In the last year Facebook has really done a fine job of creating several types of options to promote products and services on their platform, from getting video views, increasing engagement with an app, to sending people to your website and raising attendance for an event. Out of this suite of possibilities, I want to share two easy/easier ways for busy solo and small law firms to build awareness on Facebook in their locations. The two solutions I’m describing below are hardly exhaustive of the business promotion opportunities available. Take a look at this page to see all the things Facebook can do to help you reach your target audience.
Before we proceed, I am writing this with the assumption that you have a website and an existing Facebook page set up for your firm. If don’t have a Facebook page yet, click here for a Facebook tutorial on getting one up and running. You may also want to check out two good posts on law firm Facebook pages: Law Firms on Facebook: 5 Examples of ‘Doing It Right’ and 10 Common Mistakes Law Firms Make with Facebook Pages.
One last note. Please don’t think that your Facebook promotion activities are going to have potential new clients lining up outside of your office. While that may happen, please have an initial view that these endeavors, if anything at first, are a part of what should be an overall marketing and brand building exercise. Think of it this way – if you spend $5 or $10 a day on Facebook promotions over the course of a week and you get a $10,000 client (and potential future referrals from she or he), you’ve got a really great return on investment.
Get Clicks to Your Website
When you log in to your Facebook account, click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner and select Create Ads. (If this is your first adventure creating an ad on Facebook, instead click Manage Ads and enter your credit card into in the Billing section before you get fully under way.) Now, under “Chose the objective for your campaign,” select “Send people to your website.” You’ll then be asked to enter the URL for your website where you want people to “land” – in marketing lingo, this is your landing page. For advice on building an effective landing page, click here. Best recommendation is not to just send them to your main web page, but rather to a specific page where you have basic information about your services or a specific service you want to promote (e.g. divorce), your contact information, and a contact form to complete. You have an opportunity here to entice web visitors to submit their own contact information to you for follow up. As such, your Facebook ad and the landing page need to parallel each other with what your call to action is, whether it’s, for example, “Submit your name and phone number to get a free 30-minute consultation.” All ads, whether print or digital, should be a call-to-action. We in the biz call it a CTA. Whatever it is, make sure it abides by your state bar association’s and the ABA’s ethical guidelines and rules.
Okay, onward. The first question on the ads page is “Who do you want your ads to reach?” Assuming you’re focusing business just in your city, type in your city’s name (e.g. Denver); the target age range you want to reach; Gender (most likely “All”); and Languages. Next is Interests. Let’s say in this case you’re a divorce attorney, so you’d type in terms such as divorce, divorce court, divorce lawyer, family law, etc. Likewise, If you are an estate lawyer, you’d likewise choose those keywords specific to your practice, e.g. estate planning, estate law, financial services, trust law, trust lawyer. A lot of times as you’re typing, Facebook will show you existing key words and phrases as suggestions that you may opt to choose. For Behaviors, you’re look for people who are searching for legal services, so that is actually a good term to enter. For Connections, select Advanced Combinations and choose “Friends of people who like your Page.” This will give you some reach beyond those who like your page and familiar with your work. One thing to try is to create a duplicate of this ad and chose “People who like you Page.” This will give you the ability to run some A/B testing to see which is most effective after a few days.
Next down on the page Facebook asks, “How much do you want to spend?” You can set up a daily budget (the default is $5) or a lifetime budget, say $100. Then Schedule – you can run your ad continuously using your daily or lifetime budget or set a start and end date. Also, you can log back in to your ads account on Facebook and restart an expired or exhausted (budget met) campaign at any time or suspend a campaign that’s actively running. Depending on your spend and schedule, Facebook will give you an estimate of the ad’s reach.
Facebook now asks, “How do you want your ad to look?” For the sake of simplicity on this first outing, just allow the default “A single image or video in your ads” – a single image in our case. Click Select Images us “What creative would you like to use in your ads?” Upload your photo or select on of Facebook's stock photos. You can often find free high quality image files on sites like Pixabay. The recommended image size for the photo is 1200 x 628 pixels.
Now it’s time to set up your ad text. Here Facebook asks, “What text and links do you want to use?” In this section you want to make sure that Facebook is connected to your business page. For the Headline, you want to get the visitor’s attention. Usually a question (Considering divorce?) or a bold statement (Best family law firm!) work best. You’re limited to 25 characters, so give this some thought. In the Text section (90 characters) you tell your story quickly, e.g. “Specializing in divorce law for 20 years. Divorce is extremely hard, let us help.” Now chose the Call-to-Action. “Contact Us” is good, particularly if you’re sending them to a landing page where they get your contact information and they can submit theirs. Remember, you specified the landing page link at the very start of the ad creation process.
Your next step should be to click Review Order or Place Order. Fingers crossed!
Here’s another simple thing you can do to generate attention for your firm and expertise. If you happen to have your own law firm blog, you should be posting the link and a short description of the blog entry to your firm’s Facebook page. To generate additional attention to your content, select Boost Post just below the post in your Timeline. This is a very affordable way to get your firm out there and, like with Facebook ads, you set the budget
and duration. In the example below, I’ve set the budget at $50 total to be spent over a three day period. As I’m promoting the post nationally, my reach is estimated to be 5,100 to 14,000 people. It would probably a lot more, but as you can see (partially) in the Audience section, I’m distilling the audience down to interests (lawyer, attorney at law, etc.) and only in the state where ALPS writes policies. If this were an ad for a product or service available to the general public in all 50 states, I’m sure the estimated reach would be much, much higher.
Since your law practice is pretty much set locally and/or within a specific region of your state, you want to be sure set up your Default Audience appropriately to your given location/region. For example if your practice is in Denver, you’d select from Location > Cities > Denver and then select a radius for how widespread from your office you’d like the ads to display. In the example below, I selected 25 miles. As in our ad example above, let’s say in this Denver example you specialize in Divorce and Family Law. Again, in this case for Interests you’d type in things such as divorce, divorce court, divorce lawyer, family law, etc. You’ll also want to make sure that you select All for the Gender tab and choose the age range you want for your audience.
Note that the Boost Post function should not be considered an alternative to a Facebook ad or ads, but as a part of your overall marketing mix to increase your firm’s visibility on Facebook.
I certainly hope these tidbits on getting started with Facebook promotions helps in your business development efforts. Happy Facebooking!