How to generate leads on Facebook and own your audience

Posted in: Business newsLast update: 05/09/19

Facebook is currently the best major social network for reach, engagement, and return on investment for marketers. But there’s one problem – you don’t own the leads you generate on Facebook. We suggest 6 simple ways to combine Facebook reach with successful lead capturing.

Owning your leads is a key goal for every marketer. When you own your sales leads, you don’t have to depend on a single social network. Instead, you can add those leads to your CRM – then start converting them into paying customers via email marketing, re-targeting, and any other strategy you choose.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the Facebook dilemma: powerful reach, but no ownership over your list of contacts.

Why generate leads on Facebook?

In 2019, social media marketers have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. The big blue social network is still the best source for social engagement – but it’s also beset by privacy scandals, and brands have to rely increasingly on promoted posts for reach.

This perfect storm has got some marketers thinking. A big Facebook following is a great asset – within the walled garden of social media. But what about getting followers outside the garden, and converting them into customers?

So there’s a compromise to be made. You want the reach and follower numbers of Facebook; but you want to own your database of leads, too. In this article, we’ll explore 6 different ways to generate leads on Facebook – and own your address book.

Run a Facebook giveaway to collect comments and leads

The simplest way to resolve the Facebook dilemma is to treat it as a two-step process:

  1. Acquire followers on Facebook
  2. Convert followers to owned leads

So first of all, you’ll need a dedicated strategy to grow your audience. Then you’ll need to gather more contact information from those leads – without scaring them off with a change in strategy or style.

Take the example of cult Spanish baking blog, María Lunarillos. They built an audience of over 100,000 followers by sharing fun, informative content with high production values. They also shared giveaways for Facebook commenters twice a month.

María Lunarillos Facebook comments giveaway

Once María Lunarillos had established their Facebook audience, they continued running the giveaways – but switched to asking participants for their email addresses, instead of comments on Facebook posts.

The result? A healthy database of over 170,000 owned leads.

Click here to read the full case study from María Lunarillos.

Use Facebook Ads to target specific audiences

In the case of María Lunarillos, the brand selected each giveaway prize carefully, so that their campaigns would only appeal to the right people. But if you plan to collect and convert leads via giveaways, then prizes are just one of many strategies you can use to target high-quality leads.

The #1 tool we recommend is Facebook Ads. With dark posts and promoted posts, you can:

  • Target or restrict your posts to specific locations.
  • Show ads to specific demographics – this is especially important if you offer age-sensitive goods or services.
  • Target new and lookalike audiences, or restrict promotions to current followers.
  • Target or restrict based on interests and behaviors.
  • Create carousel posts with an individual link for each slide, so that viewers can pick the promotion they want to join.

In the next few sections, we’ll discuss more ways to use Facebook Ads in a range of formats. Click here to see the full range of Facebook Ads available.

Follow up with commenters via Facebook Messenger marketing

Although reach for organic posts is dropping, a new frontier has opened up for Facebook marketers: Messenger.

Direct messages on Facebook have high open rates, high click-through rates – and, at this point, minimal competition from other brands. Satart using Messenger now, and you’ll have an advantage over marketers who are slower to adapt.

What’s more, the social network is introducing new features to help organize your campaigns and generate leads on Facebook:

  • Send automatic messages to users who comment on your posts. This is one way to parlay Facebook comment giveaways into genuine, one-to-one conversations with leads.
  • Welcome new visitors to your page. When someone clicks through from a promoted post or a friend’s recommendation, you can welcome them immediately with an automatic conversation starter.
  • Use lead generation templates in Messenger. Lock in those conversions by asking the right questions and integrating user answers with your CRM.

Run Lead Ads with an incentive for new leads

The social network does now offer native tools to generate leads on Facebook. That’s right – even Facebook recognizes the Facebook dilemma!

With Lead Ads, you can set up ads to target specific audiences, just like on any sponsored post. But instead of getting viewers to react to the post, visit your profile or click through to your website, the goal is for them to fill out a registration form.

However, Lead Ads raise an obvious question: Why should anyone fill out that form? Here are some suggestions to incentivize conversions:

  • Offer an introductory discount. This strategy is especially popular for B2C Facebook marketing.
  • Give access to exclusive content, such as guides or ebooks. Content marketing via Facebook is a great strategy for B2B marketers.
  • Add leads to a grand prize draw. Connect the information from your Lead Ads with a prize draw app and encourage more people to sign up.

Share links in Facebook Stories and Facebook Watch

Facebook is increasingly dominated by video content. The social networks has invested heavily in its long-form video platform, Watch, and Mark Zuckerberg has publicly suggested that Stories will replace the Newsfeed. What’s more, Facebook marketers have already seen how the latest updates to Creator Studio prioritize videos above all other content.

So if we’re about to live through another “pivot to video” – this time, with a focus on Stories – how can you use that content to generate leads on Facebook? Once again, the answer is two-fold.

Video content on Facebook consistently outperforms other post formats, so it’s a great way to increase your reach and engagement. Then, just as we discussed above, you can use ads and link-sharing strategies to convert those Facebook viewers into owned leads.

  • Facebook Stories. While conventional posts from brands are getting less attention, Stories are shown at the top of users’ feeds – so they could be the key to staying relevant. You can add custom links to Stories, directing viewers towards lead capture forms. Cross-post your Stories to Instagram to reach even more people.
  • Facebook Watch. You can now place ads in the middle of videos which are more than 3 minutes long. Facebook calls these “Ad Breaks”, and just like Stories ads, you can attach custom links. Your brand does have to meet certain requirements to use Ad Breaks, though.
  • Facebook Live. The third way to share videos on Facebook is via the Live tool – which is separate from Watch and Stories. (Confusing, we know.) You can use Ad Breaks in Facebook Live, just like in Watch, but with the same caveat about Facebook requirements for brands.

Use the call to action button on your Facebook Business page

Finally, don’t forget about the basics. Setting up a call to action button on your Facebook Business page is one of the easiest ways to generate leads on Facebook and convert them into customers.

You can only create call-to-action buttons if you have a paid ads account – but these buttons are extremely versatile. You can set up almost any type of conversion, from customer phone calls to sending you an email or… you guessed it… visiting a registration form.

Got even more ideas? Tell us your tips to own and generate leads on Facebook in the comments!

Corinna Keefe

English copywriter at Easypromos marketing team