ON JUNE 27, 2017, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that his social networking service had reached a major milestone: two billion monthly users.
Every day, 175 million people from around the world log in to share updates, videos, photos, messages and take part in group discussions.
This is important because it means at least some of your prospective customers are visiting Facebook every day. And if you want to increase awareness of your company and your products or services, you too need to be sharing valuable content with your prospective customers on Facebook.
As a business owner, Facebook gives you a massive market and rich opportunities to tap into. It allows you to reach out, engage and develop relationships with people who wouldn’t otherwise know anything about you or your company.
It also costs almost nothing to write Facebook posts, and they can help you to attract vast numbers of leads. After all, it only takes one person to ‘like’ or ‘share’ your post with their friends and family for your content to gain viral traction. That means hundreds if not thousands of people could view your post within a very short time.
How to use Facebook to get leads
You should post at least a couple of times a week so that you stay on your customers’ radar. The more engaged a prospective customer is with your posts, the more likely your posts are to continue to appear in their timeline for future engagement opportunities.
It’s important to keep your updates short to suit mobile users. Aim for posts of 80 characters or less if possible.
And add a photo or video to boost engagement. According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album, picture or video generate about 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement, respectively.
In your posts, ask a question. A study by KISSmetrics showed that questions received 100% more comments than ordinary text posts. The questions that received the most comments were those that asked for a preference or an opinion. Asking a question at the end of your post, rather than in the middle, can increase engagement by up to 15%, according to a study by Buddy Media.
Do re-publish popular content or links at least a few times to catch everybody you want to see it.
Use a clear CTA on your Facebook post that asks people to follow through. For example, to ‘subscribe now’, ‘tell us what you think’ or ‘share your ideas’.
Don’t just publish promotional posts. Create posts that contain content your audience will find useful, interesting and engaging. Aim for a 60:40 ratio of promotional content (with links to your website) and valuable content.
Use what is known as ‘open loops’—the promise that you will reveal something intriguing—to pique people’s interest, so they feel compelled to click the link through to your website.
For example, instead of saying ‘I’ve written a new blog post’, write something like ‘Here’s the secret hack that ensures you’ll never run out of petrol again’. People will be much more likely to click through to your website, to engage with the content and share it with their network.
Offer content in different formats, including videos, podcasts, webinars, discounts, competitions, slide show presentations, vlogs, and infographics. You could offer to answer your followers’ questions too in a live Q&A.
Use Facebook’s Insights to find out what types of posts your followers most engage with. When you log into Facebook, click on ‘Insights’ then look at your most recent posts. See which ones attract the most engagement (in terms of clicks, likes, comments and shares). If one type of post gets a lot more engagement than others, use that type of post more often.
You could send people directly to landing pages that contain exclusive offers. Use phrases such as ‘Grab your eBook here’ or ‘Download your free report here’ so they know where you’re sending them.
Add links to your website in the descriptions of your images. Remember to shorten the links using a tool like Bitly.
Video posts have 135% more organic reach than photo posts, according to HubSpot. So, it makes sense to introduce and promote your special lead generating offers (or webinars, events, or courses, etc.) using videos. Provide a CTA button in the text and a verbal CTA in the video script.
You can pin posts (text, image, and videos) that contain lead generating offers to the top of your timeline so that it attracts attention.
You can add a CTA button (‘Sign Up’, ‘Shop Now’, ‘Contact Us’, ‘Book Now’, ‘Play Game’ or ‘Watch Video’) at the top of your Facebook business page. It can help direct people to visit your website or landing page.
Run contests and offer deals or discounts
Run a contest or offer giveaways to your followers. It will engage your audience, grow your reach and help to drive traffic to your website. It will also provide invaluable information about your audience—what offers they respond to and what they’re most interested in. Research by Syncapse shows that 42% of people ‘like’ a brand on Facebook so they can get coupons or discounts. Use an image or video to grab people’s attention along with compelling text and a link to your contest page where they can fill out their details. Do check that your contest meets Facebook’s strict guidelines before you launch, though.
Respond quickly to comments
Giving an instant response is the way to engage the public on social media. When you leap into a discussion, you’ll delight your audience. Even if the tone is negative, your input can help to turn things around.