Word-of-mouth may be the oldest method of promoting your law firm, but it is still the most influential. Social media has updated the tried and true ‘personal recommendation’ technique. Nielsen's Global New Product Report shows 43% of shoppers have a higher chance of making a purchase when they first hear about it on social media.
So it should not be surprising that we recommend every law firm marketing plan include social media as a marketing strategy component. You want to make it easy for your clients, friends, vendors and referral attorneys to easily recommend your firm and sing your praises while directly linking to your online identity. People talk with their friends on Facebook about what’s important to them and share life events—that includes their experience with your law firm (whether positive or negative). Nurturing your community (friends, clients, vendors, media contacts and other attorneys) on Facebook increases the likelihood that they will talk about your firm with their friends, share your updates and comment on your posts, exponentially increasing your social media reach. In one study, Facebook was found to be the most powerful word-of-mouth social media channel.
How to Organically Increase ROI on Facebook
Before you assume your clients are too old or not the right demographic to be on Facebook, why not actually see if they are? You will probably be surprised. You can upload a list of client and referral attorney email addresses and phone numbers as a custom audience into the Facebook advertising platform and see how many of your existing contacts are actually on Facebook. Just follow these instructions.
Now that you know who is on Facebook, how do you reach them? Facebook uses its own News Feed algorithm to display what it deems to be the most interesting content to each Facebook user. With 1.28 billion users, this algorithm ensures that users will see content relevant to them, continue to use Facebook as a true social network, and share activities, experiences and likes with friends. This means using your self-promotional “law firm marketing voice” will not work. For example, if all you talk about are your case filings and case results, you will bore people, get zero visibility in the News Feed, and become buried within Facebook, invisible even from your own page’s fans.
Before posting to Facebook, law firms should ask these questions:
- What do your fans/followers get excited about?
- What’s truly useful and interesting to them?
- What are specific ways you can become vital to their lives?
The goal should always be to get your fans talking about you on Facebook and to inspire engagement. Providing good content that fits within the above parameters is a great way to start that conversation.
Should law firms advertise on Facebook?
Only 2%-16% of your Facebook page fans see your posts organically. To increase this, law firms should use Facebook ads and promoted posts. Here are the top tips for advertising on Facebook:
- Start with the end in mind. As with Google AdWords, print advertising, television or any type of ad investment, you need to define why you are using ads in the first place. Do you want more lawyer-to-lawyer referrals for a specific mass tort? Do you want more likes on Facebook? Facebook helps you define this plan with its Objective-based Ads.
- Only promote what is working. When promoting posts, only select posts that are performing well. A person is more likely to engage with a post that has previously been liked, shared, or commented on. This practice ensures you will get more bang for your buck.
- Don’t cast too wide of a net. If a Collaborative Divorce attorney targets all women in North America, they will be wasting money on Facebook ads. It would be better to target only women who have created a life event on Facebook such as ‘Divorced,’ ‘Separated’ or ‘Ended Relationship’ within the last few months. You can also use your Facebook page Insights to better target your ads to the demographic that is most likely to like your page and engage with your posts. Highly targeting your law firm’s Facebook ads will not only save you money, it will increase conversion rates.
- Take out the trash before it starts smelling. Facebook ads are like fish – they go bad after about five days. Don’t run an ad for 30 days. Choose a shorter term, monitor the ad, and adjust it based on performance by changing out images and verbiage.
Sooner rather than later, you can expect more competition in the News Feed from businesses, friends and competing law firms. Just like you can pay for position on the search engines with paid search advertising, the time is drawing near when law firms will need to know how to strategically pay to play on Facebook for it to remain a viable marketing investment.