Leveraging Facebook and LinkedIn to Generate Leads and Referrals, Part 1: Facebook

May 7, 2016

stephen-fairley_smWe all know about Facebook and LinkedIn, but are you aware of their huge potential to help expand a law practice? In a fast-paced and information-packed webinar that is the fourth in ElderLawAnswers’ marketing funnel series, law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley explained how to leverage both these social media platforms to generate leads and referrals.

Fairley, who is the founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, which specializes in marketing and lead conversion for small- to medium-sized law firms, told his listeners that using Facebook and LinkedIn has the potential to “radically transform” the way elder law attorneys practice law, generate and convert leads, and get referrals.  He said that Facebook is a great way to connect with potential clients, while LinkedIn can be a key to building referral relationships.

In Part 1 of this two-part article on Fairley’s webinar, we present his recommended strategies for using Facebook to generate client leads.  Part 2 will cover how LinkedIn can be a referral goldmine.

Using Facebook to Get Hundreds of Qualified Leads a Month

Fairley began by noting Facebook’s incredible reach – 162 million active users in the U.S., which translates into three-quarters of the nation’s adult population using Facebook on at least a monthly basis.  More than 400,000 Facebook users will die this year (not as a result of using Facebook, Fairley hastened to add).  How many of the survivors will need a probate attorney?   How many other users know someone who may soon need nursing home care?  “If you can define a target market, you can find those people on Facebook,” Fairley said, citing a Hubspot study that 67 percent of business-to-consumer companies have acquired a client from Facebook.

Fairley listed six ways to find clients using a firm’s Facebook page: promote your firm’s achievements, drive traffic to your firm website, post on Facebook regarding current events and articles of interest, get more Facebook reviews, remarket visitors to your website, and get more leads using Facebook’s version of pay-per-click, which he thinks is better than Google’s.

1. Promote your firm’s achievements. Anytime you have any kind of success, be it being named a Super Lawyer or getting a community award, Fairley said you want to promote it on Facebook.  But first, he said you need a very clear, concise and compelling statement, one sentence that says “this is what I do for my clients.” He gave the example of a tax attorney he has worked with who had never gotten a lead off of Facebook until he started using one simple sentence to describe his practice: “I represent taxpayers who owe money to the IRS.”  Shortly thereafter, the attorney posted news of client success stories, starting with a client who had owed $199,000 but settled with the IRS for $500.  The calls and leads started pouring in.

2. Drive traffic to your firm website. Fairley contended that website traffic can be increased from 30 to 50 percent by inviting Facebook visitors to click on links that take them to destinations on a firm’s website such as blog posts or landing pages.

3. Post on Facebook regarding current events and articles of interest. Discussing current events on Facebook shows prospective clients that you are keeping current.  Any time there is a topical story about your practice area, you need to pick it up. “Not all of it; you don’t want to become a TMZ,” Fairley said, “but you want to have enough so to where people know that you’re relevant and up to date on current events.”

4. Get more Facebook reviews. Facebook reviews are a relatively new phenomenon.  People are rating lawyers on the Internet all the time, and Fairley said the research shows that people are going to believe other people’s opinions of you, whether it’s true or not.  At the same time, people are three times more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one.  “You can give the best service the best results, you can do everything perfectly but somebody’s not going to be happy with you,” Fairley said.  So you need to get some positive reviews out front to offset the inevitable negative ones.  Ask your clients to review you on Facebook, in addition to on LinkedIn and Avvo.  Fairley counseled against spending a lot of time on Yelp, which he said has a “real problem” with its rating system.

Fairley urged his listeners not to be shy about asking for Facebook reviews, noting that one of his clients posts a link in their e-newsletter saying “To give us a review on Facebook, click this link.”

An audience member asked whether Facebook reviews might violate his or her state’s bar rules.  Fairley answered that Facebook is a third-party website that the lawyer does not own or control.  Anyone can post, so it’s no different from Yelp or Avvo.

5. Remarket visitors to your website. This is one of the cheapest, most cost-effective ways to get more clients, Fairley said.  “Remarketing” is when, for example, you check the price of an outdoor grill on Amazon and very soon start seeing ads for it on other sites you visit. Similarly, when someone visits your website but doesn’t do anything else (which is the case for between 97 and 99 percent of site visitors), your ad will show up when they go to another site, including Facebook, which has its own platform just for remarketing.  The ad will follow the potential client around on Facebook for a long time, and Facebook’s charge is not high, Fairley said.

“This is something that is a no brainer; this is something that you should be doing right now,” he stressed. He cited the oft-quoted marketing statistic that it takes an average of seven to ten “touches” before a prospect feels comfortable with you.  Fairley said that the average user is now spending 8.3 hours a month on Facebook – more time than they spend reading their email.

6. Get more leads.  Fairley’s last strategy for using Facebook is to generate leads through its pay-per-click program, which he believes is superior to Google’s.  He said that it is “very difficult” to make good money on Google’s pay-per-click unless you have “a really smart person” on staff who is using “really smart software.”

Fairley believes that Facebook, by contrast, is easier to use, much more advanced, and less expensive.  Whereas Google knows a few things about an individual (IP address, city and state, browser history, keywords searched for), “Facebook knows everything about you,” he said.  This wealth of information can be used to narrowly target ads.  For example, Facebook can profile people who might need nursing home planning.  An elder law firm can send Facebook its client list and ask Facebook to find prospects who have the exact same characteristics as that group of people.  “It’s a very, very cool tool,” Fairley said.  “It’s amazing how you can slice and dice the data on Facebook.”

Google’s pay-per-click has other liabilities as well, Fairly contended.  He said Facebook’s cost per lead is cheaper than Google’s cost per click, which is rising.  Also, with Google your competition can see everything you’re doing, while with Facebook your ads can be hidden from your competitors.  Finally, click fraud — when a person or computer program clicks on an ad simply to generate a charge — is a problem with Google but nonexistent with Facebook, at least for the moment.  While Facebook’s conversion rate is generally lower than on Google’s pay-per-click, “with the lower cost per lead, the numbers are in your favor,” Fairley said.

Fairley’s webinar is part of an ongoing series of webinars titled “The Elder Law Marketing Funnel.”  For more information about the funnel and to view past or upcoming webinars, click here

To view Fairley’s hour-long webinar, click here