Facebook Lead Generation: The Ultimate Guide

Learn the ins and outs of Facebook lead generation with this detailed guide, including the best free and paid Facebook lead gen strategies.

Facebook lead generation is the process of using Facebook inbound marketing strategies to source quality leads. There are both free and paid strategies for doing this. Free strategies involve creating a business page, posting relevant content, and running a private Facebook group. Paid strategies consist of running Facebook ad campaigns. For both, there are many tools and companies that can help along the way.

Who Should Use Facebook Lead Generation

Facebook is an effective platform for both B2B and B2C brands looking to generate social media leads. Regardless of your industry, Facebook is an effective inbound lead generator. On the other hand, Facebook is not well-suited for anyone looking to do direct outreach or outbound sales. You won’t have much success sending cold Facebook messages to prospects’ inboxes from your personal profile.

The users are there for leisure, not business. However, they are primed for indirect offerings that appear on their news feeds in the form of interesting articles and ads. This contrasts with users on platforms like LinkedIn, who want to make direct business connections and are primed for direct outreach.

Specific Facebook use cases include:

  • Those Wanting to Collect Email Addresses: On Facebook, you can capture lead contact information directly on the platform through Facebook lead ads. 
  • Businesses That Want to Create a Gated Community: A private Facebook group can help you build a gated community where you can nurture and create raving fans of your brand. 
  • Companies Building Brand Authority: Consistently sharing original and valuable content from your brand can help you grow your audience and establish your brand as an expert in the niche. 
  • Business Owners Looking to Generate Demo/Webinar Sign-Ups: If you have free demos or webinars, you can advertise them and get potential buyers to sign up. 
  • Those Wanting to Drive Traffic to Their Website: Organic content and paid ads can direct Facebook users to relevant pages on your website, where you can convert them to leads.

If this doesn’t sound like you and you’re looking for outbound lead generation or direct outreach on social media instead, check out our article on LinkedIn lead generation. Otherwise, keep reading for the best free and paid strategies for inbound lead generation on Facebook.

Facebook lead generation strategies
Facebook lead generation strategies

Free Facebook Lead Generation Strategies

With free Facebook strategies, you are trying to grow your following by posting engaging content and then driving followers to your website or getting them to take a direct action on Facebook. In essence, you give them free value and ask for something in return (sign-up/download). The more value a user receives from your brand over time, the more likely they are to take actions you request. 

There are three main components of these free strategies, each of which can help you drive relevant traffic to your website or capture lead info directly on the platform. While each can be done independently, the best free strategy uses elements of each:

  1. Optimize Your Business Facebook Page: Every business should create a Facebook business page. On the page, visitors can learn about your brand and like the page to receive more of your content in their news feeds. 
  2. Post Articles and Relevant Content: Every business should post valuable content onto Facebook. This will help them grow their following, drive website traffic, and get followers to take actions like sign-ups and downloads. 
  3. Start a Private Facebook Group: Most businesses should take advantage of private groups. It’s another way to get people to consume your content and to grow relationships with the biggest fans of your brand.

1. Optimize Your Business Facebook Page

First, you must create your business Facebook page and optimize it by adding an on-brand cover and profile photo, a clear business description, a relevant vanity URL, and a call-to-action button. Think of this Facebook page as a landing page for your business. Here are the main actions to take to get started:

Create Your Business Page

Your Facebook business page represents your brand and offers an easy-to-maintain online presence for people to discover and learn about your company. If users visit the page and vibe with it, they can like the page. From then on, in their news feed, they will see content shared by your page, whether it is an article or a video you have posted. To begin creating your business page, head to this article written by Facebook and follow the instructions.

example facebook business page
Example Facebook business page

Add On-Brand Profile & Cover Photos

Your profile photo will be displayed every time you comment on a post or publish to the news feed. It will be the first thing your potential customers notice. So, make it relevant. Ideally, make it your company logo. Facebook’s article breaks down the optimal dimensions and best practices to take into account when uploading your profile and cover photo.

Your cover photo will appear across the top of the business page. It gives you the opportunity to use a visual element that captures the attention of a visitor or elicits a specific feeling. Facebook also offers the ability to use videos or slideshows in place of a photo.

