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Lead generation on social can be a tricky puzzle to solve. Some marketers will say it’s not worth the struggle because of the perception that social leads are generally lower quality than other 3rd-party lead generation media buys. There are definitely unique struggles, such as the inability to guarantee lead volume, or limited form-fill questions, but the benefits from running lead gen on platforms like LinkedIn can far outweigh the hurdles.

LinkedIn has become the go-to place for industry news and thought leadership. The site, which caters to professionals, has a daily active user base that continues to grow. Best of all, the platform allows you to tap into their 1st-party data through advertising. Because of its professional focus, it does not deal with fraudulent accounts to the extent that so many other social platforms experience. This results in high-quality targeting pools based on actual career related data – something that other social platforms have yet to capture in volume. Lastly, LinkedIn lead gen forms auto-populate many form field sections based on the user’s profile information, which decreases the chances of lead completion being hindered by long forms.

Before you venture into the world of lead generation or decide to re-test this placement option on LinkedIn, read through the following best practices to set yourself up for success:

  1. Align with your sales to avoid dissonance over lead quality and determine which form fields are necessary to find synergy between marketing and sales. LinkedIn lead gen forms can only hold up to 7 form fields, but the recommended amount is 3-4 fields, so this step is very crucial.
  2. When thinking of lead generation, think of this: “If you wanted to ask someone out on a date, you would introduce yourself before asking for a phone number.” The same should apply to lead generation. Make sure you introduce your brand before you ask for information. The best approach for lead gen is to pair it with a brand awareness effort, retargeting users who have shown higher-funnel interest in your offerings.
  3. On LinkedIn, the user will be served a sponsored update in their news feed that will open to the lead gen form you’ve specified. There is opportunity to include a slightly more detailed summary of the offer in the lead gen form (160 characters), but this is often truncated on the platform, so users will be less likely to read this portion. Use the sponsored update text and headline to catch the user’s attention and communicate the added benefit they will receive from filling out this form. Be clear and succinct; this is another great opportunity to test different text variations to see what resonates best with your target audience.
  4. LinkedIn allows you to link your 3rd-party marketing automation platforms (such as Marketo, Eloqua, etc.), which will feed your leads from the platform directly into your system, offering a seamless experience for your internal teams. Many systems require at least one lead to be generated for the integration to stick, so work closely with your platform teams to categorize these leads to better track results and measure the user’s journey through a sales cycle.
  5. Content is key. Most lead gen forms lead to a piece of content afterwards (or can be used as a request for contact), and this can make or break your lead gen efforts. You should align the content with the user’s interests in your brand and clearly identify how this piece of content will add to their journey in your sales process.

Remember, social leads can be tricky, so testing is key. Small tweaks on copy, creative, and content pieces can easily shift performance, so be open to testing these different factors in your lead gen tests.