With more than 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the largest social media platform today. Marketers across the world have used Facebook for years to attract existing and new audiences, promote their content and establish a brand identity.
It is also one of the top places to run pay-per-click ads online. However, with the average cost per click at $0.97, advertising on Facebook can be quite costly. Don’t worry though – there are some free alternatives as well. It is absolutely possible to generate leads on Facebook for free – and here’s how to do it.
Start a Facebook group
Up until Facebook cracked down on organic reach about a year ago, not many people gave Facebook groups a serious thought. However, they’re an excellent way to engage with your customers, promote your products and generate leads for free.
For example, a well-known landing page builder app Leadpages has a Facebook group with more than 17,000 members at the moment. In the group, members can ask questions about the app, provide feedback and ask for advice. At the same time, group admins can show their expertise, promote their products, provide questions, and establish personal connections.
There are several reasons why Facebook groups are a great tool for lead generation. First, you can link your business page to the group as an administrator profile. Second, you can control who posts what and when – you can moderate and approve all posts before they go live.
Perhaps the best feature of all is the ability to set up a questionnaire before someone joins your group. This is usually a set of several mandatory questions that potential new members have to fill out before they’re allowed inside.
For example, you can ask for members’ email, their interests, reasons for joining the group, how they intend to use it, their biggest pain points relating to your industry etc. This is an invaluable source of information and it allows you to filter and score your leads right off the bat.
Opt for images instead of text
If you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your posts, the first thing you should consider is the format. If you’ve been posting text status updates with no success, you need to turn them into images. In turn, your post engagement will increase by a whopping 120%.
In one of the most prominent studies on Facebook engagement, it can be seen that more than 90% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are actually images. In another research, it was found that organic engagement on Facebook was the highest for video posts (13.9%) and image posts (13.7%).
Craft excellent posts
Does your posting strategy on Facebook consist of post and pray? If so, you’re missing out on prime lead generation opportunities that come completely free. In order to get the maximum out of your posts, you can take cues from Hubspot on how to make the perfect post on Facebook. Let’s take an example of a post that ticks all of the boxes.
First, there is an enticing image to attract engagement, as discussed previously. Second, there is a link leading to a landing page. When sharing an image, you should attach the link to the text of the post. Instead of a full link, there is a Bitly link, which has multiple advantages. First, it’s shorter and takes up less space.
Second, it doesn’t fully reveal the link to the page. Finally, it has UTM tracking parameters, which allows you to track that the click came from this exact post. In this way, you can analyze what type of posts work and shape your Facebook posting strategy.
Finally, the copy is compelling. Research has shown that the best performing Facebook posts have very few characters (40-70), such as this one. The copy is concise and to the point, without clickbait or false promises. At the very end, there is a simple but effective call to action.
If you really want to guide people from Facebook straight down your conversion funnel, you can post links to your gated content or lead magnet. This can be a free eBook, guide, webinar, swipe file, whatever you can think of. If you don’t have any lead magnets set up, guide people from Facebook to a page with an opt-in form to collect their emails. Easy as pie, completely free and very effective.
Make sure it’s not all about you
Take a good look through your Facebook business page timeline. Is the majority of content that you post all about promoting yourself and your products and services? If so, you’re going for the hard sell and it’s not surprising that your lead generation efforts are falling short.
The primary goal of your social media activity should be to engage with your followers, and you can hardly do this only with your own content. For years now, one of the main strategies for social media posting has been the rule of 80/20.
Also called the Pareto principle, this means that 80% of your posts should be content by others that your audience will find useful, share and engage with.
The other 20% should be your own, promotional content, prepared according to the instructions given above. Some brands can get more engagement from promotional than curated content, so it’s best to split test and analyze what works best for your specific case.
The 20% of posts pointing to your own content should still provide meaning and value to your followers and come with a strong call to action and a compelling offer. By providing followers with useful content the majority of the time, you will have the confidence to better promote yourself. This small change in strategy holds massive potential for generating leads through Facebook, and it is completely free to implement.
Even though Facebook is favoring paid over organic reach, it is still very much possible to generate leads on Facebook for free. With some inventiveness and a bit of extra time, you can generate leads from Facebook absolutely free in no time.