Example Facebook profile and cover photos
Example Facebook profile & cover photos

Write a Clear Business Description

This description will show up in the About section of your business Facebook page, which will likely be the first place your visitors check out. So, make it speak to your buyers’ interests and needs. Let them know who you typically serve, how you help, what you sell, and some unique information about you, such as why you created this business in the first place. This way, visitors will easily grasp what your business does and also feel connected to you.

Also, optimize the preview section of the About page with short and informative copy. This is what your visitors will see under the About section on your homepage. The copy is pulled from the Short Description you provide within your full About tab.

Example Facebook business description
Example Facebook business description

Claim Your Page’s Vanity URL

After creating your business page, the page will receive a random URL—an unrecognizable and nonsensical one. To make your page easier to find and share, you can create a vanity URL that follows this format: www.facebook.com/{your company name}. To create your vanity URL, head to this step-by-step guide.

Choose a Call-to-Action Button

Facebook allows you to add a simple call-to-action button at the top of your business Facebook page. There are seven pre-made options to choose from: Sign Up, Contact Us, Shop Now, Book Now, Watch Video, Use App, and Play Game. The button links to a chosen page on your website. Which button you choose depends on your business and what action you want them to take.

For example, Zappos uses Shop Now, which brings you to their website’s homepage:

Example Facebook call-to-action button
Example call-to-action button

2. Post Articles & Relevant Content

Now that you have a Facebook business page, you can start posting engaging content to your audience. If you post content that they find interesting and helpful, they might decide to follow your business page. After that, they will receive even more of your content on their feeds and engage with it more frequently. Over time, trust for your brand will grow. Then, you can use your content to drive them to your web page or to get them to take an immediate action on the platform.

Effective Facebook content ideas include the following:

  • Videos from your business’s YouTube channel
  • Re-shared Facebook Live videos
  • Links to your most popular blog posts
  • High-quality images and infographics
  • Events such as local workshops or webinars
  • Audience polls
  • Q&A sessions

You want your Facebook posts to reach as many people as possible, as this gives you the highest chance of acquiring fans and leads. But, which posts will receive the most promotion? Facebook states that the posts that earn the most visibility will be “posts that inspire the most back and forth conversation in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to.” So, prioritize creating posts that will engender engagement.

Here are some tips for creating that engaging content:

  • Run a Comment-Driven Giveaway: Tell people that if they comment on the post, they will have a chance to win an item you are giving away or a special discount. 
  • Ask for Feedback: If you held a webinar or released a new product or service, ask your audience to give you feedback in the comments section. 
  • Use Open-Ended Questions: This is a great way to spark conversation, especially if the question you ask is slightly contentious and summons up strong emotional responses. 
  • Share Content That Solves Your Audience's Problems: Share information that will help your target audience solve a specific problem. It could be a video on how to unclog a drain or an article on how to create websites.  
  • Participate in What’s Trending: Align some content with news or stories that your audience is following closely. This will help you enter their world, and they will begin to see your brand as more of a friend than a sales organization.

3. Start a Private Facebook Group

Private Facebook groups are groups that you have to be invited into in order to join. They are great places for building a fan club around your brand. To get people into this group, you can promote it in the content you are posting to the general news feed. Once people join the group, they will have access to more premium content, including discounts and live videos. They will also be able to form relationships and have conversations with others in the group.

You can also source leads directly from this group. The members who are frequently engaging with your content are great targets since it’s evident they trust and enjoy your brand. They might even be susceptible to direct outreach. But, for the most part, you will source leads from the group by driving them to your website or getting them to take direct action on Facebook, such as a sign-up.

Example Facebook group
Example Facebook group

Best Practices for Posting in a Private Facebook Group

  • Post Welcome Messages Often: To ensure newcomers have all of the key information, from helpful resources to group guidelines, post welcome messages frequently. This will also remind the other members that you are actively engaged. 
  • Post at Peak Times: Your Facebook page and group insights can inform you of the peak times for posting your content. 
  • Keep the Private Group Content Unique: Keep your private group content unique. Avoid recycling content that you have already posted in the general news feed. This will give people a reason to stay in touch with both your business page and your private group. 
  • Spark Conversation Between Members: Ask open-ended questions that get your members talking and sharing their opinions. It helps to mention current events that your members might be following closely.

