How to use Facebook to generate leads

By Jeff Molander

How to use Facebook to generate leads

Time to read: 3 minutes. Tired of struggling with how to use Facebook to generate leads? Drive prospects to your page and get them talking about themselves. First, grab customers’ attention and “ethically bribe” them to visit your Facebook page. Sure, use a contest … BUT … make sure you provide an incentive for prospects to talk about themselves.

Do what Amanda Kinsella of residential HVAC provider, Logan Services, has been doing for years now. She’s using Facebook to generate leads and tracking ROI to the penny.

So can you. I’ll show you how. 

Bribe customers to talk about themselves

Get a bowl of candy. Then, hand it out. Free. Just like at a trade show booth.

Why do vendors set out a bowl of candy? Or why do they try to bribe men with “booth babes?” To encourage you to linger? Yes.

But SMART booth attendants know the key to success is NOT using candy to talk about what they’re selling. Generating lead is 110% about getting the prospect talking about THEMSELVES first.

A strange place to start

Buy attention.

Pay for advertisements in places your target market can be found. It may seem like a strange place to start. But don’t be fooled by the BAD advice online about how to generate leads on Facebook. We’re being hoodwinked into believing social media is a no-cost way of generating customers.

WRONG! It is a low-cost strategy. Smart, targeted advertising is often where to start.

For example, Amanda Kinsella is a one-woman marketing team at heating and air conditioning business, Logan using facebook for lead generationServices. This small business serves a large chunk of territory in the Dayton, Ohio region.

Amanda keeps it simple—buying ads where her target market hangs out. She invests precious budget-dollars in local newspapers, TV and radio spots. This creates attention she can work with … that she can push towards Logan’s Facebook page.

Her lure? A free heating or air conditioning system for a customer who needs one. She runs a contest on Facebook that gives-away a multi-thousand-dollar residential HVAC system!

Sound crazy? Keep reading. She’s been doing this for a few years now—generating positive ROI.

Tactic 1: Use an incentive to spread the word

Any fool can run a contest on Facebook. But when giving away thousands of dollars in equipment and a service contract, Amanda has to be SURE her investment will pay-off.

She needs guaranteed leads that will generate thousands in profit for Logan.

So… when potential customers (from the ads) first started landing on her Facebook page Amanda told them about the catch. Nobody would win a new furnace unless a minimum of 200 prospects entered the contest.

Her prospects needed to:

  • tell Logan why they needed the system (in a few sentences)
  • spread the word about the contest

Amanda put her prospects under incentive to help make sure Logan got what it wanted—leads!

You can do the same.

Tactic 2: Use your ‘thank you’ page

After prospects filled out the contest application they were presented with an opportunity to get a quote from Logan on the contest “thank you” page. On average, 20 percent of all contestants started requesting quotes.

In essence the prospects Amanda tapped into were realizing, “hey we need a furnace sometime soon … and we may not actually win … so why not check out Logan’s prices anyway?”

This is the power of good direct response social marketing design and this is why you should know people like Amanda Kinsella. (I give more tips on the role of direct response and designing social media here)

Tactic 3: Give customers an incentive to talk

Human beings love to talk. Especially about themselves. Your potential new (and existing) customers are no different.

Once Amanda’s hopeful contestants spread the word (and reached the minimum threshold) they were given a chance to enter the contest. To enter, prospects filled out an application. The contest form captured valuable insights … stories on why the prospect needed a new furnace so badly.

Talking about themselves naturally revealed details about current and future need for Logan’s products & services.

Convincing customers to talk about themselves is how Amanda grew her database of qualified leads well into the hundreds. That was just in the first year.

How she did it

Here is a visual example of how Amanda “ethically bribes” customers to talk about themselves … in ways that reveals leads for her sales team to gently follow-up on.

YOU can do the same. See how it works?

how to use facebook to generate leads

Today, Amanda uses the same lead generation model for Facebook. It works so why change it?

She also exploits her captive audience on Logan’s Facebook page. As you can see above, these are people who have come to expect give-aways. So, Amanda gives-away regularly!

In this case, cash. Gift cards.

Amanda’s reward? More leads at even less cost.

Here’s the rub: She’s not spending on ads for these leads because prospects been “trained” to keep in touch with Logan. Lately, they’re hungry for energy saving tips that save them some money. But most of all, prospects and customers are on Logan’s Facebook page accessing the latest contests.

It wasn’t always easy for Amanda. She struggled for a long time. Amanda tried everything to get potential buyers to talk with her on Facebook. But nobody wanted to talk with a HVAC company. Not even about subjects like saving money on taxes and other energy tips she provided.

But today is a different time for Amanda!

 Photo credit: Javcon117

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About the Author

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.