Recently, I have received a lot of inquiries from legal professionals about advertising on Facebook. While I’m very cautious in recommending Facebook advertising for lawyers, in some instances it may be an effective advertising investment.
Needless to say, Facebook advertising claims to “reach over 500 million people where they connect and share.”
Like other online advertising platforms, Facebook allows advertisers to choose their target audience by location, age and interests. In fact, due to the vast amount of user information they are able to collect, they are probably better at audience targeting than just about any other advertising platform (even better than Google).
Also like other advertising platforms, Facebook allows you to test simple image and text-based ads and identify what is working best for your campaign. They also allow advertisers to choose to pay only when people click (CPC) or by impression (CPM).
So, 500 million users, the most thorough consumer data ever compiled, and a sophisticated online advertising platform, what could go wrong?
The answer: intent
One of the reasons that search engine advertising works so well (at least for some lawyers) is that Google’s users have intent built-in. They are searching for the very services that you are advertising.
On the other hand, users on Facebook, as my brother so eloquently describes it are merely, “hanging out in the world’s largest opium den.”
Now don’t get me wrong, Facebook is an excellent place to gain exposure for your advertisements online. Many of the lawyers with whom we have talked about their FB advertising experiences have received amazing numbers of impressions in a very short amount of time. If your goal is mere exposure, FB advertising may be for you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for efficient and high ROI Internet advertising solutions, I would hold off on spending ad dollars with Facebook.
If you insist that FB advertising is your magic bullet, here are some things to consider:
- Be VERY Relevant – Just because you get your ad in front of 500 million people, doesn’t mean 500 million people care about what you are offering. This is especially important if your practice is limited to specific practice and geographic areas. Use very specific geographic targeting.
- Create a VALUABLE offer – Spend a lot of time planning out your offer. Don’t make a roadside billboard. Perhaps you have a downloadable guide or other educational marketing piece. Stay away from talking about your education, experience, or how hard you work.
- Use images – Facebook is very image-centric. Text ads alone become invisible against pictures of users’ friends and families. Pick something that stands out and represents you in a dignified way.
Additionally, finds ways to connect your law firm’s FB page to your advertising campaign. In my humble opinion, you are more likely to convert ad impressions into new page followers or “likes” than immediately into new clients. Using FB advertising to cultivate online relationships is more effective than trying to sell Facebook users legal services directly.
Just like advertising on other online platforms, FB advertising needs to be highly targeted. Traditional exposure advertising is likely to produce a large advertising bill with very poor performance. On the other hand, highly targeted, specific, and value-based ads can generate new business.
Not to sound like a broken record, but be very specific, test, and measure the performance of your campaign on weekly and monthly bases.
Looking for information on Facebook advertising? Check out John Jantsch’s 5 Steps to Successful Facebook Advertising.
Are you a lawyer or law firm marketer advertising on Facebook? Has it been a success or horror story for you?