There are two major ways of lead generation through Facebook: one of them begins and ends on Facebook itself, and in the other case, you lead your potential leads through Facebook and to your website. In each case, the lead is a lead, and not necessarily a conversion.
However, your chances are definitely better when you can get someone interested in visiting your business site.
Let’s deal with the simpler option first, which is the first one, where the person does not have to go anywhere other than Facebook and is, therefore, easier to collect as a lead.
1. Facebook Events
This is probably the number one method to generate viable leads on Facebook. This is different from a contest, however, in that it generates more genuine leads. The event does not necessarily promise a prize, which a contest does. Only someone who is genuinely interested will attend your event. If you manage to be suitably impressive, you could be looking at an equally impressive conversion rate.
Make sure you invite all your friends and ask them to invite theirs. Don’t be shocked if the turnout is considerably less than what you had expected it to be from the initial responses. Don’t announce too many days ahead, or people might forget or, if they notice the automatic reminders that Facebook generates, might not be able to remember why they were interested in the first place.
Admittedly, this will take a bit of trial and error, but you could always ask your friends or fellow marketers about what worked for them.
2. Facebook Contests
This one is a winner, when it comes to generating massive number of leads – which will not necessarily convert. Leads generated through contests need a lot of clever following up. You get the names and emails, and now you have to turn them into loyal subscribers or followers first, and then try to sell them something. If you are too impatient and try to sell early, they will likely vanish as fast as they came.
3. Facebook Events: Chats
Not everyone will want to register for a chat, but when they do, you’ll know that they are interested. This is where things get borderline. Slip in a link or two to your site to some really useful material, and you’ve got a winner of a method. Take care to not keep giving links instead of answers. That would be annoying, although, you could say something like ‘ Why don’t you visit this page and let me know what you think, – I’ll be right here when you come back’. Strictly speaking, the purpose of the Chat Event is to build your reputation so that people are naturally interested in what you have to say. If you do this right, leads are bound to follow, and with a high rate of conversion.
4. Custom Tabs
Spend a little on getting some coding done and design a custom tab on your page that stands out prominently and makes an irresistible offer that leads to a squeeze page, all on Facebook. That’s all there is to it, but of course, you will have to learn how to make people click on your tab in the first place, which is a different subject altogether.
As for leading people off Facebook and to your site, listed below are the commonest and the easiest methods that you could follow.
However, for these to work, you will need to brush up on your social skills first. As you will see, the methods require people to click on links that you have posted on Facebook. While an event or a contest can generate a lot of viewers because of the viral nature of the invitations (friends inviting friends inviting friends, and so on), any link that you have posted will require that you already have a social presence of some importance.
It logically follows that you should already have been active on Facebook, with a regular audience and a fan base (those who have liked your Page or posts), to use the methods that come next. It helps to have a regular column of sorts, so that you can ensure a regular audience. You could think of posting something like ‘Daily Deals’ (and make sure they are, indeed, good deals) to get people interested in your business.
Events and Contests ought to help spread the word about your business as well. It is not that you must begin to use the methods only after you have socialized a great deal. On the contrary, you should be prepared, well in advance, for when the visitors begin to come flooding in.
5. Cover Image CTA
Facebook now allows call to action on cover images, and you should definitely take advantage of that. Think of this as a larger version of the custom tab created with all the advertising skills to make people click on it. Include a link to your site’s squeeze page or landing page in the image caption. Simple, if you have designed it right.
6. Use the Image
Don’t just use a link in your posts and wait for the thumbnail to show up. Use the image itself in the post, and then link through the text part. Use this to publicize your blog posts, newest offers or anything else that you can think of, but think Image first, not Text, and notice the difference in the click through rate.
Apart from these, Facebook advertising, with a little help from Quant cast, can be made surprisingly targeted. Again, this is a complete subject by itself – one you’d do well to acquaint yourself with. Also, you can use a cross-platform strategy to use Facebook for leads: use a log-in through Facebook option on your site to get people to register for webinars, and post the webinars on Facebook.
You don’t really have to create a Webinar Event, because webinars, ideally, should be used to promote the mother site, but there are a lot of possibilities just waiting to be explored. Take one thing at a time; acquire a firm grasp of the essentials, and move on to the next.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Md saad andalib