Lead generation is how businesses take complete strangers and make them into fans. That’s quite a bit of magic when you think about it. Old school variations of lead generation usually involved interrupting someone in the middle of dinner with an unsolicited phone call. Today, organizations have more savvy tools at their disposal thanks to technology – ones that are less likely to annoy that fish you are trying to hook. Social media shares and likes take you places telemarketing failed to reach, and they do it without disrupting anyone’s dinner.
Businesses benefit from Facebook because people use it daily for mundane reasons, like showing off the new pet. Not only does the social media giant provide you a way to personalize your approach, but it helps you focus your lead generation on those individuals or business consumers that fit your target audience to a “T”.
1. It’s all about size
Once you accept how important social media is as a marketing tool, then just look at the math. In 2016, Facebook had 1.23 billion daily active users and 1.74 billion mobile monthly active users. These stats blow away every other mainstream social media site.
Pew Research Center reports that 79 percent of all adult U.S. internet users touch base with Facebook regularly. Compare that to Instagram, another popular social media site, which claims only about 28 percent of adult U.S. internet users.
2. Facebook offers targeting choices
Facebook asks its users to post in their profiles where they live, what they like to do and where they went to school. People do check-ins, too, so Facebook knows what restaurants they visit, what movies they see and even what hospital they go to in an emergency. All that big data allows them to provide business accounts with very distinct targeting information and data that is second to none.
3. You are a friend on Facebook
It’s no accident that Facebook uses the term “friend” when making networking connections. A friend is someone you trust, not just for yourself, but for your family and colleagues, too. By using Facebook for lead generation, your brand becomes a friend as well. It’s an association that offers assumed trust and that oh-so-important word-of-mouth marketing.
4. Because other marketing assets are failing
Technology is changing everything including how people shop. The old reliables are no longer that practical. For example, Harrison Mann reports:
- 86 percent of people pass on TV commercials
- 44 percent toss direct mailers into the trash without ever reading them
- 91 percent will eventually unsubscribe to opted-in emails
Social media marketing, on the other hand, continues to thrive and even evolve. Facebook reports that by the second quarter of 2016, 84 percent of its revenue was coming from mobile advertising – that’s up by almost 10 percent from 2015. Mobile ads offer one of the best ways to target local leads.
5. Location, location, location
With mobile use continuing to rise, it becomes less about where someone lives and more about where they are right now, or more importantly, where they checked in from on Facebook. If you own an ice cream shop down the street from a movie theater, wouldn’t it be nice to personally invite moviegoers over for a scoop after the show? Facebook hands you that kind of power. Today, companies understand that they need to build relationships–location data is critical for that kind of personalization.
6. Is Facebook the new Google?
Google has monetized web video with their YouTube platform, but Facebook is working to be a contender and even pulling ahead in the virtual reality race. Oculus, a subsidiary of Facebook, took the first bite out of the VR market. Since virtual reality is promising to be the next big vertical, Google is fighting that much harder to keep its video edge.
Only time will tell which of these two giants will win out, but Facebook is certainly in the running. If VR is the future of video advertising and Facebook is a player in that game, then the social media network is a natural choice for local lead generation.
7. Speaking of disrupting Google
Facebook is becoming a competitor as a local search platform, too. The social media giant is working to ramp up their local searches by including conversations and queries in the data. If a user tells a Facebook friend they are looking for a new salon closer to work, Facebook can target a business ad showing them a promising local business in the area. That same user will be able to do a search on Facebook for more information about that salon.
8. Get more social media shares
The power of the Facebook “share” remains strong. You can get your Facebook friends to do some of the work for you for free by introducing you to direct leads via shares. Every person that likes the share introduces your business to their friends, as well. All those likes become direct leads too–all you need to do is convert the local ones.
9. Go live at a local event
What better way to showcase your company as part of the community than to use Facebook Live at a local event. The video gets broadcast on your friends’ news feeds and they just like it to share it with their friends. Your customers will love the spontaneity and the personal touch. Their local friends get a chance to learn more about a business that supports the community they call home. It’s lead generation that costs you almost nothing.
10. Pin posts that work
Keep track of which posts offer the most local lead potential and pin them to the top of your Facebook page. This tactic helps you put your best foot forward for anyone who does pull up your business page in a local search.
New leads mean business growth – pure and simple. Facebook tends to be at the heart of many social media discussions for a reason. It is still the go-to social media platform for businesses looking to increase their local lead potential.
Looking for more lead generation ideas? Contact us for more information about our full suite of services, including social media, local search, SEO and more.
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