Facebook is an often-untapped gold mine for local service professionals and contractors (e.g., painters, plumbers, electricians, cleaning services, etc.) to get in front of prospects and generate new leads.
There are a lot of lead generation tactics you can implement on Facebook and many contractors feel overwhelmed or intimidated by all the tools and information.
As a contractor servicing a specific geographic location, you should focus on strategies that help you build a local audience in order to get the highest ROI for your time and efforts.
You might have heard that some business owners have spent a lot of money on Facebook advertising and got poor results. Don’t let that deter you from making use of this powerful marketing platform.
Placing ads is just one of the many things you can do to generate leads on Facebook. To fully leverage the power of the platform, you should make sure all the pieces are dialed in:
Create a Compelling Business Page
Your business page is the foundation of your company’s presence on Facebook, so make sure you’re presenting your brand in a client-attractive way.
Fill out as much of the information as possible and don’t forget to incorporate keywords in your “about” section and service descriptions. Include your phone number and address so potential clients know how to find you.
Prospects can message you via your business page. Make sure to respond in a timely manner – not only will you be more likely to get a new client from the inquiry but you’re also showing others that you’re responsive and take customer service seriously.
Add links to your website and relevant online reviews to the company profile – this will increase your credibility while helping search engines establish relationships between your Facebook page and online presence (e.g., website) to increase your search engine rankings.
Don’t forget to upload a logo (or a profile photo), a cover image, and a few photos to your business page. The photos don’t have to be anything “fancy” – ones showing you and your team in action or completed projects are often quite effective.
Last but not least, choose the appropriate category for your business page so you’ll have a better chance in appearing on search results. Typically, “local business” works well for many contractors.
Build a Following
Building a following on Facebook page can help you nurture an audience and increase the effectiveness of your advertising strategies in the long run.
If you have a list of current customers, you can invite them to “like” your page. Focus on getting followers who are likely to turn into clients – e.g., those who live in your local area and are homeowners.
You can also send personal messages to your happy clients to ask them to write a review on your page and share it with their friends and neighbors.
Create and Curate Engaging Content
Some contractors may shy away from using Facebook to market their businesses because they think their line of work isn’t “glamorous” or “interesting” enough for good social media posts.
However, with a bit of creativity, you can pique interest and engage your audience so you can build relationships and stay top of mind.
Social media is “social” – people go to Facebook to interact with friends or get entertained. They’re not there to hear your sales pitch. Make sure you’re sharing content that offers value and engages your audience.
Here are some ideas on the type of content you can post:
- Before and after photos of a project. You can highlight some of the challenges the client faced and what you did to solve the problem in the description.
- Videos showing your team in action (or doing something fun!)
- Links to informative blog posts to drive traffic to your website (don’t forget to add a lead capture mechanism on your site and a call-to-action in your content!)
- Links to useful resources related to your services. Keep in mind your goal is to offer value and build trust – not every post has to drive traffic to your website.
- Screenshots of positive online reviews from your happy customers.
- Open-ended questions to help you engage with and learn more about your target market (e.g., what’s your biggest concern when hiring a painter?)
Facebook posts with visual content can get more than twice the engagement than those without images. When you post a link, make sure an image is pulled from the post or to add one.
When you do a photo/image post, add your website address, lead magnet landing page URL, or a link to a special offer to the description.
Don’t forget to use appropriate hashtags so you can increase the chances that potential clients will find your posts in searches.
Promote Your Lead Magnet
Besides promoting special offers to attract prospects that need a contractor immediately, you can also share digital content, such as a PDF guide or how-to videos, to capture leads that are at the researching stage.
Collect the email addresses of these prospects with a sign-up form and send them valuable information or occasional offers via email to stay top of mind.
Whether you’re promoting a special offer or a piece of content to generate leads, there are many ways to increase your reach on Facebook:
- Use videos to promote your lead generation offer. Include the landing page URL in the post to make it easy for your audience to sign up.
- Post about your lead magnet once in a while and pin the post to the top of your business page so more visitors will see it.
- Add the landing page URL of your lead magnet to relevant image posts.
- Use a third-party coupon app or Facebook Offers Ads to promote an offer.
- Add a call-to-action button to your business page to direct visitors to sign up for your lead magnet. Update your cover photo and call-to-action periodically to keep the page fresh and interesting.
