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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Is Facebook Advertising Right for Your Law Practice?

 

By Ken Matejka, Legal PPC

 

In this article we’re going to cover the pros and cons of Facebook advertising to help you decide whether it’s right for you or your law firm.

How Does Facebook Advertising Work?

When users sign into Facebook, they view their “Profile” pages. Facebook displays ads in the Profile pages’ right hand margin. Facebook allows advertisers to target Facebook members by location and age. In advanced targeting options, Facebook will allow you to target Facebook members by “interests.”
Advertisers owe Facebook a small amount of money (say, for example, $1.75) when someone clicks on the advertiser’s ad (there is also a “pay per impression” model which is beyond the scope of this article). When the Facebook member clicks on the advertiser’s ad, he or she is brought to the advertiser’s website. If the ad displays on the member’s Profile page and the member doesn’t click on it, it doesn’t cost the advertiser anything.

How much the advertiser owes Facebook for the click, and whether Facebook chooses to display the ad at all, depends on the advertiser’s “bid.” The bid is the amount of money the advertiser has told Facebook they are willing to pay for a click.

Is Facebook Advertising Right for You?

Unlike search engine advertising, Facebook is a passive, less targeted form of advertising than some other Internet advertising. When someone types “San Francisco divorce lawyer” into a search engine, there is a strong likelihood that they are trying to fill an immediate legal need. In contrast, when someone signs into Facebook to communicate with friends and relatives, and if they see your ad and click on it, it’s less clear why that person might be clicking on the ad.

Demographic Targeting

For some practice areas, there may be advanced targeting possibilities. For example, if your law practice is mainly juvenile law, you can target Facebook users who list their interests as “parents” and “parenting.” Likewise, if you represent entrepreneurs for copyright and trademark issues, you may be able to get your message in front of a more technically inclined group of Internet users.

Inexpensive Clicks

A click in Facebook may cost $1.19 but that same click may cost $6 in Google. And since you pay for clicks, not the number of times your ad displays, it’s an opportunity to get your message repeatedly, and free of charge (unless they click), in front of a lot of local Facebook users who may remember you when they need legal help.

Return on Investment

At this point it’s hard to tell whether Facebook advertising is an effective lead generation tool. Since there’s no conversion tracking built into Facebook, it’s hard to measure how many people who click on the ads are making contact with the advertisers. Anecdotally, one New England law firm we’ve helped advertise in Facebook reported that no one has mentioned Facebook as a referral source after over 1,000 clicks.

Some advertisers in other industries have reported that their ROI is better with other online sources but others report that their Facebook ROI is good.

Our recommendation is that if you’re unsure, give it a try because it’s cheap and easy to set up.

Next issue: The mechanics of getting started with Facebook advertising.


 

Ken Matejka is a California attorney who co-founded LegalPPC, a search engine advertising company dedicated to helping lawyers and lawyer referral services get more clients through Google advertising. LegalPPC has built Google advertising campaigns for 20 bar associations and for a growing number of law firms nationwide. He can be reached at ken@legalppc.com.

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