It has become increasingly understood that having a Facebook presence for your business should be among the top things to be included in your 2011 online marketing efforts. The question is no longer why Facebook is a valid channel, but how to capture leads and generate a return on your investment (ROI).
Creating a loyal fan following within Facebook takes a lot of ongoing commitment, dedication, consistent engagement and strategy. Engaging fans to like your page by offering incentives, promotions or exclusive rewards is one of several ways to build your fan base. But the question that remains is: what do you do once you have your captive audience? Being able to capture fans’ email addresses, names and possibly phone numbers is a great way to get to better know your audience and build your database for other possible marketing efforts.
(Below is a screen shot of how you can capture your Facebook fan’s credentials)
The above custom Facebook tab has a lead generation form built into the design that allows you to easily capture your fan’s information. Building up and creating a Facebook fan base is step one, but it’s how you capitalize on your Facebook fan base and convert them into a sale that is key. Creating a custom Facebook tab that allows your fans to engage by asking questions as well as providing their contact information is great way to continue to build a relationship with your customer base outside of Facebook.
While there is no debating the fact that the internet has revolutionized the way that companies sell their products and services, it can also be proclaimed that websites have become incredible tools to funnel interested parties through on-site lead generation activities.
Whether the call to action is a webinar, whitepaper, pdf or just “request more info”, the fact remains that these are all inquiries, not sales transactions. With that in mind, it is essential that a game plan be put in place to evaluate the leads that come into the site, separate them by source, quality / potential, and follow up with them in a manner that is appropriate for each.
Some leads will require a telephone call, while others may just warrant an email. No matter what the strategy is, the important thing is to make sure that it is being implemented consistently and promptly. You should assume that if someone has reached out to you online, that they have reached out to your competitors as well, and if your response is lax, your likelihood of gaining the new client is significantly diminished.
Lastly, your strategy to tackle leads shouldn’t be stagnant. Evaluate whether what you are doing is working and tweak where appropriate.
I speak with many clients on a daily basis with lead generation sites. Clearly, the most integral component of a lead generation site is obtaining leads. This typically occurs through an online form, which should qualify the visitor as well as possible. For example: Which specific service is your visitor interested in learning more about?
One of the biggest mistakes I see (unfortunately way too often) is an online form that has an excessive number of fields, which can be downright overwhelming. This is bad enough; however, some forms take it a step further and require that all of the fields be filled out before visitors can click to submit the form. This is a huge no no. You want your form to be brief, user friendly and with as few required fields as possible. If you require too many fields, you may lose potential leads. Reason being, the average person will not take a liking to being forced to tell you their entire life story (I am exaggerating a bit here) in order to obtain the requested information.
So what should the required fields be? Well, every company is different and it depends on the specific action item you are asking your visitor to take. I can give you my 2 cents….With a Newsletter signup, the only requirement I would have is a valid email address. You can then reach out to thank the visitor for their interest and see if they would like to speak with someone from your organization in more detail. For a Whitepaper download, you will want to know which particular whitepaper they are interested in; a drop down menu usually achieves this task. On our Website, one of the action items is to request a Free Search Engine Visibility Report. In order for our team to complete the requested report, we must have a website. Therefore, that is field is a requirement.
I encourage you to take a look at your online forms. Are they clean and professional looking with as little required fields as possible? If the answer is no, now is the time to make some modifications to improve your overall intake of leads.