Social Media Marketing has become unavoidable for businesses throughout the UK, and as our Social Media Expert Stacy Nelson stated in her latest blog ‘law firms without a social media marketing strategy are missing out on a good chunk of business.’
There are numerous benefits of using social media to enhance your overall marketing strategy. You can promote your services and thought leadership; increase search engine rankings with social signals; build new relationships with businesses and customers; and ultimately, generate new business. The majority of your competitors and clients will be on social media, and you should be too.
However, it’s becoming more and more apparent that whilst it’s important to have an organic social media strategy in place, without using paid advertising it can seem impossible to stand out amongst your competitors. On Facebook alone, the average social media user is exposed to 1,500 updates each time they log in – for some extra-enthusiastic social media users, ahem, Gavin Ward, this can reach up to 15,000!1
Paid Social Media Marketing for Law Firms
So, how can your law firm use paid social media to stand out amongst competitors and win new business? Here we outline the different forms of paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and the benefits of using them.
Facebook has been at the forefront of paid social media and over the past few years they have “actively reduced the exposure of organic content”2 in an attempt to encourage more paid adverts. Law firms tend to adopt Facebook less than Twitter or LinkedIn in their social media strategies as Facebook users are more likely to use the social network connect with friends and family. Whereas Twitter is more commonly used for people to follow celebrities, companies and general interests; and LinkedIn is known as the go-to platform for business networking.
However, Facebook should still be considered as an integral part of your social media strategy as its advertising platform provides the perfect opportunity to advertise your services to a huge untapped audience full of potential clients.
Facebook offers a number of promoted advertising methods such as:
- Sponsored post - promote your content, events, special offers and services to a targeted audience
- Promoted page - grow page likes and organic audience
- Promoted website - build brand awareness and increase traffic to your website
- Promoted local business – build awareness amongst people local to your business
- Promoted call to action - nurture leads by further encouraging customers to carry out your desired action.
You can advertise on Facebook for a minimum of £1 per day and it’s entirely up to you how long your ads show for. Facebook will even give you estimates of how many people you could reach with your chosen budget, time period and target audience.
Facebook has one of the most sophisticated bank of audience insights on the web, which allows advertisers to really home in on their target audiences. Advertisers can be extremely specific about who sees their promoted content which makes it ideal for businesses with a lower advertising budget.
You can target users based simply on their location, age or gender; you can nurture leads by remarketing to website visitors; or you can even be extremely specific and advertise to people who have certain interests or browsing behaviours.
Your law firm may already have thousands of Twitter followers. However, it is likely that all of your followers also follow hundreds of other businesses, colleagues, friends, celebrities, TV shows, even accounts dedicated to cats! Therefore it can be incredibly challenging to get your content seen on a very busy Twitter news feed.
Using paid advertising on Twitter is a great way to build brand awareness, promote new services or content, grow new followers and even start a trend. Twitter advertising options include:
- Promoted Tweets - share your content, offers, events and services to a targeted audience
- Promoted Trends – promote a trend at the left hand side of people’s newsfeeds. Great if you’re running an event with a dedicated hashtag
- Promoted Accounts - build Twitter followers and organic audience
- Twitter Cards - promote your content, services, events and special offers and include calls to action, larger images and engagement information.
- Lead Generation Cards – promote your content and capture names and email addresses.
Promoted tweets and cards are the best method of getting your brand and content in front of your target audience. Twitter recommends using several variations of each ad so that you can test and optimise which ones work best at achieving your goals, whether that’s brand awareness, engagement or lead generation.
Lead generation cards are handy for law firms looking to grow their list of contacts by encouraging people interested in your brand to give you their contact details such as name and email address. It’s important to give people a reason to share this information; perhaps offer access to an exclusive whitepaper, run a competition or offer to send regular company updates.
