Most lawyers don’t understand Facebook. For most lawyers, Facebook and Instagram are mindless playthings for millennials and have nothing to do with the practice of law. If lawyers want to bury their hands in the sand, it’s their loss.
Facebook is everywhere. Just check out these numbers:
- There are 2.41 billion active users on Facebook—74% of which use the platform daily
- 79% of Americans use Facebook (the platform with the second highest usage is Instagram—owned by Facebook—at 32%)
- 53% of Americans use Facebook “several times a day” and on average, 8 times per day
- The average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes (Source: Infodocket)
The average law firm posts 19x every 6 months and the “industry leaders” post 49x every 6 months on their law firm’s Facebook page (Source: Scorpion Marketing). That’s not much. If you post just once per day, you will have 180+ posts on Facebook in six months and blow away your peers.
But where do you get started? It’s becoming harder to gain exposure on your friends’ News Feed. The goal? ENGAGEMENT. Whenever your audience engages with your post in any way, e.g., comments, likes, shares and reactions, this sends one message to Facebook: I want more! And Facebook gives them what they want, with most exposure to your posts.
5 Rules for Posting Awesome Content on Facebook
Our law firm sees much less engagement on posts about legal issues. Generally, if you post about boring legal topics, your fans will ignore you.
Before you post, ask:
- Would I share this content with my friends?
- Will this get people talking?
- What type of content do my fans respond to?
We discovered that our firm’s audience likes funny, entertaining and informative content. Over a period of 20 days, a single post on our firm’s Facebook page on National Hot and Spicy Day received 942 engagements, including 51 shares and 65 comments. This post had nothing to do with the law and had only a few surprising facts about the world’s hottest pepper (the Carolina Reaper).
Turns out, our audience must have a thing for peppers and our business page continues to get likes, shares and comments more than 3 weeks later. Now, we know what to post about, namely, nutty content that tweaks the curiosity.
Follow these 5 rules for posting content on Facebook:
Rule #1: Post on Your Business Page: Posting on your law firm’s business page will add branding to your posts. Post on your law firm’s business page, and then share on your personal page. This will expose your posts to a larger audience on your personal page.
Rule #2: Be Informative and Entertaining: Focus on sharing great content (as well as the best times to post). Your Facebook audience is not looking for a sales pitch, e.g., your settlements or verdicts, and they’re not going to engage with one.
Rule #3: Ask Questions: Ask a question to kick off an active comments thread, e.g., “What’s your favorite baseball movie? Let us know in the comments.”
Rule #4: Keep it Short: Most posts will be viewed for only 2.5 seconds.
Rule #5: Follow the 70-20-10 Rule: Follow internet guru, Neil Patel’s, 70-20-10 rule.
- Post original content that is entertaining and informative 70% of the time,
- Post content relevant to your followers’ interests 20% of the time,
- Post self-promotional content 10% of the time.
Analyze your top 10 Facebook posts. Go into Facebook Insights and rank your content by links, comments and shares. Once you know which posts have the highest engagement, you know what you should be posting more about.
15 Tips for Getting Engagement on Facebook
It’s becoming harder for any post to gain exposure on the News Feed, but there are proven methods for getting engagement.
Tip #1: Post Regularly: This is easily the most important. Posting at least once a day will increase your chances of being seen. Ideally, try to post 2-3 times a day. Consistency is everything.
Tip #2: Use Images & Photos: An image takes up more space on the News Feed and an interesting image will get more likes, comments and shares. A post accompanied by a high quality photo is 10x more likely to get engagement than a post that only has plain text.
Tip #3: Comment on Other Pages: Always reply to the people who comment on your page. People will stop following your posts if you ignore them.
Tip #4: Tag Other Pages: When you tag another page (by using the @symbol and typing the other Page name in a post), your visibility can increase with that Page’s audience. Facebook sometimes shows tagged posts to that Page’s fans in the News Feed. At the very least, you can increase your visibility with that Page so that your fans know you’re talking about them.
Tip #5: Add Hashtags: By adding hashtags (keywords with the # symbol attached, such as #marketing), you have the potential to be seen by more people who are searching on that hashtag within Facebook.
Tip #6: Use Boosts or Promoted Pages: Boosting a post is a simple form of Facebook advertising that allows you to get your post in front of more people and thereby increase your chances of engagement. A Boosted Page is created from your Timeline and can either target your fans and their friends or an audience that you can choose with up to 10 targeted keywords.
A Promoted Page is created from the Ads Manager and has more targeting options, such as targeting only your fans, or an audience you choose with more targeted keywords.
Tip #7: Use Contests/Sweepstakes: A contest or sweepstakes is a fun way to get extra engagement on your Page because people like to win. When more people are engaging with your contest, more people have a chance to see your content.
