How Do You Become the Most successful lawyer on Facebook? Just ask Jacob Sapochnick.

Jacob has been so successful as a lawyer who happens to also know Facebook marketing, that he’s started to share his techniques with other lawyers.  So he created the “Enchanting Lawyer” page. He has 1,789 fans. But more importantly, he has 142 PTAT (people talking about this). We care far more about engagement than fan count. Like we saw in his consumer campaign, he had a standard page like ad and a sponsored story (page like story). The sponsored story beats the standard ad, as we normally see– $1.23 per fan versus $1.49. But note that the standard ad generates more fans, since our fan base is still small. Sponsored stories don’t really kick in until you have a significant base of fans and engagement to amplify. The click-through rates on his sponsored story are triple that of his standard page like ad. But the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of the sponsored story is also triple. Thus, the net CPC is similar. The higher CPM of the sponsored story is not necessarily “more expensive” or “bad”. It just means that under optimized CPM bidding that Facebook is choosing the placements that are most likely to convert.  And newsfeed placements typically convert better for sponsored stories, as they appear to be more organic.

Let’s tune the campaigns

First, we want to create separate campaigns for audience, engagement, and conversion. We don’t want to mix different objectives in the same campaign, since it makes comparison/optimization difficult. We advocate a campaign naming convention that starts with numbers, making sorting easier. So let’s create 1_audience, 2_engagement, and 3_conversion. I happen to like to name my ads and campaigns in all lowercase with no spaces. If you happen to program complex logic to scale campaigns like me, then this will come in handy for you later, since the database won’t choke on your ad names, even if you escape out certain text. Because he has two fan pages he’s promoting from his single account, we add the page number in the campaign.

Creating engagement

The workhorse ad we mentioned earlier is the page post engagement ad that is always on.  Set your budget based on how many fans you need to nurture and how often you post.  In other words, you should estimate the number of paid impressions you need to ensure consistent coverage. Like this. This “always on” ad is targeting just fans.Facebook’s new “gauges” ad estimator is showing 1,460 people in the United States.   You can ignore the warning, since you’re going to create multiple ads. Use “create similar ad” in Ad Manager or use Power Editor (for the pros out there), as you make each new ad. When you start typing in “bar association”, you get “New York State Bar Association”, “Ohio State Bar Association” and other similar groups of lawyers. Don’t type in “lawyer”, unless you want to target people like this. Remember, this is Facebook, so “legality of cannabis” is not a surprise. Of these 240,000 lawyers, the ones who are friends of existing fans will convert better. So we’ll now duplicate this ad to reach friends of fans who are also lawyers. Now the audience is only 5,600 people, since our fan base is still so low. The ad not using connection targeting is going to have to carry us until we get enough of a base that word of mouth can really kick in. Of course, name your ads descriptively, so you know what you’re targeting on each one. Note that when the fan base grows, the friend-of-fan ad will automatically kick in. In other words, each new fan, on average, has 330 friends. So when your audience campaign generates another 100 new fans, you can automatically reach 33,000 more people. No need for you to do anything. But not all of the 33,000 new people you can reach with social context are lawyers, which is why we have the interest targeting on top of social connection targeting.  Always. You should have some workplace targeting in your page post ads, since you want influencers to see your posts. That means the media, industry professionals, and anyone who think is important or would share what you have to say. This assumes you have a solid content strategy– content good enough to incite sharing. After all, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken poo. Now we’re targeting by where people work, not what they like. So we’ve the local newspaper in San Diego, the American Bar Association, and a few other places that will amplify his presence with the media. Because Facebook doesn’t show ad targeting criteria, they will never know that these ads are just targeting the media. They’ll think you’re a major player. We’ve used this to great success the last few years. We targeted only 3,000 people here. Don’t worry about trying to get a big audience. Don’t even worry about generating clicks, since the prolonged exposure is how you establish credibility. In this rare instance, impressions are what matter, not clicks. Boosting posts is convenient (see below). But either you do that or run page post ads, since organic alone isn’t enough.

Now it’s time to convert!

The 3rd campaign is to drive conversions, whether it means driving a sale, lead, phone call, webinar sign-up, or whatever. Choose “website conversion”, not “clicks to website” The difference is that you must install the tracking pixel– not as huge of a deal as you might think, even if you’re not an engineer. You can set up multiple conversion pixels for multiple events and stages in your funnel. More here, if you want to really dig into action spec and other conversion tweaking.But you can safely ignore this if you’re not a high volume direct marketer. Because you’re sending traffic to your landing page, you’re going to need create “Google-esque” ad copy. That means multiple images of 600×315, headlines, and body copy. Facebook starts you off with your timeline cover, which is what they’ll show in a page like story in the newsfeed (one reason to be careful about your timeline cover).  But you should add in a few more to test, since the one you wouldn’t expect to win, will win. Make sure they’re the right aspect ratio, since if you’re showing the newsfeed, your images will be too small.  In the Ads Manager (regular web version), you can reposition your image. Not possible in Power Editor. And don’t violate the 20% text rule. And now we have some ad copy that promises value. In this case, a real lawyer sharing how he’s grown his practice on Facebook. Of course, you can’t say “Facebook” in the ads. We’re targeting just fans here, since we want to hit folks we’ve already nurtured in the audience and engagement campaigns. We are running this just in the newsfeed, but some folks have found better success (lower cost per conversion) by running the RHS (right hand side). You’ll need to test this for yourself. Lead gen experts– which of these practices are you using? Got any tips on how we can make our campaigns more effective?

Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is the Chief Executive Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone. He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, CNN, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo. He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as the London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70-mile ultramarathon. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com