Facebook lead generation: what UK businesses need to know

Alex Minchin
Alex Minchin

It turns out that, despite the negative press of late and the playground talk that Facebook is ‘for old people’, it is still the undefeated gorilla of the social media world. In the UK, we cannot help but consume content multiple times per day on this platform.

In this post, I will be sharing our tips for effective Facebook lead generation so that you can take your business all the way to the top.

Whether it’s to prove the concept of a new service, launch an entire business, or if you’re an established business looking for a new source of leads, this post will share how to generate leads on Facebook.

First, let’s take stock of where the platform is at right now.

Facebook statistics

As of the end of 2018, Facebook boasted over 2.32 billion monthly active users, highlighting just how much opportunity there is for businesses who are willing to invest.

It’s the beast that just keeps growing.

Number of Facebook Users Worldwide 2008-2019 Graph

Out of these, approximately 36.34 million people in the United Kingdom used Facebook as of April 2019, out of a population of 66.4 million.

“In 2018, the UK population reached 66.4 million people and migration remained the main driver to population growth. The structure of the UK’s population is changing: people living longer and having fewer children means the age structure is shifting towards later ages. The ways in which people live are also changing with cohabiting families the fastest-growing family type and more young adults living with their parents.”

Sarah Coates, Centre for Ageing and Demography, Office for National Statistics.

When we drill down into those numbers, we find that the highest number of Facebook users was found among 25 to 34 year olds – split evenly between women (5.6 million) and men (5.6 million) from data taken in January 2018. The older the people in an age group, the lower user numbers become.

Ipsos data shows that the group between 25 and 34 years of age has the largest share of use (of UK Facebook users) and the group between 45 and 54 has the smallest share. All respondents above 55 years of age were grouped together which distorted the data due to the sample size.

The study reports that, “nonetheless the trend is clear: use among the young but not among the youngest is most common and decreases with the age of the respondents group.”

So there we have it – a quick snapshot into the behemoth that is Facebook, and it’s UK ecosystem. The split is fairly even between male and females, and if you’re marketing to 25-34 year olds, you would be crazy to not be on here. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t opportunity within the 45-54 year old market – we’re still talking millions of engaged daily users.

Using Facebook for lead generation

Now that we’ve established that your customers are very likely to be on Facebook, let’s talk about Facebook lead generation strategies and tactics to help grow your business.

Before you start, you need to know what your goal is. How many leads do you need per day, week, month, or year?

Growth Calculator

You can use our free digital marketing ROI calculator to forecast your future revenue targets. Simply input a zero figure for ‘Average Monthly Traffic’ and ‘Average Monthly Conversion Rate %’, but make sure that you fill in your ‘Average Order Value’ and your sales team’s close rate from lead to sale.

Use the sliders to work out what revenue you want and the traffic and conversion goals that you need to hit to achieve it. Those are now your goals.

You can generate leads on Facebook using a number of strategies including:

  • Build a Facebook Page and post regularly
  • Build a Facebook Group and grow a community
  • Comment on other Facebook Groups and Pages, and help people with their questions
  • Run advertisements

The first few strategies on that list, and many others, can all be achieved free of any investment but time. If you really want to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level, though, you need to run advertisements on Facebook.

This is the focus of my post, and so you need to be prepared to invest in your business if it’s to be of any further value to you.

Why? Because Facebook delivers when it comes to return on investment from social channels:

Social Media ROI By Channel

I couldn’t find a more recent study unfortunately, but let’s make an assumption that it’s still true – after all, according to Statista, Facebook generated nearly $27 billion in ad revenue in 2016, but generated $16.6 billion in Q4 alone in 2018.

So far we’ve established:

  • What your traffic and conversion rate % goals are
  • That Facebook lead generation should be top of your list
  • That this post is for businesses willing to invest in advertising budget

Now let’s get into the meaty part – learning about the various options.

Facebook lead generation for marketers

There are a handful of options that Facebook presents us when it comes to generating leads:

Image ads

These are, you guessed it, ads that use images to capture attention. As visual beings, we humans are drawn to imagery, and this gives image ads a distinct advantage.

There are three types of image ads:

Single image ads
As the name suggests, these only include one image and are designed to drive awareness and interest from your potential customers. The advertising objectives you can use with them are Brand Awareness, Engagement, Reach and Store Traffic.

This format allows up to 10 more images or videos and with individual links for each of them if desired – perfect if you want to tell a bit more of a story, or drive promotions to various landing pages. They’re great for Brand Awareness, Conversions, Reach, Store Traffic and Traffic advertising objectives.

A collection displays a combination of products, and encourages users to shop by looking through a few items. These will be customised to the individual based on your targeting. Collections are a great strategy to use for sales and conversions, but not necessarily lead generation.

Video ads

It’s no secret that video has exploded. eMarketer reports that, “digital consumption in the UK, like elsewhere in the world, is growing. This year, adults will spend 5:16 (Hours:Minutes) on digital, a 13-minute increase from the year before, and that figure will grow to 5:27 next year. Within digital, we estimate that consumers will spend 3:32 on mobile.”

Here is what that growth prediction looks like following trailing momentum from previous years:

Videos capture our attention. And on Facebook, they autoplay, meaning that a user only has to scroll past your video in order to trigger it to play. This means that the first few seconds has to be engaging enough to hold their attention.

Not only this, but social video generates 12 times more shares than text and images combined.

When it comes to optimum results from Facebook Ads, video is your friend.

