In this competitive digital age, it’s important for law firms to leverage all of the marketing channels available to them.
This includes Facebook advertising.
Facebook ads is one of the most important law firm marketing tools. With about 1.9 billion daily active users, Facebook is unquestionably the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla in the social media space. Considering all that potential, it’s no surprise that businesses — including law firms — are going all in on Facebook ads.
However, understanding social media for lawyers can be a bit tricky.
In this post, we’ll cover all the bases of Facebook ads for lawyers by discussing:
- Why Use Facebook Ads to Promote Your Legal Practice
- Tactical Tips to Use Facebook Ads for Lawyers
Let’s take a look.
Why Use Facebook Ads to Promote Your Legal Practice (5 Reasons)
If Facebook isn’t part of your digital marketing strategy, you’re potentially missing out on more leads and revenue opportunities.
According to a report by the American Bar Association, about 30% of law firms use Facebook for marketing.
Here are some convincing benefits of getting in on the action:
1. Reach Clients Where They Are
As stated earlier, Facebook has the largest user-base of all social networks...and as much as some attorneys may hate to admit it, at the end of the day, a legal practice is a business.
Like any other service-based business, it’s vital that you leverage a marketing channel through which you can reach, engage, and potentially convert a large chunk of your audience.
Many law firms are beginning to realize the potential of this platform. According to the ABA report cited earlier, 54% of attorneys use Facebook, making it the second-most popular social media platform for lawyers after LinkedIn.
If you belong to the other 46%, you’re at a disadvantage. However, the good news is that it’s never too late to start.
2. It’s More Cost-Effective
Compared to TV advertising, online advertising can be more cost-effective for attorneys.
Much of Facebook’s popularity in advertising stems from the fact that it allows you to be highly flexible when it comes to controlling the spend on your law firm’s marketing.
An advertiser can spend as low as $5 a day on ads to get tangible results, such as leads, likes, and engagement.
At any given moment, you can adjust your cost and go as high or as low as you want.
With careful planning, targeting, and execution — all of which we’ll discuss shortly — you can enjoy impressive returns on your Facebook ad spend.
3. Target Specific Audiences
Facebook allows you to specify and target highly specific audiences with your ads.
Some examples of broad factors that you can use to target people include:
- Demographics (age, gender, job titles, academic qualifications, etc.)
- Geographic (from countries to specific areas within a city)
- Behavior (their past purchases, how much time they spend online, etc.)
- Interests (hobbies and other things they’re into)
That way, you can focus all of your time, effort, and money on attracting the people who are most likely to engage and convert.
4. Accelerate Your Lead Generation Efforts
Consistently capturing new qualified leads (i.e., potential customers) is crucial to keep the wheels of your legal practice turning.
You can (of course) acquire quality leads through law firm SEO tactics and PPC search advertising, but throwing Facebook ads into the mix can help turn your lead generation strategy up a notch.
What’s more, with superior targeting options, law firms can rest assured that mostly qualified prospects will see their ads.
5. Build a Solid Brand
Finally, Facebook ads can get you more than leads and paying customers.
You can also use them to build brand awareness and even a community of loyal fans by providing value.
According to Hootsuite, the average Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month, which shows that users are embracing ads.
Once your firm builds its brand awareness with Facebook ads, it’ll increase the likelihood that your audience will turn to your firm when they need a trusted attorney.
14 Tactical Tips to Use Facebook Ads for Lawyers
Learning the basic know-how of running Facebook ads to promote your practice is the easy part.
Understanding how to make the most of it is tricky.
Whether trying to set up Facebook ads for a personal injury lawyer or your practice area is family law, the following tips will help you succeed.
1. “Retarget” Prospects to Reinforce Your Brand
At times, people visit your website or engage with your brand through some digital touchpoint, but don’t contact/convert.
This could be due to a number of reasons — the most common being that they didn’t necessarily require legal assistance at that point in time.
It’s possible to recapture the interest of those prospects through ads offering them something of value, such as a free consultation. In the advertising lexicon, this is what’s known as “retargeting.”Unlike Google Ads, Facebook allows law firms and attorneys to retarget prospects with the goal of converting them into leads or clients.
Here’s an example:
In an episode of the Personal Injury Marketing Mastermind podcast, this is what Jacob Malherbe, founder of X Social Media, had to say about using retargeting for lawyers:“ People have already come and shown interest on your website, and maybe out of a hundred, two convert into a phone call or lead form. So the right strategy is then retargeting them on Facebook everywhere they go. After that initial, “I have an interest” phase, we try to make them come back with free consultation.”
