Business use of Facebook is expanding vastly as the number of users explodes worldwide.
Facebook claims over 1 billion active users as of December 2012. It’s a fair bet that some of them are people you might like to have as customers.
We talk a lot about ‘building your brand’ and showcasing your customer service and building engagement. However, in the course of my work, I still meet a lot of people who are a bit sceptical about how much good it actually does in terms of solid leads. It’s understandable; it can be a bit daunting for business owners to step outside their comfort zone, especially when they haven’t really become enthusiastic about using the internet in their everyday lives.
I would definitely urge you make considered use of Facebook, whatever your business type.
Facebook users tend to be regular internet users and are therefore generally prepared to shop online or make choices based on internet research and to share their experiences online. How does an internet user choose a restaurant or find a furniture shop? Their first instinct is to go online and see what’s being said.
So, are there any solid tactics you can use to ensure that the work you put into your Facebook page generates smoking hot business leads?
I believe there are…
1. Drive web traffic
One key way of doing this is to use Facebook to drive traffic to your website. This is not hard to do. All you have to do is make sure you’ve got a selection of relevant links in your content to take people over to your business website. Try to avoid “click here to visit our website” type links. They work to a limited extent, but “We’ve just taken delivery of…” or “we’re expanding our range to include…” works better because your reader is following the link to find out more detail about what they’re already interested in.
2. Invite engagement
Allow people to get in touch with you via your Facebook page. Generally you will hope that people will enter into public conversation. It’s part of the dynamic of successful social media use. However, some people may want to ask a question privately and will be willing to complete an online form giving you their contact details for your records in order to do so.
3. Collect contact details
Access to customer contact details is a really useful thing to have in terms of generating leads. (With contact details you can extend your communication and explore permission marketing).
A tried and tested way of getting it is to run competitions and promotions from your Facebook page. If people fancy a chance at winning your prize they will be willing to sign up to your database. Of course competitions can generate a lot of buzz with people spreading details around. This will have the additional advantage of getting you more traffic. If you are thinking of running a competition from your facebook page I’d advise you to make sure that the prize is relevant to the kind of business you’re in (also make sure your competition does not fall foul of Facebook’s strict competition guidelines).
For example if I were to run a competition I’d be offering one of my social media packages as the prize because this would ensure that all the people who entered my competition would be people who could make use of my services. How difficult would it be for me to convert a proportion of those leads into actual sales?
4. Post quality status updates
Make good use of your Facebook Wall to display content.
Make sure you adjust your settings so that interested users can share the content also. Lots of companies place videos and pictures, which their followers pick up on and share. Get as much content on there as you can so people coming across you for the first time have plenty to browse through. It’s not as formal as your business website where you might have reservations about things appearing outdated. If you place social media buttons on your page in order to encourage people to share the things they find interesting on other platforms. This will lead the to your facebook page and they might share themselves or go on to visit your website or make contact.
5. Be active
There’s no getting round the fact that you will do better with generating leads if you regularly update your page and engage with your visitors. The more frequent your updates, the more reason your followers have to come to your page and the more enjoyable their visit will be. Social media is a useful tool, but you only get rewarded for the time and effort you put in.
6. Explore Facebook ads
Finally, have you considered placing paid ads on Facebook? Facebook ‘know’ quite a bit about their customers and use the information they hold to deliver appropriate advertising to each user’s page. If you have a clear idea of whom your target audience is, Facebook will do their best to deliver your ads to people who fit your profile. If you run a restaurant you can arrange for people local to you to see the ad. You might want to focus on a certain age group or people who admit they’re ‘foodies’ or you could narrow it down even further by targeting your ads to people who have visited your website. If Facebook recognises the ‘cookie’ from your website on a user profile it can deliver your ad as a reminder that they’re interested in you.
What do you think?
How do you use Facebook to generate leads? What strategies have you found convert the most traffic? Please share your thoughts and ask your questions in the comments below.
Today’s Micro Action
Social media will generate the best results for your micro business when you actively engage customers with your content. In addition, developing a strategy to convert “likers” into paying customers can make your efforts on Facebook much more worthwhile. Spend some time today reflecting on your existing Facebook activity to determine if it actually helps you generate hot leads. If it does, are you doing enough to capitalise on the opportunities? If not, what new activities could you try to engage more prospects?