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The Friday Five

Five Rules of Engagement for Lawyers on Facebook

By Jamie Adams

Many lawyers create Facebook pages for their law firms because they know it’s something they “ought to do” for their online marketing.

Set up website: Check! Write blog posts: Check! Have a presence on social media: Check!

What often happens, though, is the lawyer completely misses the purpose of this social networking site, which is to interact with other Facebook users and build relationships that may eventually lead to new cases or referrals. Instead, they create a Facebook page and then abandon it, checking in now and then to publish the occasional post. Or they use the page solely as a publishing platform, constantly pushing out content and never paying attention to their Facebook fans.

Don’t Be That Lawyer

Instead, be the lawyer who uses Facebook for making connections, engaging your audience, sparking conversation — and showing potential clients that your law firm is ready to offer meaningful insight.

So, what are you waiting for? Here are five tips for how to best engage with Facebook fans.

1. Post interesting content that makes people want to interact. Post about hot-topic issues and current events within your practice area, or write posts focused on the top concerns of your target audience. For example, if you are an immigration attorney, you might post about a major immigration-related law that recently passed in your state. Or, if you are a DUI lawyer and the most common question people ask is about what they should do if they’re stopped for a DUI, you could share a link to a blog post with helpful tips. You can also post questions and invitations for your page fans to share certain experiences.

And here’s another tip for posting irresistible content — include high-quality and relevant videos and photos in your posting cycle. Photos have been linked with higher engagement levels over the years, and videos are emerging as the new star of Facebook (Socialbakers recently found that video posts now result in the highest level organic reach on Facebook.)

2. Respond quickly. Whether comments, private messages or mentions of your law firm on other Facebook pages, people may view your responsiveness on social media as a reflection of the client service offered by your firm. You don’t want to leave them waiting for too long. Downloading the Facebook app (or the app of any your social media management site you use) will make it easier for you to respond quickly when you’re on the go.

Make your page fans feel acknowledged and appreciated by liking and responding to their comments and mentions. And don’t use impersonal cookie-cutter responses. Posting the same type of comment over and over makes you appear insincere.

3. Track engagement using analytics. Use Facebook Insights sites or a social media management program such as HootSuite to keep track of how people are interacting with your page. Look at metrics — page and post likes, comments and shares — and pay attention to patterns. Do certain topics or styles of posts get more activity? Do you get the most engagement at certain times of the day? Are your Facebook fans more likely to engage with posts that end with a question? This information can help guide your future posting activity so you can improve your engagement levels.

4. Run ads on Facebook. Facebook ads help you expand your reach, meaning they get your posts viewed by more users — including users who are not already fans of your page. Even more valuable, you Facebook offers plenty of targeting options, including targeting users by demographics (age, gender, location and language), behaviors (such as device usage), interests and more.

With this higher level of control, you can gear your posts to users who are more likely to engage with your content and your law firm. Facebook allows you to create ads for various types of goals as well, such as getting more page likes, driving more traffic to your website, and boosting awareness of your firm. Facebook has information about launching your first Facebook ad campaign, here.

5. Don’t overshare. Be careful not to overstep professional ethics boundaries on Facebook or any other social media platform, which are public forums. To best protect your practice and your clients, do not share any information that would be considered a violation of confidentiality or client-attorney privileges. These types of violations could result in disciplinary sanctions, or even litigation in some cases.

Learn More at Lawyernomics 2016

LinkedIn & Facebook Strategies for Getting More Clients will be Jamie Adams’ topic when he speaks at Avvo’s Lawyernomics 2016 Lawyer Marketing and Business Conference, April 7-9, in Las Vegas.

Attorney at Work is a Media Sponsor of Lawyernomics 2016.

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