The Lawyer’s Guide to Facebook Ads for Legal Marketing

Everybody is on Facebook these days, from grads to grandmas. In fact, of all U.S. adults on the Internet, 72% visit Facebook at least once a month. Most visit daily, or several times a day. With that huge potential audience, could Facebook advertising benefit your law firm?

Yes, but not for the sole reason that everyone is on it. It’s for the ability that Facebook provides to target your audience to the gnat’s eyebrow that makes Facebook advertising so enticing for law firms. And beyond being super-specific with targeting, it is also cheaper than Google Adwords. Two good things that go good together!

First, let’s talk about targeting. To be successful with Facebook ads, you must know your ideal target market, which are the clients you want to attract. You must also know what would appeal to them to get them to click on your ad. If you don’t know those two things, don’t even bother advertising on Facebook (or anywhere else for that matter)!

Audience Targeting

When you’re creating an ad on Facebook, you first choose a location and a local radius (i.e., 10 miles, 25 miles, etc.). Next, you will select age and gender information, men and/or women from 18 to 65+.

Next is your opportunity to get really granular with your targeting. There are a number of different ways Facebook gives you to build a target-rich environment for your ads. The main targeting categories include:

Demographics -- multiple choices under Education, Financial, Generation, Home, Life Events, Parents, Politics, Relationship and Work.

Interests -- multiple choices under Business and Industry, Entertainment, Family and relationships, Fitness and wellness, Food and drink, Hobbies and activities, Shopping and fashion, Sports and outdoors and Technology.

Behaviors -- multiple choices under Anniversary, Automotive, B2B, Charitable donations, Consumer Classification, Digital activities, Expats, Financial, Job role, Media, Mobile device user, Multicultural Affinity, Purchase behavior, Residential profiles, Seasonal and Events and Travel.

Example: Targeting Life Events

Most people who seek out an attorney have just experienced a “life event.” Whether that’s getting married, going through a separation, getting engaged, having a child or moving to the U.S., all these life events could trigger the need for a lawyer. Facebook allows you to target people in your geographic area according to distinct demographic categories, one of which is called life events.

Here’s an example: if you practice family law, you would probably be interested in reaching people who have recently separated since they may be on their way to a divorce. I chose my own geographic territory -- Riverside, CA -- and see that there are 5,700 people who are separated:


If I’m only interested in people whose annual income is over $100K, I can narrow that list even further to less than 1,000 of the 5,700 who are separated:

What I’ve just done is found up to 1,000 new leads in my service area and I’ll only need to spend about $20/day to market my message directly to them.

Additional Facebook targeting options include:

Custom Audiences -- you can add your current client contact list or have Facebook create a custom audience based on traffic to your website.

Lookalike Audiences -- Facebook takes the data you have used for build Custom Audiences and uses it to target other people who are similar to those on that list.

Types of Facebook Ads

When you’re starting a Facebook campaign, you will first need to chose the type of ad you’ll be running based on your advertising objective. Typically, the primary objectives for law firms include:

Website clicks -- this option allows you to run ads that will take people directly to your website when they click on the ad. However, you need to remember that most people are not on Facebook searching for an attorney, so this option may not be the most efficient use of your money unless you direct them to a page on your site that asks them to sign up for your newsletter.

Website conversions -- this option provides for specific actions from people who click on your ad, such as downloading a free ebook. It’s a good way to collect leads that enable you to follow up with an autoresponder email series. You should create a special landing page for your ads to house your offer, which allows you to better track conversions from your Facebook ads.

Lead generation -- with this option, you create ads within the Facebook platform that lets users contact you without leaving Facebook.

Video views -- a great option if you have engaging videos that allow people to get to learn more about your services, what your clients think of you and what it might be like to work with you.

Should You Try Facebook Advertising for Your Firm?

Just like any marketing program, your target market will dictate where you should advertise. Facebook advertising typically works better for consumer law practices because of the advantages it provides in terms of:

  • Controlled targeting based on demographics, interests, behavior, location, language, etc.
  • Control of your budget since you can choose exactly how much you want to spend every day and turn ads on and off according to performance vs. cost.
  • Control of your ad timing, since it only takes a few minutes to create and post an ad. This allows you to capitalize on “hot topics” in the news or events that affect your target market.

Be sure to test various ads to determine what resonates with your target market and you’ll soon find that Facebook ads are a great way to capture leads using social media.

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