Should law firms have Facebook pages for each office location?

The answer is almost always no if the locations are all in the same metro area.

Here’s why.

Sometimes good marketing trumps local SEO

If you’re interested in SEO best practices for your law firm, you’ve probably heard of citations. Citations are mentions of a business on websites that rate local businesses. Yelp is a great example. Google crawls trusted sites like Yelp and creates a sort of digital file on your firm. The more consistent the name, address, and phone number information is in this file, the better chance your business has of ranking well in local searches.

I know what you’re going to say next, Facebook is a citation source right? Therefore I should create a business page for each of my office locations to build out each citation profile?

Yes, Facebook local pages qualify as a citation source, but I still recommend creating only one local Facebook page for your business. Just as you’re better off building one authoritative website rather than a series of micro sites that accumulate tumble weeds, your firm is better off with one Facebook page that drives real engagement.

Citations aren’t everything, and sometimes local SEO gets in the way of good marketing. A well maintained Facebook page that has developed and audience and that drives real engagement is much more valuable than a citation.

It’s called social media, and not local SEO media, for a reason.

Most law firms don’t have the time or resources to build multiple Facebook pages

Let’s face facts, no law firm is going to build a real following on a satellite office page. Your Queens satellite office page is not going to build a fan base. Those pages are destined for 3 likes and permanent ghost town status. Shell pages like this defeat the purpose of social media, which is to engage an audience. They’re embarrassing and inauthentic. So rather than focus on citations, the focus should be on building meaningful social metrics to your primary Facebook page.

What metrics matter?

Former Googler and all around analytics whiz Avinash Kaushik tells it like it is for most law firms on Facebook:

We know little about who is on the other end of the TV set (computer screen) and the medium places limits to what we can do. So to make our marketing more efficient we shout more loudly, more frequently!

We don’t have to do that. We can get a very good sense for who is following / friending / subscribing to us. We can measure if what we are saying connects to them (in near real time!). And unlike all others, this channel has the word social in it! Social as in talk and listen and discuss.

And therein lies one of the most overlooked goals of Facebook, understanding and speaking with your audience. Sharing valuable information they want to receive and share. If the goal is just a citation, we’ll continue to see law firms put up ghost town pages. However, law firms can use Facebook as a laboratory to test different messages, drive engagement, and ultimately build a following.

According to Avinash, the major metrics to focus on are:

  • Conversion rate – click throughs, comments, replies, overall engagement
  • Amplification rate – new audiences spreading your message to their followers
  • Applause rate – likes on the post (also related to amplification)

If this bankruptcy law firm can do it, your law firm can as well

Our client in Los Angeles, Borowitz and Clark is a leading bankruptcy law firm in California. We have been running boosted content campaigns for them, targeting different demographics in their market, to see what issues resonate with their community. After some trial and error, we found that a big issue for people in Los Angeles is how unaffordable the city has become. Especially on a platform like Facebook, it’s unlikely you’re going to drive much engagement with a straight “what is chapter 7 bankruptcy?” post. People don’t want to share that with their friends. But everyone can relate to cities like LA and New York becoming unaffordable.

We promoted a post on just how expensive it’s become to live in LA, which received 1,998 likes, 858 shares, and 285 comments!

People had a conversation on the Borowitz and Clark facebook page about an issue that impacts their lives, some of the comments even got heated.

The fact that almost 2,000 people liked the post and another 858 shared it, meant people thought the piece had value. They shared content from a bankruptcy law firm in large numbers. As Avinash would say, the Facebook community amplified the post. That new audience then gained favorable exposure to the Borowitz and Clark brand. People actually started to like the page…

You get the idea.

Understanding your audience

Every good marketing campaign understands its audience. This is true even for small law firms. Back to Avinash:

A high conversation rate requires a deeper understanding of who your audience is, what your brand attributes are, what you are good at, what value you can add to your followers and the ecosystem you participate in.

The expense of living in LA piece resonated deeply with Borowitz and Clark’s audience. So much so that it caused us to change the messaging around the firm’s Facebook page. We designed this custom cover photo that focuses on cost of living, rather than just straight at you bankruptcy.

bc_facebook_cover_final (1)

The idea is for Borowitz and Clark to position themselves as a firm that understands what regular families in LA are going through.

Facebook engagement gave us valuable insight into what the firm’s audience wants to hear, how they relate to our content, and how they view our client’s business.

Facebook doesn’t allow multiple locations to be listed on one page. I still have the offices, what now?

The fact remains that some firms have multiple office locations, and as of today at least, you can’t add more than one location to a business page. Forget citations, doesn’t this force the law firm’s hand who has 6 office locations in a city like San Diego? Luckily technology steps in to help. There are companies who create custom tabs for Facebook pages so businesses like law firms can include all their satellite offices in one place.

Problem solved.

Your law firm now has a Facebook page it can be proud of, while still listing all your office locations in one convenient place.

See also: Facebook can work for law firms

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