Throwing Good Money After Facebook Likes

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I am dumbfounded by nearly everything about this story:

Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella is a new law firm in suburban Chicago, but it already has 700 “likes” on its Facebook page.

How did the Daily Herald think this was newsworthy? How did the ABA Journal’s Debra Cassens Weiss link to it without comment as if it were a serious bit of news about lawyers? Why are these four lawyers letting one of their partners spend his time and throw what sounds like a fair bit of cash out there for Facebook page likes when nobody actually thinks Facebook likes are worth much? (Well, except this guy.)

Most of all, this is their big plan to raise the firm’s visibility? I suppose it’s working, if you want to be known as four guys who have a Facebook page where they post pictures of their Hawaiian shirts. I will say this for them: they look pretty genuine.

But yeah, somebody remind the Daily Herald to check in with the firm in 6 months to see if they have gotten any meaningful results from all this fluff. If they managed to build a practice on a Facebook page, that really would be news.

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  • It was clearly a slow news day at the Daily Herald. I’m not sure how much time and cash I’d want my partner to spend on soft marketing efforts via gathering Facebook likes, but IF the firm puts up new Facebook content frequently enough so that it will actually be seen by its likers, and IF the content is interesting enough to keep its likers engaged, and IF the content passes ethics muster with the State Bar, then the firm may see a benefit by virtue of increased name recognition. That said, ROI with this kind of thing is always hard to quantify….

    • ROI with this kind of thing is always hard to quantify….

      And, at this point, completely unknown. In 6 months, I’ll be interested to see if they are still giving away 3-month gym memberships, or even updating the page.

  • Warren Smith

    Sam, I completely agree the hawaiian shirts are a bad idea, but I also think the “for” and “against” Facebook articles you quote are both valid and we shouldn’t write off Facebook completely. The “against” Facebook article quite rightly states the limitations of Facebook for promotion to existing fans, but the “for” article also articulates quite well what the long term benefits of building a Facebook fan-base could bring in terms of the network effect. No social media activity is a short term investment, and a “like” is the digital equivalent of a current word-of-mouth recommendation (from which most lawyers say they get most new business). Given the user base it’s more relevant for B2C than B2B lawyers for sure, but as Facebook continues to evolve I’m sure we will see the integration of better social mapping so we can in future search for specific service types that our closest friends like. Assuming that Facebook remains the social platform of choice for the majority then for B2C lawyers to start to collect genuine likes (as well as publishing other positive recommendations) might not be so crazy after all. I’d love to hear other people’s views.

  • I think there can be real benefit to having ‘likes’ on Facebook if you use it to distribute content such as blog articles. You can now promote your posts on Facebook (for a fee) where your status update or link to your blog article will be placed in the news feed of not only your Facebook fans but of their Facebook friends as well. If the goal is to drive people back to your website I think obtaining more likes is a decent tactic as part of a firm’s overall marketing strategy.