How Does Retargeting on Facebook Work?
In order to retarget prospects on Facebook, you need something called the “ Facebook Pixel.”It’s an advertising tool that essentially connects the user data on your website with your ads manager (the platform you use to create and manage your Facebook ads).Any time someone visits your website for the first time, the pixel will plant a piece of code in their browser. If that person leaves without taking any action (such as filling out a form or contacting an intake rep), that information will be passed on to the ads manager.
At this point, if you have set up a solid retargeting ad campaign, it’ll automatically target that user with a highly relevant ad on Facebook.
Here’s a quick outline of how to get started:
- Implement a Facebook pixel on your law firm’s website.
- Create a catalog of the legal services you want to advertise.
- Set up a Facebook ad campaign for retargeting and create your first ad.
Check out this detailed guide by Facebook to learn how to get started with retargeting.
2. Identify Your Advertising Goals
If you’re completely new to Facebook ads, start off by identifying the specific goals you hope to accomplish.
Ask yourself if you want:
- More leads
- More clients
- A higher following
- Increased brand awareness
Of course, it’s possible to have more than one advertising goal.
Whatever the case, just make sure to split up those goals — and all the efforts involved to achieve them — into separate ad campaigns on the Facebook ads manager.
When creating campaigns, Facebook will ask you to specify your advertising objectives. The broad categories and their (relevant) options include:
- Awareness — to improve brand awareness and reach of your posts.
- Consideration — to increase traffic, engagement, views, lead generation, and messages.
- Conversion — to increase conversions (however you choose to define them).
To get started, on the ads manager, click on the green button that says “Create.”
Next, select the appropriate option from the list.
By selecting a campaign objective that aligns with your strategic marketing goal, Facebook will help you set up ads in ways that bring results that matter (and not vanity metrics).Furthermore, it will allow you to better organize your creatives later when you’re running multiple ads.
3. Set Up Ads to Capture Leads with Ease
When it comes to lead generation, Facebook ads are becoming a popular medium in the legal industry.
Traditionally, when a user clicks on a lead generation ad, they’re led to an external landing page where they fill out a contact form in exchange for something of value.
What’s great about Facebook lead generation ads is that they give you the option of setting up user-friendly, custom native forms.
Whenever a user clicks on your ad to fill out a lead form, most of it will be pre-populated with the information they have on Facebook. That way, you can ensure that more potential clients will actually fill out your form in its entirety.
What’s more, you can use this as an opportunity to pre-screen your leads for qualification with probing questions.
To learn more about creating lead generation ads, check out this walkthrough guide by Facebook.
4. Build a Laser-Focused Audience to Target
As stated earlier, Facebook lets you create laser-focused target audiences for your ads.
Instead of the “spray and pray” approach of TV, newspaper, and outdoor ads, you can get more bang for your buck by creating hyper-focused audiences to target on Facebook.
Make sure to dig deep and narrow down your audience as much as possible. This will ensure that you only target the people who are most likely to find some value in your ad and engage with your law firm.
You can create an audience when specifying the ad set — a group of ads that share a common goal and overarching budget, but can have different specifications — for your campaign.
Specifically, you can do this on the second page of your campaign, under “Audience.”Here’s what it looks like:
In addition to location, you can also specify your audience on the basis of demographics, interests, behaviors, and even the language(s) they speak.
Remember: You don’t always have to recreate your audience from scratch every time you create a new campaign or an ad set.
You can save your audience and reuse them for future campaigns.
5. Create Multiple Ad Sets to Optimize Your Cost
To reiterate, an ad set is a group of ads that run under the same campaign.
At the ad set level, you can specify a budget for how much you’re willing to spend.
If your goal is to target different audiences, this feature can be very useful.
For instance, say you offer family law and have been getting good leads for your marriage dissolution service from an ad set. Now, you’re looking to generate leads for people who may be interested in guardianship cases.
In total, if you’re willing to spend $50 a day on ads, you can create two separate ad sets, and divide that budget however you see fit.
6. Don’t Compromise on Your Ad Creative
When creating ads — writing the copy and designing the visuals/designs — channel your inner-creative and go all in.
Regardless of what Facebook ad format you go with, make sure that your creative:
- Is engaging
- Resonates with your audience
- Aligns with your goal
- Stands out in the newsfeed
The trick is to keep it simple and highly relevant to your audience. Here’s an example of an existing ad by a firm that specializes in car accident law:
To connect with your audience, consider investing in custom-branded designs, photography, and videos to differentiate from your competitors.
