1) Your website sucks
Think of your website like a digital Mothership. Everything else you do online and offline directs people there. Facebook is neither your website nor your web presence. Facebook is where your law firm can share content that drives traffic back to its website. If your website design is stuck in 2004 or you went ‘low-budget’ on the redesign, you might want to reconsider having a Facebook presence at all. Setting up a law firm Facebook Page that drives traffic to an awful law firm website is a waste of time. Ask yourself: When someone visits your site, can they quickly find and navigate to your practice areas? Does the website have an obvious contact form or case evaluation sign up? Is the site optimized for the user as well as for search engines?
2) You don’t have a blog
A blog does not just serve as a powerful SEO tool, if you set up your editorial calendar correctly; a law firm website blog brings readers back to your site regularly, positions you as a voice of authority in your industry, and builds trust and a long-term relationship with your readers. Good blogs get shared across social channels, working as another referral system. Your blog posts can be shared on your law firm Facebook Page as content that drives users back to your own website, rather than to someone else’s news site or blog. If you do not have the website functionality available to add pages of content and/or regularly post blogs, you should change that.
3) You don’t capture email addresses
E-newsletters and e-mail marketing are not dead, and remain one of the most powerful tools in a legal marketer’s arsenal. Don’t restrict your email list to referral attorneys, legal industry vendors, and former clients. Provide your Facebook fans and website visitors the ability to subscribe to email updates. Unless your name is Mark Zuckerberg, you do not own your fans’ or followers’ contact info; and with Facebook fans seeing less and less (unpaid) updates from Pages, if you are not converting those fans to email subscribers, you are not capitalizing on the value of your Page’s fan base.
4) You are boring
While “Case Results” and “About Us” pages on law firm websites are often the most highly trafficked, exclusively posting about your firm’s legal victories and awards will not convert Facebook users and e-newsletter subscribers into brand evangelists or engaged consumers. An overwhelming majority of those looking for a lawyer research online before choosing one, and lawyers must ethically showcase case results and attorneys on their websites to be competitive. While this works well on a website, Facebook and e-newsletters are not a website. Offer value in your social and e-mail content. Facebook streams and inboxes are full of useless marketing. Cut through it with real content or your law firm risks becoming another Facebook black hole. Posts need to be consistently interesting and inventive, remaining on-brand without falling back on common sales-speak.
5) You don’t have a database or CRM tool
If you do not have a system in place to digitally file and track your relationships, you should not be on Facebook. If a former or existing client contacts you on Facebook, you need to record and respond to that communication. If a new lead contacts you through Facebook, you need to track and nurture that lead. If you do not have a database, CRM, or some sort of established intake system, you should not be on Facebook.
6) You don’t devote the time
If you are under the impression that just setting up a law firm Facebook page will open the floodgates to an Internet’s worth of leads, you should not be on Facebook. Facebook can be a powerful lead generator but not by just jumping online to check your firm’s page once a day or posting about why your firm is the best. It takes about 7-10 hours per week to build a valuable Facebook presence that can work as a powerful lead generator. Only allocating 30 minutes a week to managing your firm’s Facebook? Don’t bother. You just wasted 30 minutes.
7) You don’t want to spend any money
Facebook is not a non-profit. If you aren’t willing to pay-to-play, you shouldn’t be on there. A comprehensive social media marketing strategy should include regular Facebook advertisements as well as promoted posts. I’m not saying you have to spend as much as you do on your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns (it is much cheaper in fact!), but you should be willing to throw $100.00 at a timely or important post to boost its performance.
8) You don’t have a communications strategy
As I have mentioned previously, Facebook is not a strategy. And generic goals like “Visibility,” and “Awareness,” are not reasons to be on Facebook. If your firm does not have a communications strategy that defines who your target demographic is, where they are and how to get them to take a desired action, you should not have a Facebook page. You wouldn’t know how to engage with them if they “Liked” your status anyhow.
Look, Facebook isn’t right for every law firm. If you are interested in how to correct the error of your firm’s ways in order to reap the rewards of a law firm Facebook Page, contact us. If you are one of the very few law firms that nailed the above checklist – then stay on Facebook and add our page to your Watchlist: www.facebook.com/MarketingLawyers.