This post continues my Social Media for Attorneys series by discussing how your firm should approach Facebook. In my last article I discussed how Facebook goes about deciding whether an attorney’s content should be shown to followers. This article will put meat on the bones by discussing the substance of an attorney’s Facebook content as well as mistakes to avoid.
How lawyers can get more people to be interested in their Facebook content
Lawyers are quick to sign up Facebook pages for their firms but struggle with determining what content to post on them. The key, obviously, is to give people content they want to read. The best way to do this is to give information that is immediately useful and immediately digestible. Put yourself in the role of the average person using Facebook. Giving them something they 1) have a reason to click and 2) can read with relative ease will make following your firm interesting and will not make it seem like a chore. Let’s look at some examples of content you should be sharing online.
The best type of information for attorneys to share is useful news updates that relate to their niche. For example, if your firm handles traffic tickets then do morning posts sharing links to updates stating where officers will be on traffic duty. If you are a DUI lawyer give links to updates stating where DUI checkpoints are being held. Do you practice bankruptcy law? Update your Facebook page with links to useful articles on daily financial management tips. These types of updates will make your Facebook page a useful source of information for your subscribers and will drive interaction. This increased interaction will, in turn, make other things you share (such as links to your blog posts) more likely to show up in people’s Facebook feeds.
Another great type of content attorneys can share on Facebook is opinion pieces on topics their potential clients are passionate about. Are you an immigration attorney? Sharing opinion pieces about the ongoing immigration debate means you’re sharing information that many potential clients are quite passionate about. Do you practice criminal defense? Decriminalization of drug laws is a current hot button topic and there are many opinion pieces that people will read out of interest. Sharing interesting articles, that get people’s passions fired up, is a great way to drive engagement and grow your Facebook following. Again, this will establish you as a source of information.
Driving engagement on Facebook will increase the number of people seeing your content and will increase your number of followers. This, in turn, will provide you with the branding effect that a strong Facebook presence can provide. It also gives you another channel for distribution of your blog posts. Also, don’t’ be shy about posting the occasional personal photo as it will make far more people identify with you.
Four common mistakes by lawyers promoting their firm through Facebook
The above-mentioned tips will go a long way towards driving Facebook engagement. That being said, let’s look at four common mistakes made by attorneys which you need to avoid.
Don’t Spam People – I’m going to say this again. Don’t spam people! There’s no need to constantly blast content into people’s feed. Doing so will decrease the amount of your followers’ interaction which, in turn, will decrease how often people see your content. Post a link to an interesting opinion piece, not twenty links to twenty interesting opinion pieces. Also, make sure the information you share is useful or interesting. If you share a link to an article that just recites a position that has been stated over and over, and adds nothing new to the discussion, then don’t clutter people’s feed with it. Don’t forget what I talked about in my post on how attorneys can build social media relationships, you need to be interesting.
Don’t Post Infrequently – The polar opposite of being a spammer is when one posts infrequently. Remember the phrase “out of sight, out of mind?” Attorneys are notorious for updating their Facebook page only a few times a month (or less). It’s hard to be seen as a source of information if people don’t ever hear from you.
Don’t Pay For Likes – Paying for likes is counter-productive. People who like your page as a result of an ad being shoved in their face aren’t following you out of general interest. These people are then less likely to interact with your page which makes your content less likely to be shown under Facebook’s algorithm. Paying for likes, therefore, does more harm than good.
Engage With Your Audience – The types of shared information mentioned above will drive interaction on your site and, the beauty of it, is that many people will interact with each other during the conversation. It’s still important, however, that you chime in during the discussion. This makes you part of the community and, just as importantly, it gives you a chance to add your “lawyerly perspective.”
Facebook provides great value to lawyers and law firms in terms of branding. Following the tips in this post and my previous article are a heck of a lot cheaper than television ads and billboards typically used for branding purposes. This will put will ahead of many other attorneys who still haven’t figured the value of social media branding or how to go about it.
My next article will wrap up this series on social media. Of course I would be remiss if I did not end this article with a gratuitous request that you follow SEO For Lawyers on Facebook.