Facebook is a potentially highly valuable asset for marketing leads. They make it quite streamlined to build communities and provides marketers with the tools to track progress and improve their campaigns. These qualities make Facebook lead generation a must-consider digital marketing platform.
Among the community building tools available are Facebook Groups. Essentially member areas for like-minded people or users with a common interest to discuss and share opinions, Facebook Groups were initially designed to give friends and families a private space where they could do private group communication but they have expanded to be a powerful tool for Pages.
Businesses have since discovered the marketing advantages provided by Facebook Groups. They’ve found that a Group takes you closer and provides a more powerful way to build trust and loyalty with your ideal audience in a way that other Facebook features can’t, making it a potent lead generation tool. This has led to SMBs creating Groups to take advantage of these opportunities.
Some of the reasons that make Facebook Groups better than the open/public Facebook Pages include:
Groups are a lot more personal. Freely discuss topics with members. Engagement at a personal level is known to boost trust, increasing the potential for conversion. Pages are necessary and they are the “front yard” to the public so to speak, while Facebook Groups are the more private and intimate “backyard barbecue” setting.
Focused CTA drives
In a Group, administrators are allowed to pin a post at the top of the page where every visiting members can see it. You can place your CTA here for maximum visibility. Plus, Groups offer notification options to alert users to new posts that Pages do not have.
Focus on Value
Finally, a Group allows marketers to offer more focused content, thus providing members with greater value. Rather than casting your net wide in the hope of getting a few leads, provide in-depth content and share first-hand experiences for more rewarding engagements.
Looking to reap from your Facebook Groups? You’ll need email marketing software and a tested landing page. With these two in hand, implement the following four strategies;
1. Collect Emails with Opt-In Forms
You’ve probably used opt-in forms in other types of content marketing. Basically, you provide “gated” content where readers are required to provide an email address in order to get access to the content.
The same principle can be used to collect email addresses in Facebook groups, the only difference being that you may have to provide something other than reports, guides and e-books here. For instance, one Vector Design company is giving away 50 free vector images for t-shirt printing to members, but only after providing an email address.
Another more subtle option is to share a link to a blog, video, or other forms of content and “gate” that piece of content so that interested members are asked to provide an email address before accessing the content.
Importantly, you need to post these links frequently as well as vary your offers. Don’t just post one link to your blog and use it for the whole month. Instead, change your offers daily or every few days. You can provide a link to a blog today, post a different link to a contest tomorrow, and a link to an offer the day after. Consider using link shorteners such as Bitly and Sniply to shorten your links.
For increased posting efficiency, use scheduling software. Scheduling software allows you to automatically publish posts to various (or even multiple) social networks at a frequency of your choice. Proven options in this category include better known social media management tools as well as CoSchedule
We also recommend announcing your posts and tracking each post to monitor performance. To announce posts to every member of the group, after publishing your content, click the three dots at the top right corner of the post and from the drop-down menu, select Mark as Announcement. Tracking can be done using the above-mentioned scheduling tools.
Finally, Facebook makes it possible to promote your posts with paid ads. This can be another worthwhile investment considering that the network has lately been blocking users from seeing organic posts. In other words, your organic posts might not reach everyone. Using a Facebook Pixel, you can advertise your posts so everyone in the group gets to see them.
2. Generate Leads with Onboarding Questions
Facebook recently added a function that allows group administrators to create up to three questions for people requesting to join the group. The main purpose of this screening is to help admins accept only users who they feel would add value to their groups while locking out spam users ad trolls.
The first way you can leverage this function to generate leads is by using one of the questions to ask pending members to provide an email address. For instance, you can ask a blunt question such as: “Could you please provide your email address?” While this may not generate a lot of activity, you’ll undoubtedly get a return on your investment.
A better approach, however, is to ask a question that gets the prospective members to check their inbox and open your email. So, again, you may need a giveaway. Thus the user must provide their email address in order to access the giveaway.
For instance, you can ask the question: “Would you like a free trial?” Those who opt for the free trial are then asked to provide an email address.
The three questions are set in the “Ask Pending Members Questions” area in the Group settings menu. Simply click the More option in the top bar and select Edit Group Settings.
Don’t forget to set your Group to Closed. Facebook has three types of Groups; public, closed, and secret. With public groups, everyone can find the group and see who’s in it and what they post. You don’t want this. Secret groups also don’t work well here because only members can find these groups. You want as many people as possible to find your group, but only members to see who is in the group and what they post. This makes closed groups the ideal choice.
As you round off, you’ll also need to decide whether:
- Providing an email should be a prerequisite to joining your group, and
- Allowing members to approve join requests
For the first case, we recommend that you make email provision mandatory. This way, only users who are serious about the passions or objectives of the group will join, further enhancing your odds of conversion. As to whether members are allowed to approve join requests, we wouldn’t recommend it. If members are allowed to approve requests, they could approve users without capturing the emails you so much need. For this reason, only administrators should have this power.
The captured contacts can be manually transferred to your email list. Alternatively, there are a number of Chrome extensions that can help scrape this information for you. Do a Google search for “Group Ninja Chrome extension” and try out some of the solutions there.
3. Place a Lead Magnet on the Facebook Group Cover Image
Facebook allows admins to display a banner at the “doors” to the group, a banner that’s visible to everyone visiting the group. You can use this opportunity to collect even more emails.
You’ll need two things:
- A landing page
- A lead magnet
The landing page should be professionally designed and optimized for the job at hand. The good news is that you can now create effective landing pages fast without spending a dime using tools such as ClickFunnel. Alternatively, place an order on one of the Freelancing websites (UpWork, Freelancer, etc) to have a special landing page designed for your lead generation campaign. Designing a simple but professional landing page on these sites shouldn’t cost more than $50.
As for the lead magnet, your choice should be informed by the objectives of the campaign. According to Social media Examiner, a great lead magnet:
- Solves a problem, and
- Promises one quick win
If your group is made up of other digital marketers who’re trying to convert visitors to customers:
- The problem could be: visitors abandoning their site, never to return
- A quick win could be: converting those abandoning visitors into paying customers
Additionally, consider making your lead magnet specific, easy to digest, and instantly accessible. A specific lead magnet solves just one problem but solves it fully. A quick-to-digest lead magnet is presented in bite-size forms such as in bullet points or a checklist. To make the lead magnet instantly accessible, ensure that it can be reached or downloaded in the click of a button.
Regarding size, a 1640 x 856-pixel cover image works best. Small images might not be visible enough which can cost you leads. Extra large banners, meanwhile, may render poorly on mobile screens. This too can cost you leads.
To upload the banner, go to your group page and click the Change Group Cover button in the upper right corner. In the resulting dialog, click Upload Photo.
To get users to provide their emails, below the lead magnet, place a link to your landing page with a CTA encouraging users to click on the link. Anyone who clicks is then asked to provide an email address before they proceed.
4. Place a CTA in the Facebook Group Description
Finally, you can also place a link in the group description with great success. While not as visible as the cover image, one thing going for descriptions is that they are public and thus visible even to non-members; users don’t have to join the group to see the description.
As such, by placing a link in this section, you’re creating the opportunity to gather leads even from non-members. As with the cover image, don’t forget about a call to action. CTAs remind users that they have an opportunity to interact with you if they wish so.
There You Have It!
As you can see, these are simple tips that you can begin implementing right away, and with little to no investment. Just make sure to measure your progress and adjust your campaign as necessary for maximum reward.
Hero Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash