The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Lead Generation

At Driftrock, we’re lucky enough to have worked with some of the worlds leading brands on their social advertising campaigns; from international brands like BMW and Open University, to hundreds of automotive dealerships and realtors.
In this guide, we’ll share the secrets to lower cost, high converting leads from social advertising.


In this guide, we’ll share the secrets to low cost high converting leads from social advertising. Consider that 1 in every 4 minutes on mobile phones is spent on Facebook & Instagram. Not only is social advertising a critical channel to acquire leads from, it can also be used to increase your lead conversion rates through nurturing.

This guide is packed with practical tips, rather than big theories, so have your to-do list and notebook to hand! You should be able to put a few tips and tricks live today.

Have fun! 🤘


The old school definition of a lead conjures up images of a Wolf of Wall Street style hit-list, working through a book of leads, mindlessly throwing away people who don’t qualify in the trash. 

Social and mobile have transformed our lives and our relationships with brands. We’re time-poor and want quick solutions to problems. 

Lead generation becomes a critical way to connect with customers with a fleeting intent in your brand. To Driftrock a ‘lead’ is simply an invitation by the customer to start a conversation. We’re not talking about a sales hit-list here, but instead, a person who has chosen to share their contact details with you. It’s a chance to start a meaningful, long-term relationship with them and make it as easy as possible to buy from you. 

The best quality leads are ones where there is a clear and real value exchange for the customer that we’ve requested details from. 


Explore the Driftrock Lead Gen Library for 20+ high performing sources!


At Driftrock we’re lucky enough to have worked with amazing brands, across lots of verticals on their lead generation marketing. We’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t with social lead gen campaigns.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the difference between social lead generation and traditional channels like affiliate and search. In social, we’re interrupting someone talking to their friends or looking at pictures of cats 😺

This means that by its nature, with social advertising we will acquire people at all stages in their lifecycle and consideration process.

Top tips when planning your social lead generation process and strategy

1. Educate: Social lead gen ads usually require more education in the ad copy to ensure lead quality. Make sure you explain why they are filling  in the form.

2. Qualify: Ask qualifying questions in your lead form so that you can help serve the customer better.

3. Segment: Not everyone is ready to buy, so we need to quickly segment leads, and deliver the next best action for them.

4. Measure: We’re reaching people at different stages of consideration, so adjust your marketing
KPIs to take into account longer average purchase time from social leads as a result.

5. Nurture: New leads might have come across you for the first time with your social ads and might need additional nurturing through email, social and other channels.

ACQUISITION: Generate. more. Leads.

In this section, we focus on how to lower the cost per lead and increase lead volumes from social ads. 

Obviously, keep in mind how social affects other channels. In fact, when our clients run social lead generation activity, they see a boost in performance from all other channels like search, and both online and offline visits. 

We’ve packed this section with tips and tricks to decrease cost per lead, increase lead volume and lead quality. 

1. Lowering CPL with native lead gen forms. 
2. Gaming the algorithms to reduce your CPL. 
3. Tracking and optimising ads through to sale. 

ACQUISITION: Native lead gen formats

Facebook Lead Ads transformed lead generation on mobile phones, and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms do the same for business profiles.

If you’re not using these formats, then get started today, and you’ll smash your lead gen targets this month.Both formats make it laughably simple to fill out a form on mobile, to the point where people often don’t even remember they’ve filled out a form (more on why this is really important to consider later).

The net result is a reduction of cost per lead by over 50% with pretty much every client we’ve run lead ads campaigns with.


BMW saw a 56% reduction in CPL, with a 2.8X increase in the volume of leads generated. Bear in mind that BMW didn’t compromise the customer journey at all. They opted for a long-form, with lots of questions, and still saw great results.

ACQUISITION: Reducing cost per lead

As we often say to clients, Facebook and Google’s algorithms have taken the fun out of technical marketing! 

In the past, we spent days learning which customer segment performs best to optimise campaigns. 

Modern ad platforms have optimisation algorithms that make this practice almost redundant. Targeting a broad audience and letting the platforms work their machine learning magic 90% of the time generates the best results. As long as you setup your campaigns, pixels, and lead forms correctly, Facebook does the rest.

The tips on below, explain how

How to get Facebook oCPM algorithm to sing 

1. Actions per day - Ensure you have enough daily budget for 10+ leads in a 24 hour period. Facebook and other social media channels use a rolling 24 hour or 7-day window of data to optimise the audience you reach, so the more data the better. 

2. Budget tricks - If your budget doesn’t stretch far enough to get 10+ leads, try either acquiring leads higher up the funnel, or shortening the run time of your campaign (therefore squeezing your budget into fewer days). You don’t necessarily have to run ads the whole month! 

3. Engagement Audiences - Setup Engagement Audiences for people who have dropped off the form. It boosts volume ~40%. Life gets in the way when you’re filling out forms, so give people the chance to start again! 

4. Creative - Add ~3 ads to each Adset to give oCPM something to work with. 

5. Creative rotation - Over time, pause the worst performing ad, and replace it with a new creative. As customers get bored of the same ad creative, this ensures it stays fresh. Tell more of the story or tell it from a different angle each time. 