Best Practices for Managing a Private FB Group

  • Invite Customers from Other Networks: You might have fans hanging out on other social media islands, such as Twitter or Instagram. Invite them into your private Facebook group by sending them a link to the group. 
  • Engage Consistently, but Don’t Overdo It: This is a place for your fans to engage in conversation and form relationships with each other. You are sort of like the parent of the group. And most of the time, children want to play alone in the comments section of posts. 
  • Give Them Gifts: Make them feel special with an offer or a giveaway that only they receive. This could be a pair of branded socks or a 20% discount on a purchase. 
  • Go Live: If you have something to teach, go live and share it with your members. This will make them feel more connected to you and your brand.

Paid Facebook Lead Generation Strategies

Paid Facebook lead generation strategies boil down to four different types of Facebook ads: lead ads, Messenger ads, PPC ads, and boosted posts. These paid strategies are most effective when incorporated with the free strategies discussed above. The best Facebook lead gen strategy for you will contain elements from both. For instance, you can pay to boost the content you’re creating using the free strategies, which widens its reach and helps you grow your following.

Each paid ad type is targeted to users based on their location, demographics, and profile information and shows up on your audience’s news feed or in their Messenger app. Users who click the ad go to your website or landing page or enter their lead information directly on the platform. The basic steps for creating any Facebook ad are outlined in Facebook's guide. Besides boosted posts, you can create and manage all of these ads in your Facebook Ads Manager.

For the best results, we recommend using a combination of these advertising methods, since it will diversify your reach and give you more data about your customers’ behavior, which you can use to instruct your future campaigns. Now, let’s go over the four types of ads you can add to your Facebook lead gen strategy.

4. Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook lead ads are ads that contain an embedded form that captures a lead’s information, such as name and email address, directly on the platform. These ads show up on your audience’s news feed and offer something valuable to them, such as a report or a discount, in return for filling out the form.

When people tap your ad, the form pops up preloaded with their Facebook contact information. The lift for them is very light; through just a few clicks, they receive the information they want, and you generate a new lead.

bookmarks

Additional Reading:

The benefit of lead ads is the ability to collect prospect information without having to send them off-platform. If you're interested in learning more, check out our article on how to create and optimize Facebook lead ads.

5. Facebook Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger ads are ad options that are meant to begin conversations with individuals in the Messenger app, thereby making the advertising feel more personal. The generated message could ask the recipient to sign up for a webinar or download a piece of content. Facebook Messenger ads fall into the following three categories:

Ads That Open To Messenger

These ads appear in the news feed and contain a call-to-action button that opens into the Messenger app, as shown below:

Example ad that opens to messenger
Example ad that opens to Messenger
Example ad that opens to messenger
Example ad that opens to Messenger

Sponsored Messages

These ads are highly targeted and sent directly to the inbox of people with whom you have previously messaged:

Example of sponsored messages
Example of sponsored messages

Messenger Stories Ads

Messenger Stories ads, distinct from Facebook Stories, are full-screen videos that appear within a user’s Messenger app. These ads can only be purchased alongside Instagram Stories ads or as an addition to a current ad campaign you are running on Facebook’s main news feed:

Example messenger story ads
Example Messenger Stories ads

6. Facebook PPC Ads

Facebook PPC ads are the basic display ads that show up on your audience's news feed and that drive traffic directly to your website or a dedicated landing page. They come in 10 different formats, including videos, carousels, and images. The copy and multimedia in these ads are meant to spark interest in your ideal customers who will then click on the ad and enter into your lead generation funnel.

Example Facebook PPC ad
Example Facebook PPC ad

7. Boosted Posts

A boosted post is a post on your page’s timeline that you can boost to an audience of your choosing—one that fits specific demographics. Unlike the previous three ad types, you do not create boosted posts in Ads Manager. These ads also have fewer customization features than the others. Their specialty is maximizing the visibility of your best posts, thereby growing your audience and increasing lead generation.

When you boost a post, it shows up in your audience's Facebook news feed as an ad. You can boost a post by following these steps, during which Facebook will ask for information about these three things:

  1. Who You Are Boosting It To: Define a target audience that will enjoy the post and that fits your ideal customer profile. 
  2. Your Max Budget: Tell them how much you want to spend over the course of your entire campaign. 
  3. The Duration for Running the Ad: Choose how long you want the people in your target audience to see the ad in their news feed.

Top Facebook Lead Generation Software

There are plenty of tools out there that can assist you in your effort to generate leads on Facebook. Three of the best are Facebook Ads Manager, AdEspresso, and Driftrock.

Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager is Facebook’s native tool that you can use to create and manage your targeted ad campaigns while also tracking their performance. It is designed for people of any experience level; even salespeople with little advertising experience can quickly and easily create targeted ads.

For instance, Ads Manager offers a step-by-step wizard that guides you through the creation of your ad campaign, prompting you to answer questions about your budget, your audience and their demographics, and your objectives.

AdEspresso

AdEspresso is a Facebook ads tool that helps you create, optimize, and analyze your ad campaigns. The best part about the tool is its analytical abilities. While your campaigns run, you can monitor them along with key metrics on a customizable dashboard. Coolest of all, AdEspresso’s own algorithm will give you optimization tips based on a campaign’s performance, eliminating the guesswork and analytical work on your end.

Adroll

Adroll assists you in retargeting your ads on Facebook. Retargeting works like this: Someone visits your website but leaves without taking the action you desired. While using Facebook, they see a retargeted ad on their newsfeed, asking them to take that desired action. They click on the ad and return to your website to take the action. Adroll makes this whole retargeting process easy for you.

Top Facebook Lead Generation Companies

Facebook lead generation companies will help you create and enact the Facebook marketing strategies we have discussed above, whether that is through creating and posting content or through creating and optimizing paid ads. When first interacting with these companies, you can expect the following:

  1. An Introductory Meeting: They will ask you about your objectives, business, and audience to see if it is a good fit. During these discussions, it’s critical to be vocal about what is important to you. 
  2. In-Depth Research and Plan Creation: Once they understand your needs, they will do in-depth research and come back to you with a marketing campaign.
  3. Start of the Campaign: If you are both a good fit, the agency will give you a contract, which will include expectations, the business plan, and a time frame. Then they will introduce you to your account manager, who will ask for access to your website, Facebook page, login codes, etc.

Here are three of the best Facebook lead generation companies:

Voy Media

Voy Media is a great Facebook advertising agency for those looking to purchase their services a la carte. They have helped Google, Salesforce, Mint, and Shark Tank. They say that they speak the language of the internet, create scroll-stopping images, and write thought-provoking copy. They also claim to have helped businesses boost sales from seven to eight figures in just one month. However, you must have a $4,500 budget to use for your advertising.

Voy Media pricing
Voy Media pricing (03/03/21)

Hibu

Hibu is a digital marketing agency designed for small- and medium-sized businesses and is a one-stop-shop for all of your Facebook lead generation needs. They’ll set up your business’s page, consistently post content, and create and run effective ads. Its Facebook advertising services start at $250 a month and come with a dedicated digital specialist who can create an effective social media plan for your brand.

Hibu value offering
Hibu value offering

Lyfe Marketing

Lyfe Marketing is a small social media marketing agency that caters to smaller businesses with smaller advertising budgets. They offer very customized Facebook lead generation plans and also help you improve your existing campaigns. They also assign you a personal account manager. So, if you prefer a close relationship with your vendor, this is a great option for you.

Lyfe Marketing Pricing
Lyfe Marketing pricing (03/03/21)

Benefits of Facebook Lead Generation

Currently, there are 1.6 billion people connected to a small business on Facebook. It is a great place to build a brand, spread that brand’s reach, and turn users into raving fans of your company. Here are some other benefits of Facebook lead generation.

  • Reach a Wide Audience: Not only are there a lot of people on the network, but there are also many different demographics. That means you can find customers who you might be unable to find through other marketing channels. 
  • Build a Fan Club: Through running a private Facebook group and posting from your business page, you can cultivate an audience that looks forward to seeing your brand’s name and content. 
  • Use Psychographic Targeting: With Facebook’s ad functionality, you can target ads based on interests, hobbies, life events, and more. This can be far more effective than simply targeting by demographics. 
  • Collect Lead Information Directly on the Platform: Facebook lead ads allow you to easily capture lead information, such as email addresses, right on the platform. 
  • Drive Traffic to Your Website: Easily drive traffic to your website by running Facebook ads or posting content.

Bottom Line​

Facebook lead generation can be done using free strategies that focus on building interest and buzz around your brands. You can also use paid strategies, such as ads, to drive people to your website and landing pages. A strategy that employs both free and paid tactics will deliver the best results, but you can also see success by choosing these methods a la carte. The more time and money you put into Facebook lead generation, the more leads you will find.

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