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Anyone knows that in order for a business to be successful it needs customers. So obviously existing customers are a huge priority for businesses.  Generating new leads is also just as important

So what defines a lead? A lead is a person just like you or I. Alright, alright, a lead is a person who has expressed interest in you. Leads can convey their interest in many ways like, by email or by subscribing to your newsletter.

The next question you may have is: How does social media fit into lead generation? Well, social media being the virtual tool that it is,  allows people, businesses, and organizations to connect. Social media makes it easy for people to share and exchange information. Businesses use social media to gain a following. Typically, those followers (or leads) have a high potential of turning into customers (woohoo)!

The main goal of lead generation is to turn people into customers. In order to turn people into customers, you have to get them to ‘like’ you. Once you get likes, it means you have been able to spark interest in ‘potential’ sales. It also implies that you are building your brand and also gaining information about your target audience. Think about it … lead generation gives you followers. A ton of followers gives you knowledge. Knowledge then leads to catering to your best customers (give the people what they want). Your best customers lead to sales!

Hmm. So how does one use Facebook for lead generation? Fortunately, it’s not impossible to gain leads for free. If you get completely bent out of shape with the idea of spending money for Facebook leads, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, if you aren’t willing to spend a little doe you’re going to have to a little work harder and a little smarter. For those of you who don’t mind forking out some cash – you will notice it’s easier to get more likes and leads. Note: a ton of likes does not mean you’re on the road to success, you need engagement also. Turn those likes into engaging leads.

Freebies

Here are a few ways to generate leads – that don’t cost a thing.

Freebies!

1. The most obvious… create killer content.

If you want people to listen to what you have to say,  it’s gotta be good. Make sure you catch people’s attention. People react to things that they can relate to and they also react to things that make them happy, sad, or angry (I’d stay clear of the latter two, but that’s just me). Make sure the message is clear and most importantly make sure what you are posting is useful to your intended audience! Entrepreneur always knows how to create killer content for their audience. Look at those views, likes, and shares!create good content to share on social media

2. Personally reach out to folks.

Look – people enjoy getting VIP treatment. If someone ‘likes’ a post or picture, go ahead and thank them. A public thank you’s are always a good thing – they let everyone know that you actually notice their efforts. Additionally, if you’re posting something written by someone else or if you’re mentioning a business and/or person, go ahead and tag them. People love feeling popular. This tiny effort could turn a simple ‘like’ into a lead.

3. Use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.

They have free plans! This will allow you to schedule a bunch of posts. Perhaps you don’t have time to log on to Facebook every single day, these tools keep your Facebook page from going dry. They keep your followers interested. Plus, the more your name gets out there the better chances of gaining leads (we all know how fast WOM travels especially via social media).

4. “Borrow”  your competitor’s followers.

Facebook has a ton of users, so don’t be afraid to network and connect through all possible channels. Just because someone likes a competitor’s page, it doesn’t make them their customer. They may just be browsing the market, and they may just like what you have to offer more.

5. Ask open-ended questions. Create interaction.

Conversation can lead to many things – including fantastic leads! Do you see how Hubspot hit us with a double-whammy? They asked an open-ended question and provided great content to read!hubspot social media

6. Don’t post too much.

Notice that some posts just don’t reach that many people? Well, on Facebook many posts get buried. You may want to try posting at different times every day. Remember to make sure you are posting interesting content – otherwise, prepare to have you post buried.

Invest a little

If you aren’t gaining as much traction as you’d like, you can always invest a little bit of money to get you going. Fortunately, Facebook allows you to “Boost” and “Promote” your posts and page.

  1. Boosting posts only cost a few bucks. Basically the more you pay the more people the post will reach. But starting at just $2 you can boost your post to be in front of 700 new people! Plus you can choose to do multi-day boosts – you can boost a single post for 2 weeks! That can churn a lot of new likes. Remember you need to be ‘liked’ to be ‘loved’!
  2. Another option is to promote your page. This option leads to actual page likes. You pay a couple bucks to get your page sponsored and it’s put in front of a ton of people.  Just like the post-boost, you can choose how many days the ad will run. Plus you can promote your page to a specific audience so that you can get your page in front of people that will actually benefit from it or utilize it – remember your ideal customer. You see how SaveHoney has a promotion set up? It makes it very easy for people to quickly ‘like’ their page.savehoney social media post

Paying for ads and post boosts can certainly get more eyeballs on you. As I have mentioned before, the more you’re seen, the more likely you are to gain leads. Even though you may gain more likes/leads/traffic, you still need to engage with your audience. Engaging is what will help convert leads into customers. By adding aspects from the ‘freebies’ list and the “Invest a little” list together, you will be well on your way to generating mucho leads for your business.

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Posted by Megan Mosley

Megan Mosley is a writer for Referral Rock. You can find her poking around online or tweeting about marketing, small businesses, SEO, or even sharing funny memes. She is addicted to coffee and uses it as a fuel to keep her going through the day.