7. Test Different Ad Creatives to See What Works
When advertising online, some platforms allow you to create and display two versions of the same ad.
This is known as “split testing” (or “A/B testing”).The goal of split testing is to experiment and see which version brings in the best result.
Those “versions” can be split on the basis of the ad creative, audiences, and cost.
Facebook allows you to A/B test your ad campaigns based on the following variables:
- Image or video
- The copy of your ad
- Demographics (age and gender)
- Other variables
For instance, consider you’re a personal injury attorney promoting the latest guide you wrote on the ins-and-outs of personal injury. You can split test that ad by creating two versions with different copy to understand what resonates best with your audience.
This resource has everything you need to know about A/B testing ads on Facebook.
8. Design Mobile-First Ads
If the image/video on your ad isn’t optimized to be displayed on mobile devices, there’s a good chance that it’ll hinder your ability to effectively deliver the message and connect with your audience.
Furthermore, a total of 98.5% of Facebook users access the platform using their mobile devices.
Make sure you keep that in mind the next time you create ads.
Here are some quick tips to help you optimize your ad creative for mobile:
- Use shorter videos
- Ensure that the text on your design/videos is readable on smaller screens
- Use vertical orientation for your designs/images/photos and videos
At the ad creation level on the ads manager, you can even see how your ad would look on different platforms.
Use that to your advantage.
9. Throw Video Ads into the Mix
Video ads reign supreme over all other Facebook ad formats.
In fact, 47% of people watch video ads most often on Facebook (more than any other platform).
Since they’re so popular and effective, you should definitely consider using video in your ad campaigns.
Here are some tips to do video advertising right:
- Use engaging storytelling in your videos to connect with your audience
- Make sure that your videos are mobile-friendly
- Keep your video ads short (5 to 15 seconds is a good range)
- Plan out and make a viral video for your law firm to stand out from the crowd
- Use captions for accessibility/to allow your audience to watch without sound
Finally, if you have multiple images, you can mesh them into a video by choosing the slideshow format on the ads manager.
10. Target All Stages of Your Sales Cycle
Some law firms use Facebook ads to only target prospects in the bottom of the funnel.This is a classic mistake.
You should instead leverage Facebook ads to target people at every stage of your PPC Funnel. Make sure that you use suitable tactics and messaging to capture the interest of your audience.
Here’s what that means:
Here’s an example of a conversion ad:
For best results, remember to specify the stage/intent when creating the campaign on ads manager.
11. Experiment with Different Ad Formats
Facebook offers a variety of ad formats.
In addition to video and image ads, these include:
- Carousel ads (a collection of cards that you can slide sideways)
- Instant experience ads (loads a full-screen, engaging experience when clicked)
- Collection ads (popular in the retail side — not typically an option for lawyers)
Experiment with different formats and see what brings you results.
12. Use “Exclusion” Targeting
To help you get the best results, Facebook allows you to “exclude” people from your target audience who:
- Already converted on your website
- Engaged with a previous post
In this way, your ads will only be shown to unique people, as opposed to wasting your ad budget on people you've already won over.
You can specify exclusion variables when selecting your audience at the ad set level.
To learn more about exclusion targeting, check out this guide by Facebook.
13. Control How Often People See Your Ad
Another way to optimize your ad for maximum reach is to control how often it shows up on the newsfeed of a Facebook user in your audience.
This feature — known as “Frequency Cap” — also allows you to control the reach of your ad (the total number of people it will reach).Here are your options:
- Higher Frequency — reach fewer unique people, but have your ad shown more frequently to the same people.
- Higher Reach — reach more unique people.
Depending on your goals, you can specify those variables on the ads manager. Note: According to Facebook, this feature isn’t available to all advertisers.
14. Use Data to Consistently Optimize Your Ads
Smart, data-driven advertisers don’t just run ads and call it a day.
Instead, they experiment with their ads, look at the results, and use that data to improve their campaigns.
Here are some crucial data points you should look at:
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Video views
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
Consistently monitor your results on the analytics dashboard on the ads manager and look for optimization opportunities.
Expand Your Clientele with Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising, when done right, can work wonders for your legal practice.
However, before jumping into this exciting world, make sure to get the basics right. Essentially, this entails properly setting up your Facebook page with your law firm’s address and phone number, as well as ensuring you have a dedicated team to engage with the users.
Finally, make sure that your Facebook ad campaigns align with the other facets of your marketing strategy, including SEO, search engine marketing (SEM), email marketing, and your broader social media marketing strategy.