Posted by Murray Sye
on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 11:25 AM
What is a lead?
Just because someone is 'Liking' you, doesn't mean they're ready to purchase from you.
The term "sales lead" has a cornucopia of definitions.
In general, a lead is defined as someone who has an interest in your product and has the authority to purchase your product.
Before someone can purchase from you, they must also have a need for your product. They may be interested in your product and have the means to purchase it, but they may not need it at the time.
For instance, they may already have a similar product or they could be hesitant to change their current processes. That's why a lead is so important!
How to Capture Leads From Facebook
Now that we have an established definition of a lead, let us dive into how to start generating these leads from Facebook.
You can generate leads in one of two ways:
Direct leads – Direct leads are generated by sharing content that links directly back to a form on your website where visitors can share information in exchange for an offer – whether that be an ebook, coupon, or so on. This form is housed on a landing page dedicated to that specific offer.
Indirect Leads – Indirect leads are generated by using Facebook as an influencer on the path to conversion. For example, if you shared a blog post that had a call-to-action to a landing page, at the bottom of the post, your initial Facebook share is helping ultimately direct visitors to that landing page.
While directly promoting landing pages is an instant gratifier of leads generated, providing content without a form makes your Facebook presence a friendlier home for content that your fans will want to come back for.
Here are 6 ways you can capture leads, whether direct or indirect.
1) Employ Call-To-Actions
Earlier this year, Facebook removed a clause from its Facebook Page guidelines that prohibited users from using calls-to-action on, or in the caption of, cover photos.
This change unveiled various opportunities for you to call your Facebook fans to action with your cover photos. Here's an example from Element Three, a brand and marketing firm, promoting an event they were hosting:
2) Include Links In Captions
Late last year, HubSpot analyzed 8,800 Facebook posts from B2B and B2C companies' Facebook Pages. The analysis revealed that photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post.
Now while this calls on the importance of using visuals in your Facebook strategy, be sure that you're making these photos lead gen opportunities, when appropriate, by including a link back to your website. Here's the difference in appearance that triggers higher conversion:
3) Host a Facebook Chat
Similar to a Twitter Chat, a Facebook Chat is a virtual gathering of Facebook users to discuss a common topic. You can use a Facebook Chat to bring fans together around a conversation topic you selected. The lead gen component comes in when you share a landing page with a relevant resource throughout the chat.
Whenever a question is posed that can be answered in a blog article, ebook, or other resource you have on your website, use it for an opportunity to link to that site page. That will give your Facebook fans various places to ultimately become a lead. You can also accomplish this by participating in other Facebook Chats – just be sure you offer resources where helpful and not in a spamming technique.
4) Make Events For Webinars
While we've already covered sharing landing pages with dedicated content offerings such as ebooks or coupons, another lead generating content type is webinars. Hosting webinars where visitors can come and receive valuable information is a great way to generate leads.
If you decide to host a webinar, capture leads from Facebook by creating a custom event page for that webinar. There are a couple of advantages to this strategy. One is that when you invite someone to an Event, they will then receive notification for popular activity on that Event page. A Facebook Event is also more visible than a standard Facebook post.
Here's an example webinar Event page created by Desk.com:
5) Build Forms on Tabs
Another viable option for collecting information on Facebook is to have your forms live right on the platform. Forms can be built on a custom table on the Page.
Since forms on Facebook pages serve the same goal as landing pages, they offer some incentive for the information exchange: give your email to get a coupon, deal, or free content. These custom tabs can be built with Facebook applications. When you add certain Facebook applications to your Page, you'll be able to create a custom tab on your Page that appears on your left sidebar. Here's an example from the Facebook Marketing for Dummies Facebook Page:
6) Make Events For Webinars
According to a Vizu/Digiday study via eMarketer, 64% of U.S. advertisers are upping their social ad budget in 2013. This is likely due to the targeting options Facebook can provide due to the database of information Facebook gathers from users' profiles. These targeting options help you narrow down your audience to help increase the ROI of the Facebook ads.
Here's an example of a Facebook ad that appears to the right of a user's Facebook Page with targeting based on interests:
With 74% of all marketers saying Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies, we're confident that the techniques shared in this blog will be valuable to your overall Facebook marketing strategy.
Now go start collecting those leads.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.