Why Most Law Firms Fail at Social Media (and How You Can Avoid the Biggest Mistakes)
A few weeks ago, a Great Legal Marketing member asked me, “are Facebook marketing campaigns ever successful?” This member tried several social media marketing campaigns, but they didn’t bring her results. She was ready to give up social media marketing altogether.
Her frustration is felt throughout the profession. Many law firm associations talk about how Facebook can revolutionize your marketing, but never clarify how that works. The honest truth is this: some practice areas will have more success on social media than others. However, ALL law firms can find some success on social media.
Keep in mind; social media should be only one marketing investment for your law firm. There are many other places you should invest your money if you are serious about creating a marketing machine for your practice. If you spend $100 in social media ads, you should be spending $400 on direct mail, newsletters, or other print materials. Print media and physical mailers still are, and will always be, a better return on investment than a generic social media ad.
How Lawyers Can Find Success on Social Media
What social media gives marketers is precision. We can target our potential clients with specific metrics, making it effortless to find people by several demographic indicators. However, not all law firms can identify their ideal clients by demographic information alone.
Personal injury marketing is one example of hard-to-pin-down clients on social media. The last time I checked, we can’t target “people who’ve had car accidents in the last year.” We can, perhaps, target someone interested in “legal” topics, but that could be a lot of people, not just people with recent car accidents.
Instead of showing your ad to a lot of cold leads on Facebook, you should show your ads to those who have visited your website. This is known as retargeting or remarketing.
Retargeting is an excellent tool, because it allows you to insert yourself during your potential client’s buyers journey. Instead of casting a wide net and showing your ad to everyone in your local area, you are showing your ads to people who have already expressed an interest in your law firm.
Retargeting allows you to capitalize on the traffic your website is already getting. You can pinpoint leads who are unconverted (those who haven’t downloaded your free reports or whitepapers) and make sure they see your offer and, hopefully, convert on your offer.
3 Tips For Improving Your Social Media Ad’s Performance
1. Avoid “Branding” Ads
When I reference branding ads, I am talking about ads with an image of the lawyer, the law firm logo, and/or a headline that says “we care.” These ads don’t offer the consumer anything, and they don’t make an impression. Lawyers have been conditioned to create these generic ads by hundreds of marketing vultures who claim they work. In truth, branding ads are the WORST investment for solo and small firm lawyers. That is why we teach our members how to create great direct response ads designed to elicit a (good) reaction from potential clients.
2. Selecting an Eye-Catching Image
Images are one of the most critical parts of a Facebook ad. Your image will be the first thing potential clients notice about your ad, and it should give them a good reason to click on your ad to learn more. The worst thing you can do for your ad is lob in an image that is “good enough.” Even worse, you slap your firm’s logo in there and assume that will attract attention.
3. Don’t Forget to Write Copy for Your Ad and Your Landing Page
Your ad could be beautiful, compelling, and thoughtfully crafted, but if you don’t back that up with good writing, then you wasted your money. Potential clients won’t respond to design alone; you have to create content that compels your potential clients and shows them you understand their problems. When they read the text of your social media ad and your landing page, they should be reading about themselves and their issues.
Finally, don’t forget that social media isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all of modern lawyer marketing. Even if you flunk out of “social media school” you can still have major success in your marketing. Too many attorneys are putting all their marketing dollars into social media, and if that ever fails they are in real trouble. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and try several different marketing mediums simultaneously to get the maximum number of leads coming into your law firm marketing system.
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.