Facebook pages for business

How to generate more leads from Facebook pages using free tools for business

The number of companies using Facebook as a platform for their online presence keeps growing. Small and medium sized businesses alone amounted to 40 million Facebook pages in April 2015, compared to 30M in June 2014.

At the same time, only 2 million of SMEs advertise actively on Facebook. Considering the fact that organic reach for posts by pages was declined last year, it looks like the rest 95% of companies are either finding alternative ways of reaching more people or keeping their Facebook pages just in case.

Apart from just posting updates, promoting posts and buying likes or clicks, a lot can be done to turn a company’s Facebook page into a lead generation booster. Using a few simple tools, it’s easier to achieve more specific goals and increase the effectiveness of your promo campaign.

Lead generation tools on Facebook pages for business
Facebook page lead generation tools

Call-to-action button

This agile tool allows to direct potential customers to any desired landing page right from a company’s Facebook timeline or any other page tab. After adding a call-to-action, it is displayed right of the Like button. Facebook provides 7 standard calls to action, any of which can be selected and edited anytime:

  1. Book Now – best to use for online event- or ticket reservation.
  2. Contact Us – link this call-to-action with the Contact us page on your website.
  3. Use App – promt your visitors to download a mobile app right away. Also shown when your app is listed in Facebook App Center and associated with the page.
  4. Play Game – this button is displayed on app pages of both canvas and mobile games listed in Facebook App Center. Optionally, it may be added to any other type of a Faceook page.
  5. Shop Now – send Facebook visitors right to your online store.
  6. Sign Up – perfect to grow your mailing list or take visitors to a campaign-specific landing page.
  7. Watch Video – drive more traffic to your YouTube channel or let your Facebook page visitors learn more about the product/service you’re promoting with video testimonials, guides and reviews. If you’re running a pre-launch promo campaign for your app, service or product, link the button with a video teaser.

Call-to-action buttons also work in Facebook’s mobile app and mobile web version. What is more important, it’s easy to figure out which call-to-action works best on your page with statistics for button clicks during the last 7 days.

Edit call-to-action button menu on a Facebook page
Edit call-to-action button menu on a Facebook page

Special offer custom page tab

Tabs are a wonderful tool to take your Facebook page to a new level. If you want to promote your special offer even more effectively on Facebook, you’ll definitely need to extend the limits of standard page tabs. Years ago, custom tabs used to be built with FBML (Facebook Markup Language). Now, displaying custom contet is carried out with the help of an iframe, which loads any web page developed and hosted outside of Facebook within a specific page tab. This works similar to a web app on Facebook and lets you use basically any functionality, any design elements you want. Read more about the process of creating custom page tabs in this tutorial.

Note that custom tabs will only work in the desktop version of Facebook. However, with tabs you are able to run very specific promo campaigns. Supposing, you’ve created a special offer landing page you’d like to direct visitors to and generate leads with (your landing page must have a contact/sign-up form). Here’s an idea how Facebook page tabs can be useful in this respect:

  1. Create a special offer tab displaying the content of your landing page.
  2. Go to Facebook Ads Manager and create a new ad campaign. Choose the objective for your campain: Promote your page.
    Promote your page - new Facebook ad campaign
  3. Set up targeting options for your audience, specify budget and scheduling, choose up to 6 images (see the Facebook Ads Guide). Then, expand the Advanced Options section and select the desired landing view. It allows you to set a specific page tab which will open after a person clicks on the ad. In this particular case, you’ll need to send people to your Special Offer tab:
    Select landing view for your Facebook ad
  4. In Ad preview and placements, remove the Mobile News Feed, as custom tabs on Facebook apply to the desktop version only. There’s no need to pay for irrelevant likes which will not follow the special offer tab clicks.
  5. Remove mobile news feed ads on Facebook in the new campaign menu

  6. Provided your campaign is optimized for likes (check the Budget & Pricing section in the new campaign menu), you’ll only pay when a person likes the page. But you won’t be charged for clicks on your ad, which happen more often than likes. Clicks will lead users to your custom tab where they can get detailed information regarding your offer and sign up if they’re interested. Even if an ad click doesn’t result into a page like, but the lead is submitted via the special offer tab, you will reach your business goal. This means that you can receive many of your leads from such type of an ad campaign for free.

Posting offers on the page timeline

Here’s another awesome tool to promote your unique proposal. An offer is a special post format which appears on the page timeline and in the user newsfeed. It can be created from pages for local business and places with at least 50 likes.

Offer created from a facebook page

There are pretty many ways to customize the offer. Facebook allows to add the following information:

  • Title;
  • Description;
  • Image;
  • Start & expiration dates;
  • Claims limit;
  • Online redemption link;
  • Terms and conditions.

Check out the Creating Offers Guide in Facebook Help Center.

Creating an offer menu on a Facebook page timeline

The best practice is to enable offer online redemption via the special offer landing page or online store. After a customer clicks on the Get Offer button, he or she receives an offer confirmation email. Customers’ details are not shared with the publisher, that’s why it’s necessary to provide them with a clear instruction how to redeem the offer, and prevent them from frustration. The easiest way to do this is to specify a link which they can follow to let you know they’d like to use the special.

Just like other types of posts, offers are displayed on both mobile and desktop. Besides, you can pin the offer to the top of the page timeline to give it more exposure. Then, any visitor that gets to your page will see the offer at once, whichever device type he or she is using.

Offers can be created not only from pages, but from Ads Manager as well. When creating a new ad campaign, it’s possible to use a special advertising format in order to get more people to claim your offer.

