The importance of internet advertising has skyrocketed in recent years, such that being online is more of a necessity than an option. Experts, like social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk, have rightly admonished business owners to stay on top of social media trends and the shifting digital landscape—or risk becoming irrelevant.
With over 1.4 billion monthly active users, Facebook is an obvious choice when it comes to marketing online. To get started, all you need to do is set up a Facebook page for your law firm (that’s different from your personal profile) and start perusing the advertising options Facebook has available.
But is Facebook advertising right for your law firm? More importantly, is it right for you?
Different ads work for different legal practice areas
If your area of practice is connected to certain types of life events, then Facebook advertising will likely be useful for your firm. Plenty of Facebook users post about important life events, and this information is entered into Facebook’s database, allowing you to target your ads to the users who are more likely to need your services.
- A divorce lawyer could create a video that covers legal considerations for newly separated couples, and then target it at Facebook users who recently changed their relationship status from married to separated.
- A wills and estates lawyer could make a video reminding Facebook users about the importance of preparing a will to protect your loved ones, and then target recently married couples and new parents.
On the other hand, Facebook advertising won’t work quite as well for areas of law where clients need to find a lawyer quickly. For example, if someone needs a lawyer due to a car accident or personal injury, they will likely use Google to search for one as soon as possible, rather than scroll through a list of Facebook posts.
The idea is to target those who are likely to need your services with content they might find useful. You’ll build their trust by providing useful information.
Cost comparison: Facebook versus Google
Another important consideration is that it’s generally much cheaper to advertise on Facebook than it is to advertise on Google.
For example, it will cost you about $25 per click to advertise on the Google search results for “divorce lawyer” in the U.S.
For that same $25, you’d get at least 1,000 views on Facebook of a video that answers a key divorce-related question. That’s one possibly relevant person hitting your website via Google versus 1,000—if you target your Facebook Ad to reach the right people, as mentioned above.
For solo lawyers and small firms, every dollar counts. Facebook won’t suit every practice area, but purely on a cost basis, Facebook advertising is certainly worth considering if you could see the medium working for your firm.
Of course, there are advertising rules and ethics considerations to keep in mind for lawyers advertising on Facebook. For example, you shouldn’t label yourself as a specialist or expert in a given practice area unless qualified to do so by the rules of your jurisdiction, and you definitely shouldn’t give legal advice specific to individual clients via your Facebook page.
However, ethics considerations shouldn’t scare you off. There are rules to consider for any medium of advertisement—social media options like Facebook are simply no different. (Learn more about this in our complete guide to social media for lawyers).
So, should you advertise your firm on Facebook?
If you can effectively target potential clients with Facebook Ads given your practice area, Facebook advertising is a great option for your firm.
Of course, it also depends on what you’re comfortable with. If Facebook is truly anathema to you, you’re likely going to have trouble coming up with effective ads.
That said, if you’re just nervous about trying out Facebook advertising, don’t let that stop you! Remember, Facebook Ads are relatively cheap, so you can afford to try out a few things before creating the perfect ad that brings in lots of client leads for your firm.
Either way, Facebook advertising may be cheap, but it isn’t free, so you’ll want to track your investment to ensure that any Facebook Ads you pay for are truly bringing in leads for your firm.
We published this blog post in November 2016. Last updated: .
Law firm marketing experts share their top tips - for free
Get law firm marketing tips from Gyi Tsakalakis, Josh King, and Kevin O'Keefe in our free ebook: The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing Your Firm Online.Get the Guide