Facebook Page v. Facebook Profile

If you connect everything you have—website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.—and use the various web tools available to you, someone is more likely to find you when conducting a search on your area of law. A Facebook page may not get you a client, but it might get a potential client to visit your website for more information or pick up the phone and call you. As a result, Facebook pages are a unique opportunity to help you increase your presence on the web. Facebook shows up early in Google and Bing searches and your page might well show up earlier in search results than your website.

Most firms use a Facebook profile instead of a page to serve as their presence on Facebook; generally not a good idea. First, Facebook’s terms of service make it very clear that an account is for an individual, not a business. Second, Facebook’s pages, especially since the recent changes, have a variety of tools that make the use of a page a better choice for marketing purposes.

A Facebook account has a wall, photos and videos. Facebook pages have the additional capability for tabs which act as linked documents, much like a regular website. A simple Facebook page can include detailed biographies, pictures and contact information for all attorneys in a firm along with other useful information for potential clients. In the very near future Facebook will enable advanced coding on pages, meaning designers will be limited only by their imaginations and the space. There will no doubt be some extraordinary Facebook pages after the changes are released.

Another neat trick on a Facebook page is the ability to create a special landing page. A landing page is the first item someone sees when they visit a Facebook page the first time and until they click like. For an example take a look at Dell’s Facebook page. Since Facebook walls tend to have a lot of constantly changing information, a landing page is a great way to control the first impression of your firm a potential client sees on Facebook.
Pages are easier to follow than accounts. With an account a user has to ask permission to become a Friend and you have to accept. For a page a user can choose to click like, or just visit your page and follow the information you provide.

You can advertise a page on Facebook; a great way to increase your followers at a low cost. If you haven’t tried a Facebook ad consider it. Ads aren’t expensive and can help point users to your page or website.

Pages also provide insights. You can see how many people are viewing your page, their age range and other useful information to help you identify who is interested in your firm.

Last, now you can actually communicate as your page. You can choose to surf Facebook as the page instead of as an individual; visit individual accounts and other pages on Facebook and comment when appropriate (and ethical.) This ability increases the profile of the page and provides the opportunity for you to communicate with Facebook users at large, increasing your firm’s presence.

Don’t give up the useful tools available to you by staying with a Facebook profile instead of a page. Convert your account to one you use for yourself, still an excellent networking tool, and take advantage of the opportunities provided by a page. Working with a page and an account together you can make your Facebook presence and marketing opportunities even stronger than before.

Jennifer Ellis is an attorney, law practice management consultant, and speaker.


  1. Avatar Wade Coye says:

    A tip from personal experience: choose your facebook username (the one that shows up in a vanity URL) very carefully. Consider how you’re going to use it. We recently had to create a duplicate page just to get the more memorable username. It makes sense; as a consumer, are you more likely to click on a URL with a bunch of random numbers, or something cleaner, such as http://www.facebook.com/coyelaw ?

  2. This is some very helpful information on creating an effective facebook page, thanks for the post. With more and more comapnies and firms beginning to do so, it is important to know how to get the most out of it.

  3. Avatar Stocklossblog says:

    Facebook definitely seems like an important marketing tool. Any way to minimize the ethical dilemmas that may be inherent on the Facebook wall? For example, someone asks for legal advice via the wall?

  4. Avatar LeeAnn says:

    What types of content do you recommend law firms post on their wall? Besides the obvious press releases.

    • Avatar Jim Burke says:

      I would follow the same lawyer marketing principles on the facebook page that I believe apply elsewhere. Some info about the lawyers that identifies them and makes them into real people is good; but I think clients are more interested in themselves and their problems and how their potential lawyer can help them. Most of the content on the facebook should provide potential clients good, useful information demonstrating an understanding of client problems and solutions to those problems.

  5. @Stockloss, I recommend a disclaimer that clearly states no legal advice is offered via the page or any communication over it. I also just don’t offer advice. I would tell people to contact me off the page so we can discuss their situation appropriately.

    @LeeAnn, I recommend that firms or individual attorneys use the page to humanize themselves. Bios, especially video bios are a great tool. They don’t have to be expensive or complicated, a good cell phone or flipcam can do the trick. Have the attorney talk about why she practices the kind of law she does, etc. Information about any charity work, introductions not only to attorneys but staff. Individual clients are normally hiring individual lawyers, not a particular firm. So hive them a sense of who the people are and what the firm is about.

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