Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms with over 300 million active users in the United States each month. You would be hard pressed to successfully argue your ideal client – regardless of your niche or practice area – isn’t on Facebook.
Even with new privacy policies in place, Facebook still collects a compelling amount of user data, and you can use their algorithms, analytics, and targeting to grow your law firm.
The Benefits of Facebook
As with all social media, you can use the platform’s highly developed ad targeting to craft high converting ads delivered directly into the feed of your ideal clients and other potential prospects.
You can use Facebook groups to mingle virtually with your ideal clients and even with other attorneys to increase referrals and other professional connections.
Facebook is a great place to start for attorneys who haven’t yet ventured into paid marketing. It takes only minutes to set up your business page and then you can post regular updates about your professional services, your opinions on legal events in the news, and even some fun posts to show off your personality.
Leveraging Facebook to grow your practice requires being consistent. That doesn’t mean posting every day, but you need to establish a cadence that lets people know they can expect to see your posts a few times a week.
The more you focus on developing your social media presence, the sooner you’ll position yourself to gain clients and cases from your social media strategy. With its broad base appeal, Facebook is a friendly platform for establishing and cultivating awareness of your firm’s brand.
The ABA’s 2020 Survey on websites and marketing reported one-third of solo legal practitioners or small law firms surveyed had gained clients through the strategic use of social media, including Facebook.
Facebook Can Drive Potential Clients to Your Website
More than just a place to post lawyer memes, an optimized Facebook business page can play a big role in driving traffic to key pages of your website or blog. Strategic promotion of your website on Facebook can help direct potential clients to the information they need to decide to hire your firm.
Share A Blend of Original and Curated Content to Attract Clients
Once you have determined who you would like most to target on Facebook, it’s time to develop your content strategy. Make sure your content aligns with your business development goals and provides legitimate value to your potential clients.
Educational content is a great feed filler. It shows off your expertise, it helps people solve problems, and it allows people to determine whether they are good fit for your firm’s services.
Don’t feel like every bit of content has to be written by you. It can be very interesting to your audience to see your reaction or opinion to cases outside your jurisdiction but within your practice area.
Have a little fun with your content.
By blending original and curated content, you signal to your potential clients that you stay abreast of changes in the law and it keeps your feed from feeling like an endless “hire me” pitch.
Create Policies Around Social Media
Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to posting on Facebook. If you are going to rely on staff members or an outside social media management provider, it’s important that everyone is clear on the professional standards that control social media posting for lawyers. Make everyone aware of ABA and state or local opinions and guidelines about social media accounts, posts, and client confidentiality.
The goal for assistants is that they project the firm’s professionalism and personality not their own. You may want to retain final say over scheduled posts and develop a policy that outlines how to deal with any negative comments or reviews on social media.
Social media should always enhance your firm’s professional reputation.
Crafting a Professional Facebook Profile
To stay on the right side of the Facebook Terms of Service, Facebook profiles are for your personal use and Facebook Pages are for promoting business activities. If you want to run ads on the Facebook platform, you must have a business page for your law firm.
And while it can be tempting to just use your personal profile to promote your law firm – after all you’ve got almost 5000 friends! – there are still a few ways to “cross promote” and remain on the right side of the rules.
The most obvious way is to link your business page to your personal profile as your place of employment. From there, people will be able to click over to your business page. You can also share posts from your business page on your personal profile if you think the post would be interesting to your personal friends.
Consider the privacy settings of your personal page especially if you share pictures of your children, family, or other private details. Or you may realize that some of the things you did in college don’t reflect well on your firm’s professional brand today.
How to Increase Engagement and Grow Your Audience on Facebook
The best way to increase engagement on Facebook is to engage with people on Facebook. Either you, an assistant, or a professional social media manager needs to regularly engage with your followers on your Facebook business page.
Beyond your own circle of followers, your law firm’s page can comment as itself on posts which helps you reach a wider audience.
Try this out by going to another Facebook business page. Click on your avatar to the left of the reactions and select your business page to comment. You can also like other business pages as your law firm’s business page.
This gives you an opportunity to jump into a discussion on a page where you can be of value to the audience. Don’t be self-promotional, just helpful.
Virtual Networking with Facebook Groups
As a professional, you’ve probably relied on events and meetings to get in front of potential clients and other professionals as referral sources. Those opportunities have been replaced with virtual options. Facebook’s Groups feature allows you to join like-minded communities on Facebook so you can connect with people who have shared interests.
Groups have different privacy settings allowing you to select groups with settings that satisfy your needs for privacy. But no matter the privacy, never risk your professional reputation by sharing private details about your clients. Even “changed names” to protect the innocent can be figured out if group members are so inclined.
When you discover a Facebook group that looks like it has networking benefits, you can request to join the group as your law firm’s page or as yourself using your personal profile. Only you can determine whether the groups you join are best for networking or for increasing brand awareness or to grow your law firm page’s engagement.
To get started with Groups, check out your local Chamber, the American Bar Association, or your state or local bar associations. There may be other professional organizations that make sense for you to join. Some groups limit membership and will ask qualifying questions before granting you membership.
After your membership is approved, check out the discussions and make sure you follow the posted rules for posting so you don’t violate the group rules or get a reputation as a spammer.
Only post content that adheres to the group rules. Be helpful and foster authentic connections with other group members.
Facebook Can Help You Grow Your Law Firm
Whether you’re new to social media or an old pro, understanding the ins and outs of a successful professional social media strategy can help grow your law firm. Create engaging helpful content and a regular publishing cadence.
Whether you post yourself or seek assistance maintaining your Facebook business page, ensure that policies are in place to adhere to both professional standards and your goals for building brand awareness.
Beyond just posting, you can also use Facebook as a powerful networking tool to engage new clients and meet new potential referral partners. By taking advantage of low cost, high reward marketing opportunities you can quickly reach your business goals.