For law firms, using Facebook to promote your firm is good business. The success of Facebook in reaching a truly global audience, makes it one of the world’s more powerful media vehicles. Facebook has over one billion users. A whopping 128 million people login every day from the U.S. Sure, Facebook is indiscriminate in its most broad sense, but it also has the capacity to deliver highly targeted results. From an efficiency perspective, it’s hard to beat Facebook.
People hire lawyers because they need someone they can trust. They need to know that your law firm has the expertise and experience they need. Facebook is a great way to communicate your firm’s brand and to build trust and authority. But if you’re like most lawyers or law firm marketing managers, making connections and getting new clients on Facebook isn’t as easy it may seem. Following are some marketing tips to help lawyers maximize the power of Facebook.
Experience has shown me that most lawyers fall into one of two categories when it comes to social media. Either you love social media, use it yourself and believe it can help your firm, or you shun social media, thinking it is a waste of time, used mostly by the bored or the unemployed…and you see no value in promoting your law firm via social media. If you’re one of the latter, it’s time to update your thinking.
Most law firms have Facebook pages, but they are rarely used, almost never populated with valuable content and have so few followers that it doesn’t warrant the investment of time to keep up with maintaining it. Facebook has the power to grow your law practice, but it requires dedication, innovation, investment and patience.
1 | Get Likes
If you want people to see your posts, you have to get people to “like” your Facebook page. Only people who “like” your Facebook page will actually see your posts in their news feeds. So, if you only have 150 “likes” your total market reach is limited to these 150 people. By increasing page likes, you increase the size of your potential market reach. The more likes a page has, the more people you can reach. Facebook marketing is a lot like a high school popularity contest. The number of people that “like” you helps people determine your value. Companies with very few “likes” appear unpopular or uninteresting. Companies with tens of thousands of likes appear more credible and interesting.
How to get more likes? It all starts at the top. If you want your attorneys to be involved in social media, the partners at the top have to get involved as well. You would be amazed at the network of potential followers that you can develop if you only motivate every attorney and employee at your firm to invite their friends and colleagues to follow your law firm page.
2 | Pay for Facebook Ads
You can increase the reach of your posts by paying for Facebook advertising as well. Spending time and money, building up your page likes is a critical way to increase the reach of your social media messages. The best long-term method for securing interested followers is to share good quality, interesting, valuable content. This will help you build an organic following that values your firm and your message. But unless you have a marketing firm helping with social media messaging and strategy, it can often take more time and hard work than most lawyers can afford. To get more likes quickly, it’s helpful to invest in a Facebook ad campaign. Most campaigns are low-cost and provide a decent return on your investment. Obviously, the more you spend, the better your results will be.
If you just want a large quantity of likes to improve your online value perception, a Facebook ad campaign targeted to places like India can help you rack up hundreds or even thousands of new followers for pennies a piece. Remember, those “fake likes” won’t help you get more business, but they will make your page appear more popular.
Why do this? Once you have achieved a few thousand followers on your page, you’ll discover that your page will start to attract more legitimate followers who are drawn to your popularity and credibility. Then it’s up to you to keep them interested with valuable, worthwhile content on a daily basis.
3 | Post Daily…Sometimes More
In order to connect with your base of followers, it’s important to share valuable content with your followers every day. One or two posts every day is critical for showing your followers that your Facebook page is a priority. You can’t expect them to pay attention if you don’t seem to care. If you can’t dedicate the time you need to maintaining a daily Facebook posting schedule, we recommend hiring a marketing agency that understands the legal industry and how to keep followers engaged. We also recommend the use of a social media scheduling software that allows law firms to schedule social media posts for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn all at the same time.
