In January of 2014, Facebook released information about global usage of the popular social networking site. It revealed that over 1.2 billion people use Facebook on a monthly basis, with over 755 million users on the platform each and every day. With such a large presence of regular users, Facebook can and should be utilized as a marketing tool for businesses, including law firms.
Facebook is a unique tool for self-marketing since is it intended to be less formal than many other marketing routes. Facebook users are more likely to use the website as a means to build relationships with other people, products, and brands; interactions on this platform should be less businesslike and involve a personalized touch to connect with your audience.
Below, I have outlined the top 10 underutilized tips that can help any attorney and law firm market their business to potential clients in their area.
1) Fill out your profile with important information and keep details updated.
For many people, the information they find on your Facebook profile will be the first interaction they have with your firm. You should take the time to make your profile reflect you: what makes you stand out as an attorney, what is different about your firm, any awards and accolades you have won, and contact information for those seeking to get in touch with you. Take the time to give someone the information they need right off the bat while still allowing your personality to shine through! This grants you the opportunity to customize the information specifically to your needs and connect with potential clients seeking legal services.
While personalization will be important, you must also remember that Facebook is prime marketing space. Your profile should absolutely be a reflection of you, but also market your firm. One way to do this is by using your cover photo as ad space. Choose a photo that prominently displays the name of your law firm, a selling point or two, and contact information allowing a client to reach out to you. But don’t let Facebook be your only selling point! Make sure to point to your website, Google, Twitter, and other pages that can further guide a client to your services.
2) Establish yourself as an authority in your field by making connections.
One way to connect with potential clients will be showing that you know what you’re talking about, or being considered an authority. Making connections with other attorneys, law firms, and legal groups in your area can help establish yourself as an authority in two different ways: first, it will show that you are involved and active in the legal field, and two, that you are involved in the community your firm is located. One of the best ways to make connections is by asking friends and family to like and share your firm’s page, and since people often connect with what is local to them, you might find others liking your page when they see others in their area have done so. The wider your reach, the more likely it is that you will show up in searches for those looking for similar things, allowing you to have more exposure to potential clients.
3) Use your wall to post engaging content that gives your followers something to read, both related to your firm and to the legal field.
Once you have filled out the information on your profile and made connections with others in your field, keeping users engaged will allow your reach to grow. By posting relevant, unique, and interesting content, you will find Facebook users going to your page to get updates, share what you post, and connect with potential clients earlier.
Using Facebook to market yourself means that you need to keep people engaged with you while simultaneously driving up your business. Some suggestions of things to post on your wall to engage others can include:
- Current events happening with your firm
- Recent case results- this is the product you’re selling!
- Photos of events you have been involved in
- Videos explaining legal concepts
- News stories you have been featured in
- Niche content that explains current events in the legal field
When you post this information to your firm’s wall, it can appear on the news feed of those that have liked your page, even appearing on their friend’s walls. Sharing this information on your personal profile can further increase the reach of the content you post. If it’s unique and innovative content, you may find it getting shared over and over!
This is a great strategy to engage users on your website as well. A personal blog on your website can work in tandem with social media to reinforce one another- you can write an article about a case result on your blog, post it to Facebook, and drive traffic to your website.
4) Create conversations with your followers on your wall and on theirs.
Speaking directly with clients can help you establish yourself as an authority in your field. While you know that you know what you’re talking about, you need to show others that you are to be trusted with their case. Has someone posted about a relevant current event? Comment with legal premises, court cases, and other current events that relate. Ask questions on your wall to encourage others to interact with you, post tips that people can find relevant (for example, five ways to avoid a DUI on Super Bowl for a DUI or criminal defense attorney), and share information about your life on your page. The conversations you have are important in marketing your firm!
5) Interact with your larger networks, not only the people that follow you.
Interaction is key! Clients are more responsive when they feel like someone is listening to them, and Facebook is a valuable tool for engaging these potential clients on a personal level.
Talking with potential clients on Facebook is as easy as:
- Responding to comments on your wall or things you post
- Engaging with other legal professionals in groups
- Sending messages to those that reach out to you
- Liking posts
- Signing posts with a personalized response
Remember, while Facebook encourages personal interaction, your page is a reflection of your business. You should keep all interactions professional no matter how you’re interacting with others.
6) Use Facebook to develop connections off of Facebook.
Just because an interaction took place on Facebook does not mean you need to keep it online. If someone reaches out to you via comment or message about a situation they are involved in, needing legal guidance, or asking questions about your legal services, this is the best chance to engage them off of Facebook. Invite them for a consultation over the phone or at your office. Some attorneys provide these consultations free of charge to further encourage these conversations as a marketing tool.
7) Utilize events and community affairs to your benefit.
Don’t underestimate the power of community events to market your law firm on Facebook. Through blog posts on your websites that can be shared to your Facebook page and event invitations shared with your networks, event involvement can be huge for your firm. Events encourage a wide variety of people to get involved, not only those that are directly seeking legal advice. If an event is thrown in coordination with another group, you can widen the circle of Facebook users that have access to your firm and your page by inviting the other people or group to be administrators on the Facebook event page and share what's happening with their networks. You never know who knows someone that needs your help!
8) Develop a regular plan to update content and keep Facebook a part of your strategy.
Successful marketing on Facebook involves regular involvement on the platform. Attorneys that have active profiles usually have more likes, reviews, and a wider overall network. No one expects that you abandon your usual tasks or place all of your efforts into Facebook marketing but rather, involve Facebook as part of your marketing plan. Here’s a tip: download the Facebook app on your cell phone or use relevant hashtags, such as #FamilyLawFriday to keep yourself on target and encourage other users to get involved with your campaign.
9) Let your networks work on your behalf by creative calls to action.
Don’t assume that all of your marketing efforts must be yours alone. Once you have developed a small network, you can use these people to help you in your efforts. Calls to action can help engage your users, widen your visibility, and encourage clients to call your firm! One method that many businesses use to market themselves is to encourage shares and likes of their page for a prize. Consider creative ways to let your network do your marketing on your behalf, and watch your efforts pay off!
10) Consider investing in Facebook advertisements to increase your reach.
If you are having a particularly difficult time marketing yourself on Facebook, it may be worthwhile to consider Facebook advertising for your firm. The website offers some paid options that allow you to set a budget and a target audience and Facebook will show your ads accordingly. This may be a good option for some attorneys, but it is not the only option to market yourself on this platform. Look into Facebook advertising if you think it may help you, but with a little work, you can surely market your law firm on your own.
Self-marketing can be intimidating, and social networking platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, provide a valuable and unique method of engaging consumers. With your clients right at your fingertips, Facebook marketing involves a little bit of hard work with a high payoff. Good luck on your marketing journey!