Tip #8: Promote Facebook Pages with Your Blog: Embed Facebook page updates in your blog posts.
Tip #9: Use Facebook Stories: Facebook stories appear at the very top of the News Feed. That’s great placement for drawing eyeballs to your content. 62% of people said they became more interested in a brand after seeing it in a story.
Tip #10: Add a Call to Action Button on Your Facebook Page: There’s a little CTA button on every Facebook business page. Adding a Call to Action button on your law firm’s business page gives options beyond liking, sharing or commenting. Your Call to Action button can give quick access to: “Download our Free App” or “Download our Free Book”.
Your CTA button can link to a landing page on your website, a video, a contact form, or opt-in page. Focus on what your Facebook visitors are most likely to click. You can even use the CTA image as the cover photo for your page (see @QuickSprout).
Tip #11: Promote Your Page Outside of Facebook: People who are already interacting with you are great sources of potential engagement. Make sure they know where to find you on Facebook, e.g., subscribers of your email and print newsletters or your email signature.
You might send an email to the subscribers of your email newsletter asking them to join you on Facebook with a link to your site. You can also share a post on your page when a user mentions you.
Tip #12: Use Video: Videos earn the highest engagement rate, despite making up only 3% of the content on Facebook.
Keep in mind that 85% of Facebook users watch video with the sound off. This means that captioning your video is essential for engagement.
Tip #13: Get Your Team Involved: Ask your staff to share and like your content with their audience. And go a step further, give your staff administrative rights that will allow them to post on your business page. This will be your secret weapon.
Tip #14: Complete Your Profile: Complete the “About” page on your business page. Connecticut plaintiff’s lawyers, Ryan McKeen, Esq. and Andrew Garza, Esq. @ConnecticutTrialFirm, use their “About” page to tell their law firm’s founding story and why they practice injury law.
You can add a video in place of a cover photo on your Facebook profile. Make sure your phone number and address on our your Facebook page.
Tip #15: Start a “Like” Campaign: Create a “Like” campaign on Facebook for $1/day. With a $1/day ad campaign over 365 days, you will get more likes every day and your audience will expand.
Avoid These 3 Mistakes on Facebook
Mistake #1: Cross-Posting is a Bad Idea: Do not share posts across more than one social media platform. Each social media platform has its own unique audience and you want to post content that is relevant to them. Retweets and hashtags are a foreign language and shortened URLs get clicked less than long URLs.
Mistake #2: Avoid Engagement Bait: Do not ask for a share or like. This is considered “engagement bait” by Facebook and your posts will be downgraded.
Mistake #3: Making It All About You: It’s called social for a reason—stop boasting about your settlements and verdicts. Social media is NOT about you.
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
The best data is always your own and Facebook has a ton of data available to all page owners and administrators. Use Facebook “Insights” to find your best time to post on Facebook. Click “Insights” at the top of your page. From the Insights dashboard, select “Posts” in the left-hand column menu. This will give you a detailed breakdown of the days and times your friends are most active.
- Is there a specific time your friends are online?
- When is your audience most active on Facebook?
Facebook Insights records the reach and engagement figures for every post you share to your business page. Head to your “Page Insights”, click “Posts” and below the graph showing the times your fans are online, you’ll see “All Posts Published”. In the “Published” column, you can see the date and time when each post was published to your Facebook page. Do posts published around a specific time tend to receive more reach or engagement?
You have the potential to reach more consumers and drive higher traffic to your website during peak usage times, but people may be more likely to engage in the evening. Thursdays and Fridays between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. are considered to be the best time to post on Facebook. On Thursdays and Fridays, engagement is 18% higher (Source: Bit.ly blog) and during weekends, most people spend more spare time checking out Facebook.
The Best Thing You Can Do Right Now
Want to take your firm’s social media presence to the next level? It’s hard to do this alone. Find an expert who knows what they’re doing and let them show you the way.
There’s no better place than The Firm Flex Gym. Jay Ruane, Esq. built the largest criminal defense firm in Connecticut through digital advertising and social media marketing and for the first time with The Firm Flex Gym, he’s willing to share with you everything he knows. With daily advice, one-on-one coaching and hands-on support in a private Facebook group, Jay and his team at The Firm Flex Gym can help take a dormant Facebook business page and transform it into an engaging social media powerhouse.
The proof is in the results. In the first 28 days with The Firm Flex Gym, our firm’s Facebook page received 242 new followers and 243 page likes, and we’re just getting started. For $97/month, The Firm Flex Gym DIY program is a no-brainer for any lawyer looking to build a powerful social media presence.
Photo by Tobias Dziuba from Pexels