Why yes, social media lovers, you, the small business owner, CAN get leads from Facebook! And referrals and prospects and clients and returning clients…all those good things we love to see in our sales funnels. After all, Facebook “remains the most-used social media site among all ages, used by 64 percent of Americans 12 and up.” (Hootsuite, October 2016)
That’s a lot of people and a lot of potential customers. But we’re here to tell you the truth, too. There is no magic bullet, golden goose or dragon’s trove. There is, rather, a complicated treasure map with a big X in the middle. The ways you reach that X vary as much as Facebook posts do. Here are a few tactics we’ve seen work.
Combine Content Marketing With Conversation
It can be hard to build relationships solely online. It takes longer to build trust, for one thing. So you need to make sure you’re offering something first – give before taking. Whether it be an interesting article with insightful commentary or a funny (appropriate) meme, the goal is to stay front and center. This tells your target market that you’re not a fly-by-night. You’re credible. And it creates name recognition. So get material out there on your business page to start. Share it to your personal page, too. Boost the post if you choose. Then when you see a conversation – even if it doesn’t start on your page – jump in. Others will start to make the connection between who you are and what you do.
Combine Live With Online Networking
We’re fortunate. All Things Writing is part of several live, professional organizations and networking groups. These groups do a great job of sharing posts. They are also great at referring group members to people on Facebook who are seeking specific products and services. The combination of live and online networking makes a powerful formula for hot lead generation. Get known in the live community and you can do the same in the digital one.
Combine Consistency With Creativity
Business owners sometimes think if they are not getting engagement on their business page, all is lost. This is not true. Yes, engagement is ideal, but the stats say up to 90 percent of Facebook users are lurkers. Lurkers are seeing what you’re putting out there, but they aren’t saying anything…at the moment. Keep at it, switch things up now and then, be creative and have fun with it. One day, post an article. The next day, post a picture. Then try a video. Infographic? Great! You’re not limited in the ways in which you express your brand. Don’t just think outside the box. Throw the box away. And don’t forget to hashtag when you do.
Combine Groups With Goodwill
Groups – join them, stay active in them and enjoy them. Yes, it’s time consuming. But that’s how you build credibility and relationships. We caution you, however. Be careful what you say and how you say it. Facebook groups, even professionally organized ones, are like any other online forum. They can get out of control as members say things they might not say in a live environment. Stay positive, helpful and professional. Offer your best advice and insights without giving away your product or service. But if you see conversation consistently heading downhill, consider trying a different group. Remember what Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos says “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Think before you type”.
Combine Engagement With Authenticity
While it’s perfectly fine to hire someone to post articles and other content on your behalf (we provide that service all the time), it’s best to get your feet wet and interact directly with your Facebook audience. Don’t hire someone to be you. Not only is it somewhat disingenuous, it’s a wasted opportunity to really understand the Facebook business climate. It’s hard to glean the finer details about potential customers second hand.
What we’re promoting here is a holistic approach to generate activity on Facebook. You don’t have to rely just on your business page. Start there, but don’t end there. Facebook is bigger than that. There’s enough space for you to try a variety of tactics to make the most of your connections. Now go out and seek that treasure chest of leads. It’s waiting for you.
Need help creating social media posts? All Things Writing can help. Contact us for a free 20-minute phone consultation.
All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.