Ok let’s keep this moving…

Slideshow ads

In a way, this is almost the cheaper alternative to video ads, which can be costly to produce without any guarantee of ROI.

Slideshow ads let you combine; videos, images, text, and sound. This makes it ideal for storytelling and for guiding your user through a journey in the same way as you would on a video.

And lastly;

Instant Experience/Canvas

Facebook describes this feature as a: “full-screen, post-click experience that lets you bring your brand or products and services to life on mobile”.

Big statement – and they live up to it.

This format lets people browse images and videos of your products. It works well in combination with the formats we mentioned so far and supports the insane growth that Facebook has experienced with mobile over the past few years.

Ok, on to the steps that you need to take in order to get started with Facebook lead generation…

Step 1: Know your goals when it comes to generating leads on Facebook

Earlier in this post I linked you to our digital marketing ROI calculator. Whether or not you use this tool, it’s important to be clear on your goals before investing your hard earned money into Facebook Ads.

There are a handful of options that Facebook allows marketers to use.

Using Facebook’s lead generation option will allow you to capture the contact details from those people who might be interested in your services.

What’s even better is that this conversion type allows for A/B split testing, so that you can continuously test and optimise your ads.

Step 2: Identify your target audience

Facebook has hands down the best targeting options available online for businesses. And whilst there are millions of people in the UK using Facebook, the secret is to target small groups of highly defined audiences.

You can target very specific audiences, for example by education or income. Other targeting options include; age, location, gender, job title and much more. The options are HUGE.

Here is an example that targets people who are engaged, in the UK. Unfortunately the age range is weird – starting from 13 years old. But since I stole this person’s screenshot, we’ll let it slide:

Facebook Ad Targeting

You can see that 1.7 million people in the UK (on Facebook), matches that criteria. Nice.

Now we would want to drill down even further so that we’re not so broad that we’re blowing budget. Similarly, you want to allow the campaign to be broad enough so that Facebook’s AI can learn who works for your business.

Let the machine work for your business.

Step 3: Set your budget

Facebook allows you to set either an average Daily Budget or a Total Budget for the lifetime of the ad.

Facebook Ads budget screen

It’s very important to understand that this won’t always be 100% accurate, especially with daily budgets. Sometimes you’ll go over, and sometimes you’ll come under budget. Facebook determines when to show your ads, and sticks to your average (not absolute) budget.

You can also set the lifetime of the ad – with a start and end date. Or you can leave the ad to run indefinitely until you manually turn it off.

Here’s what Facebook say about budgets:

“We charge your account each time we deliver an ad to someone (even if that person doesn’t click or tap it). Keep a close eye on your ad as it’s running. If it’s not getting the results you’d like, you may want to edit it or start over with a brand new ad.”

You can always change your budget mid-way through a campaign, so go with something that allows you to compete, and that you’re comfortable with.

Step 4: Select your ad type

Now it’s time to select the right ad type from the options I outlined above. This will depend on your available skills in-house, or your budget to invest in asset creation.

Here are the specifications of each ad type to help you produce your assets:


  • Maximum length: 240 minutes
  • Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Description: 30 characters

Sound and captions are both optional. I would recommended that you include these features – for example Facebook videos autoplay without sound, placing more emphasis on the importance of text captions. If your video thumbnail has more than 20% text, it may not get the delivery rates desired due to Facebook’s algorithm.


  • File type: PNG or JPG
  • Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Resolution: 1200 x 628 pixels (minimum recommended)

Be sure to limit the text on your picture ads, as the same rule applies as with video – if text makes up more than 20% of your image ad, it will negatively impact deliverability.


  • Image width: 600 pixels (minimum)
  • Image height: 600 pixels (minimum)
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1%
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Text: 90 characters

Aspect ratio tolerance is a fancy term for working out image sizes. It’s worth referring to Facebook’s Developer help section to understand more about ad ratios.


  • # of cards: 2-10
  • Maximum video size: 4GB
  • Resolution recommendation: 1080 x 1080 pixels (minimum)
  • Link description: 20 characters

For a carousel to work really well, take some time to plan the storyboard. Staying loyal to Oxford, take this example from BMW Mini:

BMW Mini Facebook Carousel

Instant Experience/Canvas

  • Text: 125 characters
  • Minimum video length: 1 second
  • Maximum video length: 240 minutes
  • Bitrate: no limit (files smaller than 1GB)

Upload the highest possible resolution that you can and ensure that you mask the aspect ratio to 2:3 if using a taller vertical ad.

Done for you: Facebook lead generation

We’ve reached the end of this post, and I hope that you’ve walked away with some added knowledge and a dose of empowerment. Facebook is an incredible platform on which to promote your business, and there is no better time than right now to start.

If you’re hesitating because of a lack of skills or time, then strike up a conversation with us.

We’re proven social advertising specialists at driving highly-targeted traffic to key landing pages, or via experiences, to generate results.

? As a thank you for reading this post and taking action, we’re offering those who are eligible a gift – a complimentary 30-minute strategy call on Facebook lead generation for your business.

We normally charge for this service, and only have limited time to gift away, so we’ll need to make sure that you’re the right fit so that we can help you:

Here’s the criteria you need to meet to be eligible:

  • You must be a UK-based business with 3+ years trading and a defined audience
  • You must have a budget of £500+ to invest into Facebook each month, so that we can make appropriate recommendations

And that’s it! If you tick those boxes, then all you need to do now is to start up a conversation with us.

Alternatively you can head over to our Growth Calculator to calculate your revenue growth potential and to discover the two key objectives that you need to achieve to send your revenue skywards.

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