Facebook is the number one source of new work for lawyers. Surprisingly, it beats LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, and other business-related social networks. My friends at Lawyerist suggest lawyers use Facebook for social media success as well.
Law firm Facebook Pages were unheard of when I worked at MBM Intellectual Property Law in 2011. Some of my first posts in my Social Media for Law Firms blog were about the benefits of Facebook for lawyers. I created MBM’s Facebook Page several years ago and they haven’t changed it since. Their social media presence is one of my proudest accomplishments.
Roughly 100% of the lawyers polled disagreed with me, and rightfully so. It was a personal social network (I don’t think they were even offering paid ads yet).
When Facebook Created Business Pages Without Consent
When Facebook began creating Community Pages for law firms without their approval, law firms began to take notice. Facebook noticed that employees were “checking in” to businesses without business pages. Additionally, Facebook noticed tons of online conversations regarding businesses without business pages.
So, in a typical Facebook style, they acted first and said sorry latter. Luckily, law firms can claim these pages and take control of the content. Facebook users can write anything they like on unclaimed pages which can be tragic if a firm gets negative reviews.
Law Firm Facebook Fail
Kirkland & Ellis LLP (currently listed as the largest law firm based on revenue via Wikipedia) still has one of these Facebook Company Pages, and it drives me nuts. Take a look:
This page is populated by Facebook users talking about Kirkland & Ellis LLP. You’ll notice the negative review, the “is this your business?” question listed under the cover photo, and a variety of status updates. Most updates are harmless but if it were up to me, I’d claim this page and clean it up. In fact, there are three pages listed under this firm including this one and this one. All of the pages have followers.
I know law firms like Kirkland & Ellis LLP don’t rely on social media for incoming work because word of mouth is always number one; however, I still think they should have one up-to-date page for brand consistency. Their clients come in all ages and demographics. They do utilize Twitter and LinkedIn (they could post the same content on Facebook for more reach but I will stop ranting now).
Law Firm Facebook Page Win!
I helped my colleague Adrian Dayton grade the AMLaw law firm Facebook pages several years ago and I remember that one of 200 firms had it 100% right. I am incredibly picky when it comes to Facebook so it’s hard to get an A+ in my books.
To keep things fair, I took a look at other large American firms and Baker McKenzie gets four out of five stars for their Facebook Marketing efforts. Here are some of the things they’re doing right:
- Law firm Facebook pages should always use their logo as their profile picture. Baker McKenzie’s logo is easy to read and formatted perfectly. Some firms upload a large, fancy logo not realizing that profile pictures are circle shaped and small writing isn’t legible.
- They have claimed their vanity URL (www.facebook.com/officialbakermckenzie) as well as their user name @officialbakermckenzie which you can see under their profile picture.
- Facebook offers a number of tabs for businesses. It’s easy for firms to turn tabs off if they aren’t relevant. Baker McKenzie’s tabs are Home, Photos, Videos, Posts, About, Community and Twitter. Each tab is useful and has a function.
- They lose points for linking their “Contact Us” button to their Twitter account. This button can be customized to link to contact us forms within Facebook or on external sites.
- Their About page is filled out nicely although they don’t have links to their other social accounts which would be nice. They have utilized the Milestones and Our Story section which is great.
- Their Facebook posts are branded nicely. Each post includes their logo, a consistent color theme, and graphic elements such as chat bubbles. They are using up-to-date graphic design software to create their posts or they have a Photoshop genius!
- Video posts are exploding on social media in 2020 according to Wyzowl. Views of branded videos on Facebook have risen by 258% between 2016 and 2017. The ability to live stream is also a contributing factor. Baker McKenzie posts videos often and that’s great!
- They post consistently (at least once per week). This is good for a law firm.
How Lawyers Get Work From Facebook
Here are some of the ways my clients have obtained new work through Facebook:
- Facebook Recommendations Feature: Your Facebook connections ask for recommendations, a lot. And because you trust most of your friends on Facebook (hopefully) you are more likely to trust their opinion. I’m part of various mom groups in Vancouver and I see lawyer requests weekly. These are mostly family law referrals.
- Facebook Advertising: Depending on your practice area, you can use Facebook ads to target very specific demographics. For example, if you are a personal injury firm that focuses on bus accidents, you can monitor the news for bus accidents and target your ads accordingly. This has worked VERY well for clients. Ethically speaking, your posts should be informational and not slimy. You’ll get ambulance chaser posts if you word your posts wrong.
- More and more people search Facebook for local businesses. Law firms with professional pages, good reviews, updated posts and consistent branding will beat the local competition. Having a great Facebook Page is always good when your Facebook friend refers you to a firm as they can directly link to their Facebook Page.
I created a SlideShare in 2016 which is still relevant today. Check it out:
Lawyers and law firms should utilize Facebook in their marketing toolbox in 2020. Even if you don’t want to post often, claim your community page and create a consistent brand across your networks that matches your website branding. Make sure your contact information is correct. Someone told me that 90% of law firms have incorrect contact info on their Facebook pages – this is very easy to fix.
In my opinion, the bulk of your social media efforts should be focused on Facebook and Facebook ads. I know most lawyers won’t want to use their personal Facebook for business development but even linking their employment section to the firm’s proper Facebook Page is a plus. Facebook grades all engagement. You’ll rank higher with links, likes, shares, etc.
How does your Facebook Page stack up against the competition? Take some time and look at your competitors. Use Facebook Insights to monitor their engagement. There are a lot of Facebook Page analyzer sites on the web you can use as well.
If you’re unhappy with your Facebook Page and are interested in a Facebook Audit, I’d be happy to help out as it’s one of the services I offer as a social media consultant. You’ll receive a detailed report including competitive analysis, a list of errors to update based on Facebook best practices, app and software integration suggestions, and social media templates for Facebook posts.
Contact me using the below form. I look forward to hearing from you.