How lead generation works on social media

Amongst other platforms Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn utilise lead ads. These are highly customisable, native ads which allow users to fill out their information in a form without leaving the platform. A substantial advantage of this ad format is the reduction in drop off you might experience from users leaving the platform.

The main benefit of lead gen, however, doesn’t just lie within the ad format, but with the campaign objective itself i.e. the platform’s ability to identify the users within your target audience who are most likely to submit their details. This is achieved thanks to a powerful, data-driven algorithm which learns about your audience from their behaviour both on-site and within the platform.

Putting it into practice

Now that you know a bit about lead gen and how it works, here’s our top tips on how to implement it to get the most from your campaigns:

#1: Identify your audience

Targeting users who have an awareness of your brand prior to being served a lead ad is likely to be more effective. Be strategic and utilise lead gen where it is best placed in your consumer funnel.

#2: Don’t over complicate

If possible, use fewer form fields to reduce user drop off. If finding out a potential lead’s company name or home address isn’t essential at this touchpoint, don’t ask for it. Retain the quality information you currently need without losing potential customers due to an over-complicated form.

#3: Test

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. For some businesses, a simple name and number form is enough to drive high quality leads, but for other businesses the ease of form submission might reduce the quality. Bear in mind that optimising your forms is just as important as optimising your overall campaigns. Test a few options and go with the one that delivers the greatest ROI.

#4: Auto-population

It’s well known that advertisers have an increasingly finite time in which to engage customers. To help smooth out the lead submission process, you can pull in a user’s details from their online profiles and pre-populate the form. Cut down the time for the user and avoid typing errors or incorrect information. It’s a win-win!

#5: Make your intentions clear

The context card and customisable thank you screen (below) on Facebook provide a means to inform potential customers about the services or products you provide, and how sharing their information with you will benefit them. Make sure you also provide some context within the ad copy itself.

#6: Don’t forget about creative!

You’ve done it, you’ve got your form down to a T. But you are still not driving many leads? Check your click-through rate! You can have the best lead form in the world, but if your creative is rubbish, no one will click through and see it. Use these in tandem. You need good creative to get users to engage with the form, and you need a good form to get users to submit their details.

#7: It’s not just an acquisition tool!

Let’s say you offer workshops or training sessions. You’ve got a customer base and you know they are interested in your services. Lead gen is your friend! Here are two examples of how lead gen could help.

  • Ask customers which sessions they would like to attend (custom question, multiple choice answers)
  • Use the form as a feedback tool. What did they like about the workshop? What rating would they give it? What would they improve?

#8: Make of the most of your lead data

Once you acquire a sufficient number of leads, create pixel or form-based lookalike audiences to feed back into your prospective targeting and find users who are most similar to your existing customer base.

For example, if you have a customer list of 500 people who have booked a test drive for a new car, you can use that data to find similar people on the platform who are most likely to also be interested in booking a test drive. This is based on their demographics, interests and online behaviour. Lookalikes are a great way to scale your campaigns whilst maintaining a low cost-per-lead (CPL).

#9: Think holistically

How much is a lead worth to you? What is your conversion rate? All of these factors must be taken into consideration when setting a cost per lead target. Be realistic with your goals and the platform will be responsive too.

#10: Be patient!

Allow some time for the algorithm to learn about your audience before making changes to your lead form. When running a lead gen campaign for one of our clients, we saw CPL reduced by 57% over a 5-month period. Ensure an adequate learning phase occurs before making decisions, and don’t test too many variables at once or you’ll risk watering down your findings.

At this point you might be asking yourself: ‘What happens to a user if they open a lead form but don’t submit their details? They haven’t reached my website and so can’t be retargeted’. Maybe they need to do more research, or maybe they’re just not ready to hand over their details yet.

Well, Facebook’s got you covered. By utilising engagement audiences, you can create an audience of users who have opened your form but not submitted (handy for remarketing) or an audience of users who have submitted the form (useful for retention or exclusions from prospective targeting). In short, the possibilities are numerous, and each feature provides a way to more precisely reach the audiences you want when they are most receptive.

If your business relies on lead generation, then driving low-cost, high-quality leads through social should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy. But to guarantee success, you must follow up the leads effectively. If you’re quick and clever about it, you’re sure to topple the competition. Be dynamic and use the information users have given you to guide your conversation with them.

To help streamline the process, both Facebook and LinkedIn offer seamless CRM integration with multiple CRM system partners. Indeed, you could always download the leads directly, but by having CRM integration in place, you could be contacting potential customers within minutes of them submitting their details.

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