Get more people to claim your offer with Facebook ads

Optimizing the ad campaign for offer claims helps to increase its effeciveness for your business and save marketing costs. You won’t be charged for clicks which don’t produce leads.

Optimizing Facebook ads for offer claims

PHP web programming

Do-It-Yourself PHP Tool for Scraping and Grabbing Web Content

Hi folks. Today we will learn how to scrape data from websites using just a few lines of code with PHP.

First, a couple disclaimers:

Using this method you can parse just any HTML website, however, that is not always the best idea. For example, if you want to get data from YouTube or Twitter etc., you should look whether the site or the service doesn’t have an API for this sort of stuff.

If you want to learn more about modern API’s you can check this guide on CodeAcademy:
www.codecademy.com/en/tracks/youtube

or read more on Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_programming_interface

Since we are using PHP, you’ll need a web server to run a script. If you don’t have one, you can install a local server. You can get it here for free.

To scrap a webpage for data, we basically need to know an address of a webpage we want to look into and a specific part we want to grab.
If you are not familiar with the DOM, you can find out more about it on Wikipedia.

DOM – is a representation of an HTML page comprised of elements organized in a tree structure.

It looks like this:

PAGE:
Element a
Element b
      Element b1
      Element b2
Element c
Element d

So, the logic of our code looks like this: we need to grab the page by the address and then get the value of the Element b2 (bold), which is the child of the Element b.

In this article we will scrap the website called Product Hunt:
www.producthunt.com

If we look at this website, we’ll see that it contains ideas for products for three days (today, yesterday, the day before yesterday). Our task is to get three things from today’s list of ideas: idea name, idea tagline and the link to the product.

Let’s start coding. We will be using Goutte library, which you can download on GitHub.

Simply put the .phar file in your script folder and copy the script below:

<?php
//adding the library. you can use js.composer for that
require_once 'goutte.phar';
use Goutte\Client;
    $client = new Client();
    //getting the page and putting it into a $crawler object
    $crawler = $client->request('GET', 'http://www.producthunt.com');
    // the page has 3 divs with class="day". 
    we need to grab the first one(it would today's ideas)
    $x=$crawler->filter('.day')->first();

      //each day has 10 ideas. we need to grab each one's title,tagline,link
      $x->filter('li>div')->each(function ($node) {
      //$title = text value of a DOM elenent with a class="post-url"
      $title=$node->filter('.post-url')->text();
      $tagline=$node->filter('.post-tagline')->text();
      $link='http://www.producthunt.com'.$node->filter('.post-url')->attr('href');
      //printing the results
      echo $title;
      echo "|";
      echo $tagline;
      echo "|";
      echo $link;
      echo "<br>";
      });
?>

This is the result we are getting:

Web scraping php script result
Click on the image to enlarge

So, as you can see, it’s a very simple process, one that you can do even if you are not a programmer. Was this article useful? Maybe you have questions? Hit us in the comment section below.

P.S. To better understand how to access DOM elements and their values check the documentation on Symphony.com.

10 Dropbox Tricks for tech Geeks

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud file storage services online. By the way, it has surpassed 100 million users recently. Dropbox was one of the first services that allowed users to access files online, and it gained much popularity.

Though it’s safe and easy-to-use, free Dropbox have limited features. However, due to some handy tips and tricks one can extend Dropbox functionality and make user experience even more fun, easy, and advantageous:

  1. If you have a free Dropbox account, you can get around 500 mb more whenever you refer your friend to Dropbox and he/she signs up. Also, by just showcasing your love for Dropbox in your Twitter account will win you 125 mb more. Many a times, the Dropbox team announces new ways to win more space and gives out extra space for beta testing, for which one should keep a eye out for on their official forum.
  2. Apple users have always got irritated with the iTunes sync and its limitations, especially when users maintain different devices at different locations. Syncing iTunes in such situations can be difficult. However, Dropbox can easily sync your iTunes library from different Apple devices, and this gives you access to your library for easy sync.
  3. If you ever happen to delete important files in the heat of the moment, do not worry, Dropbox deletes the erased file only after 30 days. In the file browser, hit on the “show deleted files’, and there you are.
  4. With the help of mobile app of the Dropbox, you can save the videos and pictures taken from your mobile device directly into your Dropbox account. Just download the Dropbox mobile app and you’re ready to go. The next time you lose the phone, you’ll not have to regret the loss of memorable pictures and videos.
  5. Even if you do not have access to Dropbox, you can sign up at SendtoDropbox and send the files to a customized mail provided to you. Every time you send an attachment to that mail, the same file will appear in your Dropbox account. Pretty neat, right?
  6. For extra safety and security, you can enable the two-step verification in Dropbox, whenever you want to set it up on a new computer. It needs a code from your personal mobile to get through the process.
  7. You can even host a website with Dropbox, but you will need the help of other third party applications to get through the entire process.
  8. If you are running out of space, you can use the Selective Sync option in Dropbox to only share files from a particular folder to your computer.
  9. You can even backup your entire site with Dropbox, which is particularly useful if a lot of time, effort, and money has gone into developing your website.
  10. With the help of URL Droplet, you can easily download torrent files in your Dropbox. One can even download torrents to Dropbox remotely with the help of third party applications.

We hope you found these tips and tricks unique, easy, and helpful. Good luck!

Author information

Jeffrey Timpson

Jeffrey Timpson

Jeffrey Timpson is a Tech Analyst and editor of a popular magazine designermag.org and maintains a tech blog for tech savvy users and readers.

Via:: Inspirationfeed – Tech