Putting Paid Social Promotion To Work

Gyi-Tsakalakis: Social Media for LaywersToday’s guest post was written by Gyi Tsakalakis, a lawyer and legal marketing expert and consultant. You can learn more about him at the end of the post.

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People tend to hire lawyers by talking to people they know, like and trust. Social media can be unbelievably effective for lawyers and law firms to stay in contact with those people. Unfortunately, a lot of lawyers and law firms are still working on figuring it out. One aspect that lawyers seem particularly confused about is paid social promotion. So, let’s clarify things a little.

While the ideas in this post can be applied to paid social promotion across a variety of platforms, I’m going to focus on Facebook.

If you’ve been following along, Facebook organic reach for businesses has been in steady decline:

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Put very simply, this means that when you post something on Facebook from your law firm’s Facebook, fewer and fewer people are likely to see it (side note: I’m not debating the value of law firm Facebook pages again here).

After all, Facebook’s shareholders have to eat too.

For example, here’s a post I recently shared from my company’s page on Facebook:

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Yay, 4 people reached!

So, if you want more people to see your law firm’s Facebook posts, you have to pay for it. The good news is that it’s still relatively affordable to promote posts on Facebook. For example, on one recent promoted post we paid $0.43 per click from Facebook back to our website.

Of course the question becomes, what’s the value of that click to your firm’s bottom-line? I’m going to completely skip over top-of-mind awareness, which undoubtedly has some value, and focus on a few more tangible metrics.

At the risk of stating the obvious, what you pay to promote on Facebook matters. If you’re promoting posts that people either aren’t interested in, or worse, choose to hide from their feed, then you’re simply wasting money. On the other hand, if you’re promoting posts that earn clicks that lead to referrals and clients, well, I think you get it. Like almost everything online, you can measure what your audience thinks about what you’re posting from impression, to click, to call, to fee.

If you’re looking for some ideas, head over to Facebook for business’s professional services success stories. If only we had a few examples of how law firms are doing this. Oh wait.

Here are a few quick ideas for paid social posts:

  • Prefer authentic photography (i.e. pictures of actual lawyers and staff).
  • If it’s a Facebook ad, remember Facebook’s 20% text rule.
  • Promote real law firm stuff (i.e community service, charity and social awareness).
  • Build a custom audience with which the post is most likely to resonate.
  • Invite and encourage engagement.

If you need more inspiration, check out what Michigan Auto Law is doing on Facebook.

One key to maximizing the value of dollars spent on paid social promotion is integrating your firm’s marketing channels. No matter how potential clients begin their search, more and legal services consumer journeys don’t fit nicely into a neat single-channel marketing funnel.

In the context of paid social promotion, integrating promoted posts with email and search retargeting can be particularly effective for delivering the right message at the critical moment that your next client decides to contact you. Be sure to correctly install and configure the Facebook pixel and Google’s remarketing tag. This way you can deliver your message across various online marketing channels.

Always remember to use insights to listen to what your audience is telling you about your posts. Are people liking, commenting and sharing your posts? Or, alternatively, are they hiding them from their feeds and unfollowing you?

Never mistake paid social promotion for highway billboard advertising.

As an attorney (licensed in MI, not practicing), Gyi Tsakalakis is familiar with the unique considerations of marketing a law practice both effectively and ethically. In 2008, he founded AttorneySync, an online legal marketing agency, to help lawyers earn meaningful attention online because that’s where clients are looking. He tends to write about legal marketing technology. You can see some of what Gyi has been up to at GyiTsakalakis.com, Avvo’s Lawyernomics Blog, Lawyerist and Attorney At Work.

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