6. Campaign history - Try not to create new campaigns or adsets to keep the history with ad rotation instead. This only works if you’re getting good performance already of course.

ACQUISITION: Measurement

Measurement is the key to beating your competitors. If you understand the true value of your marketing you can afford to pay the maximum possible for auction you enter, beating off competitors. 

The biggest mistake brands make is optimising lead generation for cost per lead, not downstream sales. 

The beauty of lead generation is that by capturing the customer details upfront, we pretty much know for certain where that customer came from. It might then take us 6 to 12 months to convert into a purchase, but we can easily reference all the marketing touch-points along the way. 

To do this, you need to ensure you record a tracking code with every lead. This tracking code should either contain, or be able to reference the campaign, targeting and ad creative. With the tracking codes in your CRM, you can create reports showing which lead result in sales. 

Measuring each ad through to lead and then sales is time-consuming to do, as you’ll spend lots of time in excel processing data. It’s prone to human error too! 

At Driftrock we’ve built out-the-box downstream measurement into our technology. All you need to do is use Driftrock to sync your leads to your CRM, then pick the customer segment in you CRM that indicates a conversion, and you’re done. We’ll then provide you with a set of essential analysis and reporting ready to go. 

Book a Demo with us to learn more 

Increase lead quality

If you acquire the wrong leads, you’re wasting sales resources and time. 

When we talk about increasing lead quality, we’re not just talking lead qualification and filtering, we’re talking about increasing the percentage of leads that are high quality. In short, don’t just throw low quality leads in the bin, but instead, optimise your campaigns to find people you know you can service.

1. Why lead quality is so important. 
2. Tips for increasing lead quality from native lead forms.

Why optimise for lead quality?

We can’t understate how important optimising for lead quality is. It’s the difference between a successful lead gen campaign, and an unprofitable one. It’s critical you measure campaigns, adsets and ads through to sales to measure ROI. If not sales, then at least optimise to a quality lead rather than all leads with some simple lead qualification scoring or segments. 

Take this example: You might have two Ad Sets live. You have a budget of $1000 per Adset. Adset A gets you CPLs of $50, and Adset B $75. Adset A converts at 20% and Adset B, 45%. You make $200 per sale. So your Return on Ad Spend to sales is 0.8 (a loss) with Adset A 1.2 (profit) with Adset B

How to increase lead quality

Here are a few top tips from working with our clients, across lots of verticals:

You can read more about lead quality and techniques to analyse and optimise for lead quality in our Social Media Lead Quality Guide or download the Social Media Lead Generartion Cheat Sheet by filling in the banner form!

Convert more leads

Now you’ve worked hard to acquire all these high-quality leads, it's all about converting to purchase.

We’re not going to talk sales strategy, but instead, how we extend the marketing funnel to help nurture customers through to sales. In this section, we’ll cover our playbook for converting more leads. 

1. Segmentation and journey mapping. 
2. Next best action. 
3. Multi-channel nurturing. 

CONVERSION: Segmentation and journeys

You have a huge amount of data at your fingertips with your lead gen campaigns, that you can put to use right away to increase lead conversion. 

Every question you ask is a potential opportunity to segment and score your leads. For example, for automotive clients we always recommend adding “When are you looking to buy”. 

It’s a simple question that allows us to create segments of customers who are ‘in-market’ now to buy a car vs people planning to. We can therefore plan and communicate with each of these segments in different ways to increase conversion rates and response times. 

Find some wall space in your office, and start mapping out all the key customer segments you have into journeys. This allows you to start planning how you communicate to each, depending on the stage they are at in the funnel. 

CONVERSION: Next best action

Now you’ve mapped out your segments and customer journeys, it’s time to start planning how to best communicate with each. 

Remember that the faster you respond, the higher the conversion rate. In an MIT study, they found that responding in the first hour increases conversion by 7X. 

If someone is urgently trying to buy your product, put them on top of the list, opposed to someone that is just browsing. Know when to give them space. 

CONVERSION: Multi-channel nurturing

Although I’m sure you have an email nurturing program in place for your leads, this only covers half the story. 

Consider that 1 in 4 minutes on mobile are spent on Facebook & Instagram, so nurturing your leads on social is critical to maximise your chance for conversion. 

In fact, our clients usually see a 50%+ boost in conversion, and a 3X increase in reach of their email campaigns when extending to social platforms.

Driftrock can be used to sync your segments back into social ads platforms, from your email system or CRM, where you can advertise new messages to them.


If you take away 8 things from this guide to optimise your lead generation process, here they are! 

1. Re-define how you think of Lead Generation to include formats like Messenger Conversations. It’s simply an invitation to connect between a brand and customer. 
2. Start using native lead formats like Facebook Lead Ads, LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, TikTok Lead Gen forms immediately if you haven’t already. 
3. Aim for 10+ leads per day from your campaigns to get the algorithm to sing. 
4. Measure everything! Ensure you’re tracking ads through to sales so you can optimise for the things that matter. 
5. Increase lead quality through a clear value exchange, educating the prospect, and asking the right questions. 
6. Analyse your campaigns, adsets and ads for lead quality using our techniques. 
7. Segment and map out user journeys to plan the ‘next best action’. 
8. Ensure you nurture leads everywhere they hang out, not just email to maximise conversion rates. 


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