It’s all the buzz. Facebook advertising has earned the social platform more than $36 billion in ad spends from businesses worldwide, making up almost 90% of Facebook’s total revenue.
And with Facebook’s accelerated growth from less than $1 billion in ad earnings seven years ago, it’s clearly working for many businesses. There would be no other explanation for the booming demand.
The real question, however, should be whether Facebook advertising works for YOU. As an attorney or law firm, savvy budgeting is a must to get to your business goals. You have to invest in order to get a return, but throwing money anywhere trendy will not launch you automatically to where you want to be.
So, does Facebook work for lawyers? The short answer is a resounding no. But then why is it important, and that’s exactly what we’re going to explain.
Facebook has more than 2.3 billion registered users. But how do people really use Facebook?
Facebook is used to engage with other users and with businesses across the site.
As a rule, Facebook is not used to search for professional services —especially not legal services (although there are some exceptions)
When someone faces a legal problem, they turn to Google. There will be one of two ways they’ll look for legal help:
These are not the types of searches performed in Facebook. The power of Facebook ads is mighty, but generally for the kinds of impulse buys someone sees as they’re scrolling through the feed on a rainy day.
After a recent year packed with scandal, Facebook has also been making some changes that have limited advertisers even more. Facebook is so concerned with increasing their engagement metrics that they’re forcing down any business page content that’s too “adsy,” resulting in microscopic visibility for businesses who aren’t paying to boost and promote their posts.
And, let’s be honest, do you want to show up in someone’s Facebook feed? Facebook is a social stomping ground, whereas the services you provide speak to serious issues prospects probably aren’t talking about openly online. Facebook can be used for branding, and your firm should have a Facebook business page that is updated from time to time (don’t forget to ask for client reviews on Facebook as well as other platforms), but when it comes to your major marketing efforts, Facebook is no place for an attorney.
Of course, there are exceptions to any rule. We have worked with clients who are in such a niche area of law practice that Facebook has yielded benefits for them.
For example, we know an attorney who specializes in serving Eastern European immigrants working in the trucking sector who need help staying in the country legally. These truckers often belong to groups on Facebook where they talk about the issues they face and share candidly with other drivers. Our law firm client belongs to several of these niche groups and engages actively with users, providing the firm a steady stream of clients who know they can turn to one attorney who’s worked so many cases like theirs.
There’s also the reality that Facebook can still be a good tool for branding. You can use a Facebook business page to promote news about your firm, spotlight the human aspect of your business through staff photos, and to share quick tips that are linked to content on your website (where you can really convert prospects into clients).
For everything else, Facebook is not the platform to invest your marketing dollars in.
It’s easy to get swept up in the hype around Facebook Advertising, but don’t let the talk fool you. Avoid unnecessary waste in your marketing dollars and take a look at the 5 most common mistakes lawyers make in their marketing, and then you’ll be well on your way to a marketing plan that means predictable and sustainable business growth for you.
And if you can prove me wrong on Facebook marketing for lawyers, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to see another successful example. Otherwise, talk to us about how to make Google and a high-performing website can work for your law firm.
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