With more than three billion (with a “b”) monthly active users worldwide, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform. With more than 10 million advertisers, it is one of the most popular social media advertising platforms. Recently, with more social media channels gaining in popularity and marketers facing even more pressure to generate leads, Meta has launched new lead-generation tools and features for its platforms, including Facebook.
The company says these new features will offer advertisers more convenience by using AI to fully automate lead generation campaigns and by easily integrating with specific CRM platforms. In addition, it’s making it easier for consumers and businesses on Facebook to connect via chat or phone.
Generating leads through Facebook ads isn’t new, but the timing of these new features is interesting. As TCPA lawsuit filings are up, and as the future of lead generators remains in question, pending the FCC’s ruling on contact consent, will the social media channel become the new face of lead generation?
Facebook as a Lead Generator
Many advertisers run ads on Facebook to create brand or product awareness. Lead generation falls into the next category, which is a consideration. This is when the consumer is trying to learn more about your business and your products and services, so your goal is to be top-of-mind when they are ready to buy or convert.
There are several benefits to generating leads on Facebook, including:
Targeted leads. Yes, there are billions of Facebook users, but not all of them are the best fit for your business. You can target your audience by location, age, gender, interests, online activity, and more. You can even create lookalike targets based on your current or ideal customers.
Conversion channel options. Facebook makes it easy for users interested in your products or services to contact you while also providing advertisers with methods that work best for their objective. Want to collect contact information? Direct users to your website or an instant form. Want customers to be able to interact with you right away? Choose click-to-Messenger, click-to-call, or the option to download your app.
Mobile-friendly. The average person spends 35 minutes a day on Facebook, and most do so on a mobile device. You can reach users where they are—physically, digitally, and in the buying process—and they can easily complete a form or click to contact your business.
Fresh leads. If you buy leads, you have no idea when the contact information was collected or how many of your competitors have bought the same list. When you generate your own leads on Facebook, you know that the user has a specific interest in your products and services, and the contact information is likely current.
Lower cost per lead. Marketers try to squeeze as much as possible out of their ad dollars, and Facebook offers a lower cost per lead than other channels. For example, one report indicates the average cost per Facebook lead in the finance industry is $41, while the overall industry average can be as high as $272. Your actual cost per lead will vary depending on several factors, such as industry, target audience, competition, and price of products or services.
Look Before Making the Facebook Lead Generation Leap
On the surface, it appears Facebook has made things easier and more economical than more traditional lead generation tactics while helping build your first-party data, which is crucial as third-party cookies are set to crumble. However, as with any online campaign, digital advertisers should proceed with awareness and caution. For some of the pros, there are also cons, such as:
Low cost, low quality. The very convenience that Facebook lead generation tools provide can set your campaign up for low-quality leads, and low-quality leads mean low conversion rates. Advertisers can improve the quality of their Facebook leads by adding some friction to the process. That sounds counterintuitive, but asking more questions and using high-intent lead forms over instant forms can better qualify leads so you aren’t wasting time and effort.
Fake accounts, fake leads. Despite ongoing efforts to find and delete fake accounts, it is estimated that as much as five percent of Facebook accounts are fake. That may not sound so bad, but that’s 150 million fake accounts by our math. If those fake accounts click on your ads, you’ll pay for them, driving up your cost-per-lead while decreasing your campaign effectiveness.
Hacked accounts. Social media account takeover is very real. The Identity Theft Resource Center reports four times as many inquiries about hacked accounts in 2022 as compared to 2021. Leads from hacked accounts can cost you much more than the dollars wasted on fake leads. If a hacker provides real contact information, and you call that number and a real human answers, you have committed a TCPA violation, which can lead to a lawsuit and significant fines. It doesn’t matter that the hacker “consented” to the form; the information they provided was stolen, and the person it belonged to did not fill out the form and provide consent.
Ad Fraud Detection Is Your Friend
There is likely no single lead generation tool that will effectively reach your target audience; you need a complete lead generation strategy to meet your business objectives. Facebook certainly can be a cost-effective way to generate leads. Still, you should enlist the help of an ad fraud detection and prevention friend to protect the integrity of your campaign and your brand and prevent what could be significant financial losses.
Anura has a solution designed specifically to ensure your ads are displayed in front of real people, not bots or fake accounts, on Facebook and other social platforms. Our Search and Social ProtectTM solution seamlessly integrates with social platforms. It utilizes advanced algorithms, including machine learning and AI, to identify fake accounts and make sure your ads are hidden from fraudsters. They can’t click on fake ads they can’t see, so you won’t waste money on fraudulent clicks. And since they are stopped before they can click, you don’t have to spend time and effort requesting refunds. In addition, since only real people will see your ads and fill out your lead forms, your marketing ROI will increase.
Meta knows that fake and hacked Facebook accounts exist and that invalid or fraudulent clicks occur at advertisers’ expense; they take these issues seriously and try to prevent as much fraudulent activity as possible. Facebook has achieved the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) Certified Against Fraud and Brand Safety Certified seals. TAG-certified seals are awarded to companies that have received independent validation by a third-party auditor and demonstrate meeting certain category requirements.
Even so, just as you rely on more than one lead generation strategy to reach your marketing goals, you can’t rely solely on a platform that depends on ad revenue to protect your marketing campaigns. Anura adds a proven line of defense and is also TAG Certified Against Fraud. The more certified channels you have on your side, the better protected you are from invalid traffic that can lead to fraudulent clicks and leads.
When you’re not seeing the lead generation results you’re hoping for, whether through Facebook or any other channel, you most likely have ad fraud. Find out with Anura’s free, 15-day fully functional trial.