- Add an email sign up form to your business page. Many email service providers allow users to integrate signup form onto their Facebook page. The form will appear as a tab and prospects can join your list without leaving Facebook.
- If you are promoting a limited time special offer, you can create an event and invite your followers. Events are more visible than standard posts and Facebook is always adding new features to help businesses promote their events to reach a larger audience.
- Keep in mind that even though getting “likes” is great, your lead generation goal should focus on getting prospects onto your email list because Facebook “owns” your business page and your followers while you have complete control over your email list.
Run a Contest or Giveaway
People love contests and giveaways. Not only is it fun and engaging for your audience but it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about your market and drive traffic to your website.
Not to mention, you can add a viral component so those who have entered the contest will share it with their contacts (e.g., get 3 extra entries when they share the contest on social media).
Here are a few things to consider when putting together your contest or giveaway:
Determine your goal so you can structure the contest effectively: e.g., collecting email addresses of potential clients or get more followers for your Facebook page.
- Decide on a prize that’s relevant and valuable to your ideal clients to attract high-quality leads. For example, a free consultation or a product from another local business that’s complementary to your services – ideally the prize will be something relevant only to those in your local service area. For instance, offering a free iPad may get more sign-ups but many of those entries won’t be your ideal clients.
- Promote your contest by creating an attractive post and setting up a Facebook Event. Pin the post to the top of your business page to capture more attention.
- Share the contest on other social media platforms and with your email list.
- No matter how many times you have run a contest or giveaway, always double check Facebook’s latest rules to make sure your promotion doesn’t violate the latest policies.
Drive Traffic or Capture Leads With Facebook Ads
Whether you’re promoting your business page, posting a link, sharing a piece of visual content, promoting a lead magnet, or announcing a contest, you can use Facebook ads to reach more prospects.
Facebook offers advertisers highly sophisticated tools to hone in on audience targeting so you can get your message out to the right people in the right place at the right time to increase your ROI.
As a local service provider, you want to make sure your ads are only shown to people in the area that you serve.
In addition, take advantage of Facebook’s extremely specific targeting capability – e.g., you can show an ad to new homeowners in your area.
You can also import the email addresses of your past and current clients and create a “lookalike audience” to show ads to people who are more likely to be in your target market.
In addition, you can run “lead ads” with the specific goal of getting people to sign up for your offer.
No matter what kind of ads you’re running, you can increase their effectiveness by:
- Using attention-grabbing images or videos that are contextually relevant and consistent with your brand image.
- Leveraging the various ad formats available to suit your needs.
- Checking the latest guideline on image size to ensure that your ads will be shown on all the devices and placements of your choice.
- Avoiding images that are too busy or copy that’s too complicated. Keep everything simple so your main message stands out.
- Adding a touch of humor when appropriate – it makes your brand more relatable and memorable.
- Writing direct and actionable headlines and copy with a clear value proposition, a sense of urgency, and a strong call-to-action.
Track Your Metrics and Fine-Tune Your Tactics
The only way to know if your Facebook lead generation efforts are effective is to track each click to see if it’s converting.
When you advertise on Facebook, you can set up multiple ad sets and different ads for various audiences to A/B test the targeting, copy, images, ad formats, and more.
The Facebook Ad Managers provides advertisers with robust features to test and manage their campaigns. Make sure you select the correct ad type and implement the right tracking to accurately measure your results (e.g., put the tracking pixel on the right page to track conversion.)
For links and content that aren’t promoted through Facebook ads, you can use a URL shortening tool and UTM codes to track traffic source. For example, Google’s free URL Builder allows you to generate unique URLs with UTM codes and track your website traffic using Google Analytics.
Facebook is a great platform to help you gain visibility, engage with potential clients, and stay top of mind.
One of the best ways to use social media for lead generation is to build relationships with your followers by sharing valuable content, which helps position you as a trusted expert.
In addition, don’t forget to “show up” consistently – you build familiarity when your prospects and clients see your posts and interact with you regularly. They’d be more likely to contact you when they need a contractor.
However, using Facebook to generate leads isn’t without its challenges.
Facebook is always changing and it’s sometimes overwhelming for small business owners to keep up with all the updates.
That’s why in our Lead Generation service package, we make sure your Facebook business page is set up properly so you can easily leverage the platform to generate leads and get more clients.