Search on the internet you’ll find a plethora of articles talking about the importance of social media to your law firm, whether that’s about building your brand identity, gaining new followers, or developing an online community around your firm’s values and services.
The truth is, however, that those articles and that strategy put too much emphasis on the organic side of social, which, no matter which platform you look at, has been severely declining as the years have rolled on.
One of the biggest culprits in this regard is the humble Facebook page, once a place where your clients, friends and family could engage with and build communities centered around your business. Today, many social media platforms have very much become “pay to play” networks, where your reach is severely restricted unless you are willing to fork over your hard earned dollars. This, in combination with many business’s misguided obsession with vanity metrics such as likes, followers and shares, has meant that many law firms have been unsuccessful in creating a sustainable return on their investment on social media platforms.
But you don’t have to give up!
Whilst we’ve argued against investing too much time and effort into organic social media efforts, they still form a good basis on which to communicate your brand with your target audience. Moreover, investing in organic initiatives such as optimizing your profiles, creating regular & engaging content, engaging with your followers and embracing rich media and new positing styles can all help add social value to your law firm whilst building brand identity and getting your name out there.
But don’t miss the wood for the trees.
Organic initiatives should go hand in hand with a strong paid strategy and the ability to measure and analyze results. No matter which new trends evolve on social media as time rolls on, creating a user experience funnel and generating traffic, engagement and leads through paid advertising will always be hugely valuable to your business. Let’s delve a little deeper into some of the strategies that we’ve found to work fabulously for law firms in the US over the years.
If there’s one thing that social media has revolutionized over the years, it’s the arsenal of targeting opportunities never before available to the average advertiser. Not only does hyper targeting reduce your audience size and there the cost to reach them, but it also ensures that your message is being shown to highly relevant people and can be tailored to a message that will resonate with them.
Not only are you able to target people by age and location, but by language, work, sex, travel patterns, Interests, relationship status and education level, amongst others. You can also tailor your message according to time and placement, so you can be sure to reach your audience when they are online and on the platform or device which they use most frequently.
So how do you ensure the best possible targeting? Well, a level of experimentation always has to go into these things, especially until you find a winning formula. However, split testing, analyzing your campaign results and diving into the analytics of your current followers are good places to find the magic recipe.
- Make sure all of your customer touchpoints are spot-on
When a user sees your ad, check you out on Facebook, looks at your yelp reviews and gives your office a call, they are interacting with your brand. An integrated marketing strategy means that wherever that customer is coming into contact with your company, they should have the same brand experience. This is not only reflected in having a cohesive design such as logo, fonts and color scheme, but also in your company’s tone of voice, your values, your service and any other touchpoint that the client may have with your law firm.
What happens when your ads preach the best law service in town, but your Facebook page hasn’t been updated in 3 months and your website’s landing page takes 7 seconds to load and isn’t mobile friendly? Nothing. Precisely nothing happens, because those weak links in the customer journey mean that you are not giving them the opportunity to convert.
It is crucial for you to treat the entire lead funnel as a whole made up of the sum of its parts. So your ads should be super polished, well written and targeted, but so too should your social media page be relevant, updated and reflective of an active community. Your website should be modern, easy to navigate, secure and dynamic, and until this entire process is nailed, don’t bother with ad campaigns as your cost per conversion is going to skyrocket from all of the lost prospects.
- Have clear-cut goals and deadlines
All too often, client come to us with ambiguous goals or unrealistic expectations. Not just in marketing, but in everything your business sets out to do, always have goals that are KPI driven and attainable.
Here at Bylaw Media, we use the time-tested SMART goal defining system. In this process, we are able to set goals, manage expectations, come up with budgets and strategies of attaining those goals. SMART goals are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time Bound
So what enables us to do is take a typical client brief which would be somewhere on the lines of “I want my law firm to grow on Facebook” and develop it into something like “I want my law firm to go from 300 to 1,000 followers in the next six months. In that period, I want to have generated 25 leads for new court cases, each of which would provide over 10,000 dollars in legal fees”.
Our team would then be able to notify you if this is attainable and provide an estimated budget of what it will take to do so. Once the campaign is complete, an analysis would enable you to decide whether the campaign was a success or flop and whether your money provided a good return on investment.
4. Produce Ads that SHOUT!
Just because you run a law firm does not mean that the ads you produce need to be boring. Don’t forget that in an ever more saturated digital environment, you are competing for every millisecond of people’s attention. With this in mind, your goal as an advertiser is to engage prospects, inform and entertain them and foster their call to action by moving them on down into your sales funnel.
Where we see law firms in particular struggle with this is with the language used. It’s crucial to speak with your audience in a language that they will understand, while at the same time maintaining your professionalism. Keep in mind the language used to meant to appeal and create an attraction. To help with this, consider what sort of language and tone your audience prefers, which type of content works best for them, and what are their likes and dislikes.
You also need to present your brand clearly, so design is an important element in your ads too, here you want to make sure you are covering your brand identity, marketing message, and the whole user experience. Always consider using rich media whenever possible as it’s been proven to convert the most.
A good ad will feature an attention grabbing headline, be fresh and engaging, be aligned with your brand and imaging, feature a compelling call to action and isn’t over repetitive.
5. Use the right campaign objectives
As already discussed, having smart goals is one of the key factors in having a successful ad campaign, but aligning those goals with campaign objectives is where you will strike gold. The following are some campaign goals from which we’ve seen phenomenal results:
- Retargeting adverts:
- Retargeting ads use a piece of code (either an API or Pixel) that is installed on your website to know who has visited your site and what actions they may have taken. The real power lies in the fact that no matter where your traffic on the website originated from, you have the ability to track them and reach out to them with ads once they are back on facebook or instagram. These ads are tricky to setup, but are worth the investment in time and money.
- Pro tip: rather than a generic retargeting ad, base it off of a specific landing page. So for instance, rather than simply re-adverting your law firm to someone who has already been on your website, try advertising injury lawyer services to someone who went into a service page about injury lawyers.
- Traffic campaigns
- These should be a staple in your arsenal, and are the best channel for outreach and to send people to your website to kick off the funnel process. Make sure that the ad sets are tailored to your audience or else you resk spending money on people who will not convert so use the demographic targeting carefully.
- Pro tip: If you have a multitude of services that you want to advertise to the same audience, try using carousel ads, as they feature individual services which link to separate landing pages, thereby making the customer journey shorter and more likely to convert on the service that applies to them.
- Lead capture campaigns
- Lead capture campaigns do just that. They capture leads natively on the platform and so you can integrate your brand with platform and deliver a seamless experience to customers. Once they fill in the form and opt in, you have yourself a list of warm leads whom to contact and pitch to.
- Pro tip: don’t try to collect too much data initially. Don’t forget that most web traffic these days come from mobile devices and nobody likes filling out mountains of data in a form. Get the basics, contact the prospect and collect the information then.
Whichever way you look at it, missing out on social media is missing out on a ocean of opportunity, no matter in which industry you operate.
Social media helps law firms become more human and approachable, whilst adding a number of contact avenues for clients and prospects to touch down with your firm. Moreover, social media ads wield insane amounts of targetability and measurability, making them an incredible return on your investment, when done well.
If you’d like your social media ads to be done well, contact Bylaw Media today to set up a free consultation and kickstart your foray into the digital sphere!