10 Ways to Use Facebook to Generate Leads for Your Business

March 18, 2011

By now, you’re probably aware of Facebook’s marketing force. The social network has over 600 million users, and it is estimated that some time this decade the majority of the world’s population will be using Facebook!

While Facebook is still taking shape, one thing is certain. Facebook offers you immediate and constant communication with potential customers like never before in the history of the world.

So we wanted to take a few minutes to explain how your business can use Facebook to communicate with potential customers and create powerful new leads.

When it comes to social media, you must remember to engage your audience, encourage information sharing and to create a conversation. Social media users tend to be very skeptical of “hard” sales approaches, as they prefer information-based dialogue. That being said, if you can build a community and create a conversation you will reap the rewards of an amazing powerful customer-to-customer marketing strategy.

The object of Facebook marketing is to make your Facebook page accessible, informative, casual and fun. The goal is to create a constant and dynamic Facebook presence that encourages your existing customers to share your Facebook information with their friends. Once your customers’ Facebook friends are informed of your business in a positive way, they are likely to visit your page to learn more about your business. This creates numerous leads for your business.

So, without further ado, these are the key tips to creating leads with Facebook.

1. Create fan contests. Do everything you can do engage your audience, encourage participation and create a positive buzz about your business. Fan contests are a great way to do this because they encourage your Facebook fans (likely existing customers) to engage in a fun contest that advertises your business. If your fans join the contest, each of their Facebook friends is alerted of their participation. This is a great way to improve your exposure. For example, Skittles launched a “Win the Rainbow” contest, which brought in enough contest participants to create hundreds of thousands of views for their YouTube channel. Out of those hundreds of thousands of people, how many new leads were created? Plenty.

2. Fill your Facebook Page with calls-to-action. People are likely arriving at your Facebook page without too much knowledge of your business, so you want to give them as many changes as possible to convert to customers. For example, the Zappos Facebook page has a prominent call-to-action that informs visitors what they should do when they come to the page, such as sign-up for mailing lists, fill-out forms, visit the company website, etc. Never miss an opportunity to convert a lead!

3. Create Facebook games. Just like contests, games are a great way to encourage fan participation and to create a buzz to boost your exposure. For example, McDonald’s Facebook page has several games that encourage fans to share their score. This accomplishes two key marketing goals. One, your business becomes synonymous with fun, positive activities such as games. Two, while your fans are merely having fun by participating in a game with their friends, they are also marketing your business for you. This peer-to-peer marketing is very powerful because people learn about your business by way of their friend, so your business comes with an explicit endorsement from someone they know and trust.

4. Provide helpful information. The culture of social media breaks from traditional marketing. People want information, not a sales pitch. So provide helpful information about your industry as a whole, not only your business. This creates goodwill, and helps to build your community. For example, Harley Davidson’s page has several informational resources that educate people on the history of the company and how to ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

5. Create fan polls. For your fans, this is a quick, easy and fun interactive tool. For you, this provides great marketing information on any number of things. By creating a specific poll, you are using Facebook as your own marketing research firm. For example, the Jones Soda Facebook page has weekly polls for its fans.

6. Use your Facebook as a portal for your company. Facebook users spend more time on Facebook than any other website. So you should assume that people who arrive at your Facebook page need as much information about your company as possible. In other words, don’t assume that people who land on your page already know about your business. Turn your Facebook page into an information portal that contains company news, products, background information and all multimedia resources. For example, VitaminWater’s page functions as its main online presence

7. Include all of your advertising and marketing materials on your page. This may seem obvious, but it isn’t. Too many businesses forget to streamline all of their materials by putting their videos, podcasts and other resources on their Facebook page. A great example is Doritos, which uses its page to share all recent commercials, including the amateur videos created by fans. This makes Doritos’ Facebook page a recreational place to spend a few minutes.

8. Integrate your customer feedback on your page. This is a great way to control your brand and manage your reputation. Include reviews on your page so visitors are given objective testimonials as soon as they come to your page. For instance, Best Buy’s page includes real reviews of their products.

9. Don’t be a stranger; post status updates and share links as often as you can. If you update your page’s status or share a link such as a new blog post, this new activity immediately goes to your Facebook fans’ news feeds. So, the more activity your page has the more dynamic and consistent your Facebook presence. And in the age of social media, attention spans are short. You need to stay active to keep your business profile up.

10. Have fun; don’t be too serious. The culture of social media is casual and even playful. If you present your business as too buttoned-down, you aren’t likely to attract too many fans. On the other hand, if you create a lively Facebook presence that includes jokes and fun comments on your page, people are far more likely to engage. So don’t be too formal on Facebook. Try to keep things fun yet informative. This is best way to build your community.

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