Time to read: 3.5 minutes. Is Facebook marketing effective? Yes, if you exploit how customers are already using it by providing an incentive to perform more of that behavior. The rest is finding a fun way to bring value to customers—and a lead to your business. After studying dozens of Facebook success stories I’ve boiled it down to a common success principle. Here are 2 examples of businesses generating leads with Facebook marketing and exactly how they’re doing it.
I’ll present 2 examples:
(B2C) Logan Services: Generating leads by matching the way customers are already using Facebook with a way to reward them for that behavior.
(B2B & B2C) Steelmaster Buildings: Generating international leads by giving customers incentive to tell audio-visual success stories that spread quickly and provoke new customers to contact the company on Facebook.
My first example is a small HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) business in Dayton, Ohio. If they’re selling on Facebook I’m pretty sure you can too!
Logan Services is selling residential hardware and service contracts to a multi-state region using Facebook. Amanda Kinsella is Logan’s lean-and-mean, one-woman marketing powerhouse. She is generating leads on Facebook by dangling a carrot—luring customers with a traditional promotion.
Here’s the surprising part: Amanda is not trying to be discovered by new customers on Facebook.
Although she knows potential customers are on Facebook all day long getting their attention isn’t the goal of her strategy. Sure, Amanda updates her Facebook page with money-saving strategies—like earning energy credits that cut taxes. That earns occasional attention. But for Logan, “being on Facebook” doesn’t translate to a chance to catch customers’ attention.
Instead, Amanda uses local media advertising (newspapers and broadcast media) to catch attention and drive visitors to her sweepstakes running on Facebook. Throughout the year, she generates enough profitable leads to cover her costs.
When she’s done buying the media and giving-away the hardware she comes out smiling—earning a profit.
Amanda knows her social media ROI to the penny. Here’s how she captures the leads.
Amanda invites potential customers to visit her Facebook page and register for the give-away. But there’s a catch. Contest entrants must tell a short story about why they need the furnace or air conditioning system. In return for the chance to win a valuable prize, prospects qualify themselves as leads. Some even go as far as requesting a quote after registering for the contest (in case they don’t win they’re curious what a system would cost).
Plus, Amanda requires a minimum number of entries to guarantee the give-away. This spurs everyone who enters to tell their friends–right on Facebook.
Amanda is following our success principle: She is matching the way customers are already using Facebook (to share news of contests) with a way to reward them for that behavior. This strategy creates more “organically generated” leads and fosters excitement around her contest. People keep returning to Logan’s Facebook page to see if the contest is “on.” (if the minimum entries has been reached)
Plus, Amanda doesn’t kid herself. She isn’t planning on drumming up new customers by getting noticed on Facebook. She’s using Facebook to supercharge her ability to operate profitable promotions. Contests that generate real bottom-line revenue.
Is Facebook marketing effective for Amanda? Clearly, it is!
Facebook doesn’t exactly pop to mind when you think corrugated steel buildings. But you can sell pre-fab steel buildings on Facebook. Here’s proof.
Steelmaster is rocking and rolling—generating leads on its Facebook page. This small but growing business is using the same formula: rewarding customers to do more of what they’re already doing on Facebook. In this case customers are rabidly sharing photos about how they’re overcoming challenges: successfully constructing a steel building.
In the world of Facebook there are few activities more popular than showing off photos. Photo-sharing activity spreads across the Facebook networks of friends, family and colleagues. That’s why Steelmaster constantly encourages the showing-off and sharing of constructions projects.
Specifically, Steelmaster is giving customers a reason to (visually) spread the word about its products. The company dangles a carrot (offering a $500 gift card prize).
Here’s what’s cool: They’re “ethically bribing” customers to do more of what they’re already doing. The emotional and “creative use” nature of the photo and video sharing excites the Facebook friends of customers. This spurs them to inquire about their specific need (that could be fulfilled by a pre-fab steel building).
In essence, Steelmaster rewards customers to “plant seeds” in the mind of Facebook friends who, in some cases, have a latent (early stage) need for a specific kind of affordable, durable building.
This creates opportunities (on Facebook) for Steelmaster sales reps to follow up directly with leads coming in from North America and, increasingly, Latin America. A sizeable number of these leads close—turn into paying customers.
Again, Steelmaster sees how customers are already using Facebook and comes up with practical ways to reward them for more of that behavior—a contest.
The more photo-sharing activity the more success stories get told. The more success stories that get told the more seeds get planted in the minds of those who see the stories. That translates to more people beginning to imagine how a pre-fab steel building could serve a specific purpose in their business or personal life.
And that translates to customers asking questions—right on Steelmaster’s Facebook page.
Yes, if you leverage the way customers are already using Facebook with an incentive to perform more of that behavior. The rest is finding a fun way to bring value to the customer and a lead to your business.
Do you know of a similar Facebook success story? Or might you be one in the making? Let me know. Get in touch!
Photo credit: I .. C .. U
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications 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 served 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.
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