This is the second in my series about how lawyers use social media in comparison to how I think lawyers should use social media to leverage relationships and, most importantly, build friendships. Last time I talked about Twitter. This week I’ll talk about how I think lawyers should use Facebook. (And yes, I have gotten many clients from using Facebook. Some friends, some friends of friends and some strangers.)
There are 864 million users who visit Facebook daily, many of them multiple times. Despite Facebook’s massive size, I wasn’t a true believer in using it for my practice until recently. In the past, the pages of firms I saw on Facebook looked like ghost towns instead of thriving, bustling hubs of interaction and engagement. I didn’t see the point in just having a page for the sake of having a page.
In fact, I thought it would devalue my brand if I had a dormant account: potential customers would see the lack of interaction on the page and assume I was not practicing much. Even reputable sources deemed the Facebook law firm page “lame” and recommended that, if I had one, I should delete it.
But the magic in Facebook is in the relatively cheap and precise targeting. As a lawyer, you can make sure your message is getting in front of that general counsel, that person in a car accident, that person who has the business issue, etc. It used to be you might have to pay for a billboard or flyers and hope someone that is in our target market would see your message. Not anymore.
Facebook a year or so ago cut off the organic reach from pages, meaning something posted there might never be seen by a wide audience. To make sure your fans see the post you have to now pay ads for them to see the post. Ads are less expensive if directed at your preexisting fans. Ads are more expensive if they are directed at a different segment.
So, if you are hesitant to spend at least $25 or more per month on your Facebook page, then don’t set one up. No one consistently visits Facebook pages. When users are active, they are active in their news feed, seeing what Mother Facebook deems as the most relevant to them, not in visiting pages. The Facebook news feed, much like the Google search page, are the front pages of the Internet. That’s where you want your practice.
Now, let’s talk best practices.
Facebook page fans
Growing your fan-base is arguably important but you really do not need many fans to precisely target a particular segment or to target your potential client’s news feed ads.
Wow your potential fans with a Facebook cover photo on your page and a professional picture of yourself. You should shoot for a well designed cover photo that instantly tells your fans who you are. The cover photo should be 851 pixels by 315 pixels. You can easily design a cover photo using the Canva app. You can include calls to action on your cover photo if that is what you are going for.
Move your Facebook friends to your firm’s page by linking your firm’s page to your personal page. Your personal page should tell your friends where your business page is.
Targeting your ads
First target your own fans and their friends for the best value in your advertising.
Then, use the search box at the top part of Facebook. Put in this exact search: “Pages liked by fans of ‘[any page you want].’” So, if you’re trying to reach readers of The Daily Record, you would enter, “Pages liked by fans of ‘The Daily Record.'”
Run ads targeted to fans of these pages.
Where to put the ads
As mentioned above, I would recommend putting the ads in the newsfeed because it is more natural there and is more likely to be engaged with as opposed to the sidebar location on the right.
Content of ads
Since I would recommend putting your ads into the news feed, the content should be welcomed there.
- Make sure that the ad isn’t overt sales pitch or else it won’t be accepted by Facebook.
- Create content that others want to share. Make sure the post joins in on the social aspect of Facebook and that it doesn’t interrupt the conversation.
- Show your authentic self.
- Add photos. Posts that have pictures get the most interaction. Use the aforementioned Canva app for this.
- Show the behind the scenes at your firm. People want to do business with real, likable people.
I need to do a better job of practicing everything I preach. I have used some of these techniques with success and have gotten new clients from Facebook. Remember, people on your page can message you a question or interact directly with you. Be responsive and take this engagement seriously. It’s worth putting some time into social media as opposed to your website. Be where your clients are!