4 | Post Quality Content
If you want to attract more followers or simply keep the ones you have interested and engaged, you need to develop quality content that answers important questions or discusses important topics. It can’t and shouldn’t only be about self-promotion. Like those conversations with self-involved people that only talk about themselves, we tend to disregard social media pages that are consistently self-congratulatory. It’s ok to talk about successes and the great things happening at your firm, but make sure that every post is written to connect with your audience, to motivate website visits or to raise important social, political, legal, business or otherwise thoughtful questions. It is highly recommended that you post important, original content on your company website and then link to the content from your Facebook or social media page. This allows your website to house the content, which will improve your website SEO. Posting links to this website-based content will allow followers to view this content on your company website, further building your brand value.
5 | Blog It
The best content for law firms to post is content that speaks to your primary and secondary target audiences. Know your primary markets and create content that answers their questions and gives them value. A great way to build new followers and develop a strong referral network is through the development of a blog. We recommend starting a law firm blog where you write about common legal issues and answer questions that your clients frequently ask. Share every blog article on your social media pages and your followers will soon start to follow your blog and refer others as well. Great content is often shared by clients and legal professionals and can help develop a global follower network. When you put your followers first, they will reward you with their attention.
6 | Write Articles
Legal publications and websites are constantly seeking quality articles written by competent writers. Since I can only assume that as an attorney, you are also a good writer, it’s worthwhile to consider opportunities to submit quality articles to local, regional or even national and global publications that reach your target audiences. Determine your target market and find out the publications they read. Build relationships with these publications and submit articles for their consideration. If they don’t publish it, you can always post it on your blog. If you spend the time and energy to build these relationships, you will find that your articles may be published in credible newspapers, magazines and websites…which will build your personal brand and the brand of your firm by association. When these articles post online…share them via your Facebook and other social media pages.
7 | Promote Interesting Posts
Even if you have an important, well-written post on Facebook, many of your followers will never see it. How is this possible? Check the stats on any recent Facebook post. I bet that for most of your posts, only 1/3 of your Facebook friends are seeing your posts in their news feed. However, there is a solution. By promoting or “boosting” posts, the post may be seen by three times the number of people who have liked your Facebook page. Facebook is effectively limiting the number of people your business page can reach, which means that not all of your followers will see all of your posts. If you want all of your followers to see your posts, you will need to “boost” your posts to get your message in front of more people. Don’t boost every post. Only boost the ones that are really good and deserve more attention. Boosting allows you to target people based on age, location, interests, occupation, and more. You can effectively ensure that your post is seen by your target clients for much less than similar advertising on Google AdWords.
8 | Images are Important
Just including a photo in your post will increase the number of likes by up to 53%. As most people scroll through mundane posts, the good images catch people’s eyes and draw their attention to your post. Find good images to include with your posts. They can be photos, graphics or even charts…as long as they are relevant to your post.
9 | Learn from Insights
Facebook has a wealth of data about user habits, outlining what works and what doesn’t. Click on the “Insights” tab on your business page, and you’ll see:
Knowing this important information is critical to helping you continue to target and deliver the right message to your target markets. You can use this information to make critical changes or to fine tune your efforts.
10 | Re-target Your Website Visitors
Have you ever gone to a website once and then left the page only to find that the company’s digital ads follow you wherever you are online? This is called retargeting and it is one of the most powerful advertising tactics for driving user engagement. Here’s how it works. When someone visits your website, a cookie will be stored in their browser. This cookie allows you to display your ads on other pages they visit, allowing you to “retarget” them by following their movements and continually displaying your advertising.
Yes, I agree, it sounds a bit nefarious, but it works. Retargeted ads outperform regular display ads, increasing the likelihood that a past visitor will return to your website by an average of 726%. You can retarget a Facebook follower who recently visited your website, increasing the chances that they’ll like your Facebook page too. Once they like your page, the rest is up to you!
Remember that Facebook marketing, like any marketing campaign is a long-term strategy. It’s unwise to expect overnight success. For those that are willing to invest and dedicate the time and resources to strong social media branding, the results can be powerful and profitable. For a free consultation on how to grow your law firm with results-driven marketing, contact the legal marketing experts at The Goodness Company.