lead_generation_on_facebookDespite a drop in organic reach, Facebook referrals have grown by 5.81 percentage points since December with 21.25% of the overall traffic sent to sites, according to an article posted on WebProNews. Facebook continues its reign as the top referrer among all social networks – and it continues to be a great source for lead generation.

The news that Facebook referrals continue to grow, despite the drop in organic reach, gives marketers the reassurance they need to continue using Facebook for lead generation; however, marketers must understand that effective lead generation depends heavily on the type of content they are using. Research shows that video content generates 12 times more engagement than plain text posts and photos generate twice as many likes and shares as text updates.

In addition to creating great social media content, the following 5 tips will help marketers effectively use Facebook for lead generation:

1. Use a company Facebook page, not your personal page. I recently spoke at a community papers conference where I learned that people are still using personal Facebook pages, instead of company pages, for marketing purposes. When asked what the difference was between the two, I replied “There’s marketing data available through your company page insights report that you won’t have access to if you’re using a personal page.” By using a company Facebook page, marketers have access to rich data that will tell them things like: who is in their community, what time their community members are most active on Facebook, and what types of content keeps their community members engaged. This is the kind of data marketers need to help them develop content that resonates with their audience.

2. Create a cover image designed to drive page visitors to a dedicated landing page. Marketers should spend some time developing a cover image that contains more than a logo and website URL. Consider adding a special code that can be used to purchase products or services. Marketers might also consider adding a small amount of text that asks page visitors to opt-in to a special newsletter that will deliver weekly deals to their inbox.

3. Develop a Facebook lead generation plan. A marketer’s Facebook lead generation plan is most likely part of a larger lead generation strategy for the entire organization. It’s important to develop a Facebook lead generation plan that includes: key organizational goals and objectives, the organization’s target audience, and content that will keep the organization’s social community engaged. Marketers should also collect data from their insights report that indicates when their community is online – and most engaged – and establish a content posting schedule based on that data.

4. Promote your posts. This feature is most useful when page owners promote content that is important, engaging and includes a call-to-action. Avoid promoting posts that fail to use a call-to-action and do not promote posts that lack a picture or a video. For additional tips on using the promoted post feature, take a look at How to Optimize Facebook Promoted Posts.

5. Measure your page performance. Facebook Insights is a very powerful measurement tool for marketers who want to track community interaction on a Facebook company page. This tool helps page owners track the effectiveness of their Facebook marketing strategy. By tracking the performance of a page’s content, marketers can use that data to develop future content. Facebook insights provide marketers with the best time of day to post, the best day of the week to post and the type of content that encourages the most engagement. Tracking the performance of content designed to generate leads is a great way for marketers to decide what works – and what does not work.

The five tips provided can help marketers generate leads on Facebook, even though organic reach has dropped. A solid plan that is executed well will result in highly targeted leads flowing in from your Facebook efforts. If you have any additional tips, please post them in the comments section.