Today, I want to discuss, step by step, how law firms can use Facebook as a tool for generating new leads.
Part 1: A Sturdy Audience
On social media, we are the product, and the actions we take on platforms like Facebook are tracked and sold to advertisers. All of these little bits of information about you, and by extension your soon-to-be clients, gets divided up into categories such as interests, behaviors, and demographics. When a particular interest or behavior gets large enough that targeting it no longer potentially causes a privacy issue, you’ll have at your fingertips the ability to add it to the list of people you’d like in your targeted audience. The audience you choose will then see your ads and have the opportunity to call or email you.
Audiences are a tricky thing though, in that there’s no secret formula to putting together the best one for your product or service. One tactic that’s been tried and true for us is a simple A/B test with one audience put together based on demographics, and one based on interests. With some clients demographic-based targeting is the most effective, and in others interest-based targeting is the clear winner.
Demographics-Based – An audience that’s put together by envisioning your ideal target, and breaking down what their profile would look like from a demographics perspective. Do they fall within a particular age bracket? Do they own their home? Do they own a business? Do they carry several lines of credit? Facebook will hand all of this and more to you on what’s practically a silver platter, thus allowing you to piece together your ideal target.
Interest-Based – An audience that’s put together and categorized predominantly by interest. You’ll again find yourself considering your target, but this time think of what they may be interested in. Are there certain artists that your target market may generally be interested in? Certain stores that they may be more likely to shop at? Any particular activities they would ideally spend their time doing? While these may be a bit more generalized, sometimes they can end up just as useful, if not more so than outright demographics.
Why not mix the two you ask? Just as it’d be problematic to make an audience that is too broad, including all of the above could likely make your audience a bit too narrow. This leads to the same people seeing your ads multiple times, and if they didn’t convert the first or second time they saw it, chances are they’re not going to want to the third time they see the exact same ad either.
Luckily for us, Facebook will show these two ad sets side by side when checking out the results as long as you made each audience its own ad set. Figuring out which is performing better is just a matter of logging into your Ad Manager account and looking. Give them a bit of time to play out; while it’s super tempting to shut one off the moment it seems to underperform, these things take time to develop statistically relevant data. After you’ve let the two play out, compare them and see if there’s a clear victor.
Part 2: A Solid Creative
Facebook has explicit rules stating that you can’t make ads that imply or assert personal attributes, disabilities included. Phrasing in this situation can make all the difference between an approved ad and one that’s rejected and sent back to the drawing board.
Tone and measuring intention of the audience in your ad copy play an enormous role in whether or not they’ll be clicking on your ad. Bear in mind that most people on Facebook aren’t on there to be searching for their next lawyer to pop up in their feed, so it’s up to you to convince them. Along with this is the fact that while the audience-building tools are wonderful and can provide the ability to build surprisingly in-depth profiles, there will be some people in your target audience that, simply put, have no reason whatsoever to need a lawyer.
Don’t think I’ve ignored images; they’re just as important as any other part of your creative, especially in a time when Facebook is placing a higher emphasis on content with images. You’ll want to keep your text on the image to a minimum, not only because a text-heavy image for an ad can turn people off to the idea, but also because Facebook prohibits images where text takes up more than 20% of the space.
The image itself should be simple, informative, and get the point across within a handful of seconds tops:
With a quick glance at that picture you know what you’re looking at, what the ad is offering, and how to get in touch. Free is also a buzzword that catches attention, especially in the case of law ads. Your audience may be a bit hesitant to contact a lawyer, period, but by reiterating that the consultation is free and assuring them that they’ve got nothing to lose by making the call, you can put them more at ease with the decision.
Part 3: Analytics
Your insights are only as good as the data you have to back them up, which means measuring every step of the process is crucial to gauging success. Before you jump into numbers, break your process down. What counts as a lead? For most of our clients that’s either a contact form submission, a phone call, or a chat lead.
Contact form submissions are without a doubt one of the easiest ways to keep track of leads. Our go-to contact form plugin is Gravity Forms; it’s easy to use, secure, and gets us the responses quickly. If you use contact forms on your website, do you have methods to tell which campaign those forms were submitted through? They’re certainly a wonderful tool, but if you have no tracking methods to tell where the people filling them out are coming from, your ability to measure a campaign’s success is essentially nil.
You can manage this tracking a few different ways:
- Create a separate landing page with a separate form. Only the ads in the specific campaign you’re trying to measure will link to this landing page, so if that specific form was filled out on that page, there’s no doubting what the source was.
- Set up a ‘Thank You’ page that the user is redirected to after a successful form submission, and mark this as an event/conversion in Google Analytics. In Google Analytics you’ll be able to see the path that the user took to get to that event/conversion. This one takes a bit more digging and tallying up during calculation time, but it’s certainly an option nonetheless. Note: A good practice is to combine this option and the above!
- Set up a Facebook conversion pixel on the form itself. This will send the information to Facebook, which allows you to see it right in line with the ads themselves.
- An extra field on your contact form that indicates where the user heard about/found you. Note that not only is the accuracy of this sometimes debatable, but also that with every extra field you add to your form you decrease the chances of your potential client actually filling it out.
This one seems to slip through the fingers of some firms sometimes. A call is certainly a lead, so they should be tracked just like everything else; if you’re not measuring your calls as a result of a specific campaign, your lead calculation price could be much higher than it should be.
You could potentially ask each of your callers where they heard of you from, or you could take a jump into the 21st century with a program like CallRail. CallRail uses Dynamic Number Insertion, which is essentially a pool of different numbers that each correlate to a different source used to get to your site. A small snippet of code on your website will then allow it to replace any instance of a phone number on your page (that you choose) with the number that matches up with how they got there. This allows for quick sorting of which numbers came from where, and provides additional insight for you that otherwise would be tricky to get.
An example of the output of CallRail’s Dashboard looks a bit like this:
|Source Name||Tracking Number||Start Time||Phone Number||City||Duration|
|Personal Injury||937-340-####||2/22 7:12pm||862-###-####||Newark, NJ||abandoned|
|Personal Injury||937-340-####||2/17 8:40am||937-###-####||Dayton, OH||2m 8s|
|Personal Injury||937-340-####||2/16 12:21pm||937-###-####||Bellbrook, OH||2m 4s|
|Personal Injury||937-340-####||2/16 10:11am||937-###-####||Bellbrook, OH||1m 40s|
Note: The actual dashboard is much more colorful, interactive, and all-around better looking. This is just a quick, edited snippet of the exported version.
For campaign-specific numbers, you can quickly and easily request a single number to associate with that specific campaign. DNI is wonderful for overall analytics, but the level of detail you need for a single campaign (such as Facebook) can easily be accomplished with just one specific number.
$30 Personal Injury leads aren’t some sort of mythical, unheard of creature — we’ve accomplished them here at JSO — but they do take effort and persistence to achieve. There are lots of moving parts, and it’s absolutely crucial that each of those parts is fully capable of being measured and executed thoughtfully. It’s a tender subject that needs to be treated as such, and your mileage most certainly may vary. When in doubt head back to the drawing board, these kinds of results don’t happen overnight.
For more on Facebook in the legal marketing arena, check out these posts: