What Attorneys Need to Know About the Facebook/Apple Feud
If you are an attorney business owner, you probably wonder if the Facebook/Apple feud over consumer data will affect your marketing. The short answer is no, but the Facebook app changes on Apple devices is another deathbell of advanced online marketing tracking.
What is the Facebook/ Apple Dispute About?
Digital privacy is afloat in muddy waters. What may sound like good news for people concerned with their privacy is not, and occasionally what sounds like bad news for privacy is good. Only those who make it their business to understand online marketing and data can know the difference.
In this case, Apple is the champion of consumers concerned with their privacy. Soon, Apple will allow people to decide if an app, like Facebook, can track their web and data usage when they are not using the app. Basically, it will allow its users to prevent Facebook from running in the background and storing your data and digital use.
Will These Changes Affect Attorneys Who Use Facebook/Instagram for Marketing?
As I said above, the answer is probably “no.”
There are two ways Facebook can get information about its users. The first is user-reported data.
User-reported data is exactly what it sounds like; data people willingly give to Facebook, usually on their profile page. For example, a person’s age, occupation, language, education history, and so on. Most people willingly give Facebook all the data they need to target them with ads.
The second most common way Facebook gets data about its users is through pixels and app tracking. This is the type of data-gathering that Apple will stop. If you are an advertiser who used Interest targeting in the ad interface, you will likely be affected by Apple’s changes to the Facebook app.
However, most attorneys don’t use Interest targeting.
Think about it. Personal injury attorneys can’t predict who will get into car accidents based on their interest in arts and entertainment or politics. Bankruptcy attorneys can’t find their ideal client based on their interest in aviation, pets, or travel. Workers’ comp attorneys can’t find those who’ve been injured based on their interest in home and garden, fashion, or technology.
Yes, some attorneys may carve out an audience using the data points I mentioned, but those are few and far between. I bet that even if you can find your ideal audience using Interest targeting, it won’t have a conversion rate that competes with other digital advertising methods.
Digital Privacy, Targeted Ads, and Law Firm Marketing
Make no mistake, I value digital privacy. I don’t want anyone to access my browsing history, and I don’t want those details abused by massive conglomerates. Apple is making some big steps in the right direction, but its new app tracking policies aren’t quite enough to undo digital marketing as Facebook claims.
However, Apple is making the first moves to kill third-party tracking. Soon, “old school” digital marketing tactics like keyword targeting will become more important than Interest targeting and behavior predictions.
The good news is that most firms don’t rely on fancy digital marketing tactics. In fact, you can implement effective marketing just by requesting our Marketing Breakthrough Kit.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.