It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Well, at least in department stores, with fake plastic trees lining the aisles, and blinking lights strewn overhead. That also means that social platforms are rolling out their big ad updates for the festive push, and today, it’s Meta’s turn to announce a range of new ad updates for lead-based campaigns, in order to help you gather more direct contacts with your seasonal campaigns.

First off, Meta’s looking to help brands tap into the rising use of DMs, and WhatsApp specifically, by expanding its lead objective to Facebook and Instagram ads that click to start a WhatsApp chat. Select advertisers will also be able to add a Q&A flow in Ads Manager.

Meta lead gen ads update

Lead objective ads are already available for Messenger and Instagram Direct, and now, you’ll also be able to drive WhatsApp engagement from your promotions.

And another messaging ads update:

“Advertisers that choose to engage people through click to message ads on Instagram Direct can now offer people a coupon for completing the question-and-answer flow, and those discounts can be applied to their next purchase or service.”

Meta lead gen ads update

As noted, more people are now engaging in DMs, as opposed to posting in social apps, and as such, this is a good update to help brands align with this shift, and drive more direct connection with potential customers.

Meta’s also testing a new “Instant Form” ad format, which enables people select multiple businesses to submit information to at once.

Meta lead gen ads update

As per Meta:

“Imagine seeing an ad to sign up for a bridal hair trial. Once a person fills out the form, they are given the option to share their contact information to other businesses, for example a nail salon that may also be relevant. This means added convenience for people and for small businesses, more opportunities to be discovered by people who may be interested in your business.”

As you can see in the example, related businesses will seemingly pay to be listed in this related showcase. Which could be problematic, in that it won’t necessarily be the best or most popular businesses being displayed, but those who’ve paid for the privilege. But it could help to drive more queries for these brands, and maybe, that could end up being significant.

Meta’s also testing the ability for businesses to call potential customers through Facebook, with the processes showcasing their business name and info on screen.

Meta lead gen ads update

Yeah, I’m not sure this is going to be a big hit, given some 75% of Millennials hate phone calls. But maybe, for older audiences, this could be a good option to connect, though even then, I’m not sure that anyone really wants to be called via Facebook.

We’ll find out.

Meta’s also testing “full campaign automation for lead generation campaigns”, which will enable advertisers to use Meta’s evolving AI systems to essentially guide every element, including targeting, creative, placements and budget. It might take a while for brands to feel comfortable handing over all of these elements to AI, but if it works, I can imagine more will consider this over time.

Finally, Meta’s also testing a new option to generate instant forms for Facebook using existing content from an advertisers’ website.

These are some handy updates, which will no doubt play a part in many upcoming experiments, with a view to maximizing response from your Meta campaigns. And they could be hugely valuable, though as always, it depends on the campaign approach and strategy, as much as the execution here.

But then again, Meta will soon be able to automated the whole lead gen process for you, so you won’t even have to worry about that.

That still feels a way off, but it is getting closer every day.

You can read more about Meta’s latest lead generation campaign updates here.

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