Getting the Most From Facebook Trial Recruitment

Even before the pandemic, leveraging Facebook was a best practice for clinical research recruitment. The power to target a wide yet specific audience, relatively low costs, and ability to track analytics are all reasons that Facebook quickly became a tool-of-choice for prospective patient engagement. Covid-19 has significantly shifted the public’s online habits, specifically related to how they use social media. Consider that US adults spend an average of 35 minutes per day on Facebook and that the site has 1.8 billion daily active users. These figures, coupled with people’s increased desire to stay home, show why Facebook should be used by every clinical research trial recruiter. 

That said, it’s often challenging for clinical research trial staff to understand which type of Facebook ads best align with their recruitment goals or staff’s technical capabilities. Here is a simple chart to help your team evaluate how to best leverage this powerful recruitment tool:

Ad TypeProsCons

Lead Ad

The most simple type of Facebook advertising, leveraging a single image and short copy to drive leads from Facebook members
Easy set-up
Pre-filled contact info
Most leads
Lowest quality leads
Limited exclusion criteria
Follow-up time

Ad to Landing Page

A Facebook ad that directs visitors to visit a separate webpage (i.e., “landing page”) where they learn about the trial and sign up for information
Simple form submission
Some exclusion criteria
Good amount of leads
Requires web work
Will lose some visitors
Follow-up time 

Ad to Pre-Screener

Directs visitors to a pre-screener page, this ad type is best used when you need early/specific inclusion and exclusion criteria
Highest quality leads
Multiple exclusion criteria
Lower follow-up time
Lowest amount of leads
May require IRB approval
Most input to set up

Check out our latest webinar, “Why and How You Should be Using Facebook Ads for Patient Recruitment During the Pandemic (and Beyond)” to learn more and see our CTMS in action.

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