Is Facebook the right place to engage with customers for your South African business?

When it comes to choosing which social media platform is best for generating leads, it may be difficult for you to decide which platforms are best suited to your needs. We often get asked whether Facebook is the right place. The answer is that it depends on where your customers are. If your customers are on Facebook, your business should be there too. And if you say something on Facebook that interests your customers, they will pay attention.

Facebook itself has reported that it has almost 12 million South African users (11.8m by June 2015 according to World Wide Worx. That’s roughly a quarter of our national population and certainly (according to SARS income tax statistics) the bulk of those who have a disposable income.

And here’s the thing: Facebook is an ideal tool for getting leads. Plus it’s highly affordable when compared to traditional forms of marketing and advertising.

Think of Facebook as a dinner party with family and friends. There are diverse and interesting conversations being discussed and everyone is participating – some are listening while others are talking. The discussions range from the latest restaurants to debates over the latest news events and more. Conversation is lively and relevant. If business talk does feature it’ll be mentioned in a candid and conversational manner. This is a good thing because it means the people who are listening to you are taking a real interest in your business and what you offer. You have their attention. They are leads just waiting to be converted into sales and even more importantly they are your ‘word-of-mouth’.

Use the dinner party approach when generating leads via Facebook by providing interesting content which will engage your audience. Would you hard sell your business to friends over dinner? No, you would catch up on the week and discuss things of mutual interest then casually mention your business offering at an appropriate time.

But the ‘casual mention’ is where casual ends on Facebook. Because to get the best results you need to be extremely smart and strategic. The best way to do this is by researching what is trending on social media and then find a clever way to introduce your brand into the trending topic and provide something of value.

So here are 5 ways to put Facebook to work and get leads:     

Content Content Content – Facebook is all about the conversations. People visit Facebook because they like to read interesting information, find out what others are doing and generally engage (or observe) in online discussions. This means that your content needs to be lively, well-written, strategically planned plus add value to your audiences’ lives. Never ever push your sales on Facebook. You can however drive people to a promotions page on your website using exciting calls-to-action.

Liking and Sharing – Every time you post something on Facebook think about its “like” and “share” value. In other words, make sure the content that you’re putting on Facebook is useful, interesting, fun, informative and worth sharing. More importantly, when it has been shared a number of times already, will it be easy for other Facebook users (and potential customers) to find their way back to your brand? Provide a logo with your phone number / web address or a link back to your website in your Facebook posts.

Advertising – It’s affordable and easy to do. It’s also something you have to do in order to generate leads. However, before you take the plunge and advertise on Facebook be sure you know your target market. One of the platform’s greatest features is that you can easily create your adverts, pinpoint your exact target market when placing the ads, plus you can decide on how much you’re willing to spend per advert (the costs are very reasonable). Make sure to include engaging content, enticing calls-to-action and links back to your website / blog in your Facebook ad.

Use Links – We’ve said it before in this article and we’ll say it again because it’s the most effective and convenient pathway back to your business. Providing links in your Facebook posts back to your blog or website is like providing the most accessible and efficient way for your potential clients to get to your company’s front door.

Brand your Memes and Other Visuals – If you’re going to post memes (a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., which is copied and spread rapidly on social media) and any other forms of visual content, do make sure that you attach your company name, web address and/or phone number to them. Be careful though not to make these details big and flashy as people often won’t share them then. Simply place your company’s details subtly in the corner or up the side of the image.

How to generate new leads on social media

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