event Planner
The easiest way to increase your lead base using Facebook is to use an event planner, a free feature built into all Facebook pages. It allows you to create an event and invite people. Create Facebook events for webinars and invite all your friends and followers. At the time of creating an event make sure to add an image and a link. Without the image and link, you will not be able to grab their attention which will make it difficult for you to drive them to participate.
Event planner is a good way to collect leads as it’s more visible in the news feed than a normal Facebook post and helps in reminding people of the event. Also, it tells you how many leads to expect and helps you in planning.
6. Create Forms on Tabs
One very good option of collecting leads from Facebook is to create forms on a custom tab on your Facebook page. This form serves the same purpose as the one on your landing page. It’s a better way to collect information. Instead of pulling people to your landing pages to capture their information you can collect it from your Facebook page.
This custom tab appears on your left sidebar and they can be created with Facebook applications. To gather the information from this tab, you have to offer the same incentives, such as discount coupons, deal codes, free eBook etc. you offer on your landing pages.
7. Consider Facebook Advertisements
Facebook Ads have emerged as a popular way to appeal to your targeted segment and generate more leads. It allows you to narrow down your audience by location, age, gender interest, connections etc. Though you may be having thousands of fans and followers on your Facebook page, but approaching all of them isn’t a good idea. It’s not necessary that all of them will have a need or capacity to buy your product or service. So, decide upon your targeted segment before you start running an advertisement on your Facebook page.
8. Host a Contest
Contests are a great way to drive maximum traffic which is a prerequisite to capture leads. Offer your potential leads something valuable to encourage them to participate in your contest. Also this is a good way to boost engagement with your fans and followers and increase your overall fan base. Facebook contests are the cheapest way to build a long email list .
You can run them directly on your Facebook page. But be clear about your objectives and the information that you need, for example, it could be their email address or their demographics etc.
Make the next step clear to them. If you want them to like your page you can ask “Like this page to win the contest” or if you want their email addresses, ask them to submit their email address in order to take part in the contest.
Tip: Try to keep it short & simple. The more questions you ask, the fewer entries you will get.
9. Retargeting Ads to Generate Leads
Many prospects may have visited your Facebook page or your website, but they may or may not have provided you with their contact information. Facebook allows you to track these kinds of prospects using cookies, so that you can retarget them. These potential prospects can be retargeted by using display advertising which allows you to place highly personalized ads right in the middle of their news feeds.
Facebook will also be launching a new retargeting tool that will allow advertisers to manage their retargeting program directly through Facebook instead of going through Facebook Ad Exchange (FAE). This tool will also allow advertisers to target people on their mobile devices which isn’t possible with FAE.
Many marketers and brands thought that Facebook is good only for building brand awareness. But, it’s a good place not only to engage with customers but to generate leads and to nurture prospects. And, never underestimate the power of creating great content. Creating useful content is the secret to by building powerful & lasting relationships with your online communities.