Facebook is the reigning king of social media. It has more than 2.41 billion monthly active users around the world. In addition, 68% of Americans use the site, and 74% of users log on daily. The platform is growing year over year, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you want to advertise on a social media site that’s going to cast as wide a net as possible, Facebook is your place.
Many lawyers have found Facebook highly useful when it comes to generating leads for their firms. They can find new clients and increase their profits simply by posting the right kind of ads and gearing them towards the right audiences. However, the lawyers that have been successful also know which advertising tools and best practices to employ to ensure their campaigns will make the most impact.
If you’re going to use Facebook advertising for your law firm, here are some best practices to keep in mind. This is not meant to be a technical tutorial but rather a starting point for best practices. We also wanted to cover some topics we haven’t seen covered.
Connect the Facebook Pixel to Your Campaigns NOW – even if you aren’t running ads
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you add to every page of your website. When a lead takes some sort of action, like signs up for an email list or requests information through a form, the Facebook Pixel kicks into gear and reports it. You can track leads who went to your website after they saw your Facebook ad, and begin to build custom audiences that will be likely to convert after seeing your ad.
The pixel also works in the reverse. Let’s say someone stumbled across your firm’s website on Google, searched around for information and then logged onto Facebook. They would then start to see your firm’s ads on their newsfeed.
So, for example, perhaps late one night, a woman is sitting on her computer, searching for divorce lawyers after having a fight with her husband. She is not ready to divorce yet, but she wants to find out about the process. She goes to your site, spends a few minutes on it and gets the information she needs. When she is ready to file for divorce a few months down the line, she will remember your firm, because she’s seeing your ads on her Facebook feed.
Without the Facebook pixel, you don’t know who your audience is or who converted, so it’s useless to try and run a campaign. You need data on your website visitors in order to be truly effective with Facebook advertising. The longer you have a pixel installed, the larger your audience can grow. So, install a pixel as soon as you can and connect to an ad account. If you are reading this and not sure what to do or how to do, give us a call. We can help you on a a la carte basis.
Lead ads for Facebook can work wonders when utilized properly. When Facebook users click on your ad, a form pops up and their contact information from Facebook is automatically entered into the form. You will receive their information and get them started in your sales funnel. Users love this because they never have to leave the site to enter their information, and law firms find it highly beneficial because they can generate leads with little effort.
Create a Lookalike Audience
A lookalike audience on Facebook is an audience that looks similar to your existing customers. If you track your website audience for three months and funnel them to your Facebook page, you may come up with a couple thousand people you can target with ads. Facebook will allow you to create a maximum of 500 Lookalike Audiences from a single source audience.
For example, let’s say you installed the pixel on your law firm’s website and determined that your best converting leads are men ages 50-55 who live in your city, have children and work full-time jobs. You can target men in a nearby city or state who fit this same demographic in hopes of leading them to your website (or ads) as well.
Creating lookalike audiences is easy because Facebook gives you a step-by-step guide. It even provides helpful tips, such as targeting 1,000 to 50,000 leads, and sourcing your custom audience from your pixel, fans of your page or your mobile app data. Note: There are some specific tricks to refining an audience, so if you have a larger budget or ad spend we would recommend consulting a professional once you have the basics up and running.
Determine How Ads Work for Your Practice Area
With the Facebook pixel installed, advertising on the site can work well for any practice area. You already know your audience is interested in your services so you can effectively advertise to them. However, if you work in certain areas of practice, you won’t be as successful with other types of Facebook advertising.
For example, the woman seeking out a divorce may change her relationship status from “Married” to “It’s Complicated.” That generates a data point you can use to advertise to her. (I know right – who knew) After some time, she may change her status to “Separated,” which is when you can optimize your advertising once again and try to get her to finally convert.
When it comes to a practice area like criminal law, you can’t use the same method for reaching your audience. Nobody goes on Facebook and announces they were in jail or committed a crime (hopefully). With criminal law, you’d have to get even more creative. Perhaps you run ads in areas with high amounts of crime. For example, if you’re targeting an area where a lot of gun violence occurs, you could create ads that would appeal to people who are dealing with gun charges.
Thinking outside the box is key when it comes to seeing what works for your practice area. Running A/B tests with your ads and measuring your results is going to help you achieve your desired goals.
Keep Your Ads Fresh and Interesting
This is probably the most important item you will read in this blog. FaceBook is not a set it and forget platform. Typically, you’ll see the same ads for law firms on television, in newspapers, on Google’s search engine results page, on billboards and on the sides of busses. Ad repetition can certainly help when it comes to these avenues. However, on Facebook, your audience is going to quickly burn out on your advertising if you keep showing them the same ad over and over again.
Instead, you should change up your ads weekly in order to keep your audience interested. Make sure the ads are bold and striking. Don’t put your logo on the ad, because nobody will know who you are, likely. Also, don’t put your picture. Instead, you want to include a visual that is going to get your audience to stop scrolling for a minute and take a look at what you have to offer.
If you specialize in personal injury, your ad may include a photo of a bad car crash, for example. If you are a divorce lawyer, maybe use a photo of two people fighting. Be creative and think about what kind of image would make you want to stop what you’re doing and seek out more information. Pro Tip: Be careful not to include overly violent images or those that have blood in them. Aggressive images can be a violation of facebook’s policies and can result in your ads being shut down.
See What Mass Tort Marketing Is Already Out There (even if you don’t practice in that arena)
Just like on television, mass tort advertising is huge on Facebook. Users are constantly seeing ads for nationwide law firms urging them to act on their asbestos, hernia mesh, medication, Roundup, e-cigarette and bad hip implant issues. If users click on one of these ads, they will be followed around incessantly on Facebook. These nationwide firms are simply generating leads and not even representing these plaintiffs.
If you have a smaller firm, you have an opportunity to grab these leads and compete for them. You can either work with the mass tort marketers or look to them for guidance on how to set up your own ads. Notice how they use strong visuals, have a constant rotation of ads, use compelling language and target the same people over and over. By putting those same best practices in play, you have the chance to cash in on some of these leads as well. But even if you don’t have anything to do with Mass Torts, they are a great source of general technique since the volume is so high from these marketers.
Look to Television Ads for Inspiration
Another place you can find inspiration for your ads is on television, since it is similar to Facebook advertising; everyone has Facebook and everyone watches TV. Though you don’t want to repeat your ads like firms do on TV, you can learn some great advertising lessons from them.
With a TV commercial, you only have 30 seconds to grab someone’s attention and make them want to visit your website or pick up the phone and call you. With Facebook, you have even less time, since users are quickly scrolling through their feeds. What can you do to grab someone’s attention with a visual, a headline or a video? What can you say that would sell someone on your firm? Always remember to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and put their needs above your own. Think about what value you can add to their lives, and then create your advertising messages accordingly.
Getting Started with Facebook Ads
Now that you know the best practices for legal Facebook advertising, you can begin to build your campaigns. Remember to track things like your results and cost per lead, and to build sales funnels that make sense for your firm.
By hiring marketing and advertising experts who have experience with Facebook advertising, you will fare better than trying to figure it out on your own. After all, unsuccessful testing will likely cost you much more in the long run than simply hiring the right marketers and advertisers to help you from the get go. Not to mention, you’ll have a much higher chance of succeeding with your campaigns and increasing your law firm’s bottom line in no time.