With more than two billion users worldwide, Facebook is the most dominant social media platform on Earth. In 2017, advertisers spent nearly $36 billion trying to reach those users, with varying levels of success.
Advertising legal services on Facebook is a bit tricky for many reasons, which means the traditional rules followed by other businesses don’t always apply. Many lawyers are hesitant because they don’t understand how the system works; therefore, they don’t know how to make the system work for them.
Why is Facebook advertising for Attorneys a unique challenge? Let’s take a look.
1. Service vs. Product
You’re marketing a service, not a product, which can make determining the return on your investment difficult. The only way to know if your ads are working is by factoring in all of your “soft costs,” such as payroll, office rent, etc. Do you know what an hour of your legal services costs you? If not, you’re going to have a tough time calculating an advertising budget.
2. Cost of Services Rendered
Legal services aren’t cheap, which dramatically changes the dynamic of how consumers respond to advertising. Don’t expect someone to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on your services on a whim the way they make an impulse buy of a cool gadget advertised on Facebook for $20. You can’t sell your professional services the same way you sell a fidget spinner; if you try, you are setting yourself up for a costly lesson.
3. Passive v. Active
One of the best features of Facebook advertising is having your paid content mixed with the consumer’s News Feed seamlessly. Most people aren’t going to see your ad and suddenly realize they want to hire a lawyer; instead, they’re going to look at your content repeatedly as they casually scroll past in search of photos of their grandchildren. The goal is to make them aware of you passively, not actively solicit them to hire you on the spot. By building your brand and reputation this way, when people do need a lawyer, your name should be familiar enough to draw the client in your direction.
4. Overcoming Existing Biases
Many people still see Facebook as nothing more than cat videos and political bickering, so the thought of hiring an attorney they find on Facebook can be an adjustment. Because so many law firms either do Facebook poorly or not at all, the platform can somehow be viewed as less legitimate than television commercials or billboards. The dichotomy makes zero sense, but you’re working against learned behavior about where and how lawyers should advertise.
5. Legal Services Are Not Fun
People use social media as a form of harmless distraction; as such, it’s not hard to understand why they aren’t doing cartwheels when they see a Facebook post describing the nuances of a living trust. Hiring a lawyer is usually associated with solving a serious problem, which runs counter to the reason people use social media in the first place. And because you probably shouldn’t advertise your law firm with one of those giant inflatable tube people with the flailing arms like you see on car lots, you need to walk a fine line by posting content that conveys your professionalism without sending people into a coma.
These challenges are unique, but certainly not debilitating to your efforts to market your law firm on Facebook. By acknowledging what it takes to be successful, you will see better results and a much higher return on your marketing investment.
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