Ask any lawyer about their presence on Facebook and watch their body language, the arms fold, legs cross and if wearing a jacket, they would probably button it up tight. It is not something lawyers feel warm and fuzzy about, the openness, sharing, free opinions and “out of control” aspects all are very foreign to law.But the opportunities for marketing a law firm are plenty...
Why use Facebook?
• 1.7 Billion active users in the world – need I say more?
• Not expensive – can be free
• The network effect is HUGE (your network of likes, to their network of likes and so on)
• Shows an approachable human side to your law firm – people want to do business with people
• Your natural content is content is brilliant and interesting, not to mention vital to communities
• Helps to build the law firm brand and loyalty
• Attract more people to your law firm website
• Facebook is mobile friendly.
Above stats provided by www.statista.com
In the World Wide Worx “South African Social Media Landscape 2016: Executive Summary” report, it mentions that the number of current (February 2016) active users on Facebook is 13 Million – that figure is a big chunk of prospects floating around sapping up information on a social interface.
The question is how do you add value to the user, so that they pay attention to your page and follow you going forward.
Law Firm Page Setup
Profile vs Group vs Page
I think I know of one lawyer who pulls off using his personal profile as a marketing tool for his law firm – he is a socialite and is extra close to his clients – his life is shared with his clients and they like him for it. He has always marketed himself like that and now uses Facebook as an additional tool to enhance the experience. Stavros is the exception to the rule, do not try this, 99% chance it will fail. Keep your social personal profile separate from your law firm page.
Groups are used for social interest groups, generally a closed network where people apply for access. It has good group tools, like group chats etc – but this should be limited to social groups, a good example would be a Model Airplane Builders group sharing stories and ideas.
Use Facebook Pages for your law firm on Facebook – also known as “company pages” or “fan pages”. Here the access is public, there is no limit to the number of likes you can have and it is open to Google to index the content for search results.
Internal Social Media Policy
Before you launch off with a Facebook page, make sure you decide how you are going to handle the page from your law firm’s side. Who is going to have access to posting content and responding to people on the social media sites, what channel is needed to respond to complaints (keep this simple, so that responses can be make quickly) and a simple outline of what is allowed and what is not.
Friendly Name for your Facebook Page
After you have 25 “likes”, are will be able to change the name of your page from “https://www.facebook.com/pages/629021777141162” to https://www.facebook.com/FredsFamilyLawFirm. Keep your law firm name in the title.
Your Page Profile and About Your Law Firm
Take care when setting up our About section, make sure you have working URL links to your law firm website, accurate contact details and include the map.
Make sure your cover image is professional and represents your firm and the area of law you practice in – most people have their company logo – but here you have an opportunity to illustrate your core services through a well-represented image with your logo superimposed somewhere.
Dimensions of the cover image are 851 pixels by 315 pixels
Start with using a button image of your firm logo, later on you can become more imaginative and change it. Facebook scales this image to 160x160, so you don’t have too much space to work with.
Dimensions for the profile image when uploaded are 180 pixels by 180 pixels
Step back for a bit – if you were a prospective client of your law firm, what would you look for in a law firm Facebook page?
People are not going to look at a law firm for the latest jokes, nor for the latest weather patterns, or for the best landscape picture of the day – people would be interested in a law firm page if the law firm posted topics about the law in layman’s terms and how the man in the street can go about their day without being caught in a legal tangle. Surely, your role on Facebook should be one of guidance and advice.
As I mentioned in my previous post, if you are wanting to post humourous content, make it topical to your line of work/service. Use memes to offer a little humour, a tool to do this is available at www.memegenerator.net.
Make sure you post a relevant picture with every post - posts with pictures get 50% more likes, 100% increase in comments and 80% more click-throughs. Videos, even better.
Keep it Regular
Make sure you post on a regular basis, it is no use having a Facebook page that posts every few weeks and the only content is a message to “Like us” or “Looking for a divorce attorney in PittsWithoutWater?”. Promoting your own firm is fine as long as you post 4 things of interest to every 1 promotion of what you offer.
React quickly to negative comments and take them to email or a telephone call to resolve the issue, then come back to the comment in Facebook and report that the issue was resolved. Only remove the comment if it has bad language.
Facebook to and from Real Life
Use your Facebook page posts and shares from clients to initiate “real life” interactions. Also visa-versa, use interactions you have with clients in the “real life” to initiate comments and posts in Facebook, tag them in the posts.
Not all about “Likes”
Effective marketing with Facebook is not about having the most “likes” – it is about having an interactive audience, who contribute and share your content. Unless you are engaging with your followers, you are wasting your time and effort.
Getting people to like your page for some sort of reward or paying for adverts that pull people in, is in my view an absolute waste of time. These people are not there for the interaction, they are there because of the advertising pull. You want to grow your base through valuable content, something you can use to market to at a later stage as these legit followers are interested in what you offer.
Measuring your Success
My age-old motto – if you cannot measure your marketing efforts, don’t do them! Facebook has a system to monitor your effectiveness. Insights provides all kinds of reports on your Facebook page, how effective your posts are, number of likes, the reach of a post and a number of other important facts about your page.