Twitter’s audience targeting options are similar to Facebook as you can show your paid promotions to people based on their demographics, locations, interests, device and behaviours. For example if you want to promote your Child Law Services you can advertise to people with children:
One very interesting targeting method Twitter offers is the option to target by keywords. However, keyword targeting on social media is considerably different from search engines. People use search engines ask questions and find out information, whereas on social media users are more conversational and informal. The keyword ‘Conveyancing Solicitor Glasgow’ on Google AdWords might be more like ‘Can’t wait to move house!’
For promoted tweets and cards you pay per engagement including retweets, replies, favourites or new followers, and for promoted account ads you pay per follower. Daily budget can be from as low as £0.01 and Twitter also gives you an estimation of your audience reach depending on budget, duration and target audience.
LinkedIn, a social media platform for professionals, is the place to be to grow your network and market to other businesses. Check out our ultimate guide on LinkedIn for lawyers. LinkedIn advertising has grown more sophisticated in the last year, now offering several different ways to advertise:
- Text and Image ads – build brand awareness and grow organic audience
- Sponsored Posts - promote your best content, events, services and offers
- Sponsored InMail – contact targeted professionals directly through LinkedIn messenger
- Lead Accelerator - remarket to people who have visited your website with content personalised to them
- Job Adverts - promote a job vacancy to qualified candidates
LinkedIn advertising won’t be as suitable for B2C law firms as its user base is smaller and focused on businesses and professionals. However, for those law firms that offer B2B services, LinkedIn provides the perfect platform to get in front of a qualified audience.
LinkedIn advertising is a great way to encourage more people to sign up to an event or seminar you are running, invite professionals to join your LinkedIn group, or showcase your expertise through sponsored posts. You can show your ads to people based on their location, company size/industry, job title, degree, skills and more. And you can also use all these options to exclude people from seeing your ad, making sure that your budget is being used to its full potential.
One downfall of LinkedIn advertising is that it can be pricey compared to other forms of paid social advertising. Daily budget for text and image ads, along with sponsored posts must be at least £8, making it a short term advertising platform for many law firms. Also a sponsored job vacancy costs £189.95 for 30 days, making it one of the least flexible forms of social media advertising.
How can Paid Social Media Benefit Your Law Firm?
You might ask why should my law firm spend money on social media when we can use them for free? Well, there are several benefits that come with paid social:
- Reach new audiences and hundreds of potential new customers
- Be very specific about who you target and avoid wasting budget on uninterested customers
- Nurture leads by remarketing to people who have visited your website
- Stand out amongst competitors who aren’t taking advantage of paid social media
- When compared to Google or Bing ads, social media ads can actually bring a greater ROI. With PPC you pay each time one person clicks on your ads, and with social media ads you can also pay each time someone engages with your ad, meaning that every time someone shares or retweets your ad, it will appear in the newsfeed of all their connections also!
- Track ad performance and understand what ads work best with Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Then use these insights to feed back into your organic social media strategy
Our Top Tips for Social Media Advertising
No one wants to spend money for nothing. In order to make sure you are getting the most out of paid social follow our top tips:
- Use paid social media to complement and grow your organic audience
- Promote only your best content
- Ensure your ads are relevant to your audiences and engaging. Facebook and Twitter give your ads a relevance score (similar to Google Ads quality score). The higher your relevance score, the less you have to pay
- Test out different graphics, headlines, copy and calls to action to see what works best
- Make use of analytics tools offered by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to understand how well your ads are performing
- Really think of who you want to target and make use of the targeting options available
- If you have a large, varied audience split them into smaller audience and customise your content accordingly
- Remember that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all very different platforms which are used in different ways and that your strategy should be adapted to suit each platform
- Have fun – social media is the place to show your personality and connect with potential customers in an informal environment.
Start Using Paid Social Media to Win New Business for your Law Firm
Paid social media provides the perfect opportunity for you to reach and engage with your new audiences. For further information on developing a bespoke social media marketing strategy calland ask for Chris for an informal chat.