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Do lawyers need Facebook marketing experts?

Facebook logoBrian Solis, principal at Altimeter Group and a widely recognized authority on social media, shared his thoughts on marketing through Facebook this morning.

Marketers must now rethink their Facebook strategy to define click paths and results. As Josh Constine recently reported, Facebook is now giving advertisers access to its API to improve post-click actions. In his post, Constine walks through a series of various scenarios for brands, developers and also local businesses to take advantage of the new Ads API. Here, we’ll talk more about how to start with strategy.

With the updated Ads API, advertisers must now think beyond the “Like.” Facebook’s Ads API will allow advertisers to present ads most likely to take specific post-click action such as content sharing, in-app purchases, Facebook Offers, among a list of other actions (see below). In the great pursuit of ROI, Facebook is also taking a lot of the guesswork out of ad campaign development and deployment to enhance desired performance. The new improvements give Facebook advertisers an unprecedented opportunity to connect with specific market segments based on intelligence to introduce more informed campaigns that trigger relevant clicks, conversions, and return.

Then I read from John Jantsch, a down to earth guy and founder of Duct Tape Marketing, how Facebook is allowing you to promote your posts to people who like your company’s Facebook page. Jantsch goes on to detail what it is, why it’s a good idea, how you set it up, and how you measure the return.

Good stuff from Solis and Jantsch. But wow, more new stuff maybe that I ought to be considering with regard to Facebook?

How do I keep up with it all? I’m the CEO of an emerging business network and online media company. Though I want to to a be a social CEO when it comes to social media and social networking, there’s only so much I can absorb — and more Facebook, is beyond my saturation point.

Reading this I felt exactly how I feel when I am reading a thought leader’s commentary and insight on SEO. Or when I am at a conference listening to an authority on search. Sure I drive a car, but please don’t make me understand how the computer in it needs to be synced with the air filter or carburetor (if those still exist).

Facebook is important. For small business and consumer based law practices, Facebook may be as important as SEO. Facebook’s growth, especially in the age segments you are serving (fastest growing group is over 50), and Facebook’s ability to generate trust and relationships (life blood of law firm business development) are not to be sneezed at.

But how do most lawyers and professionals charged with marketing law firms feel when it comes to learning about Facebook for marketing and business development? One word. Overwhelmed.

“Where do I start? What’s important? What comes first? What are the best practices? What do I want to avoid doing? How do I measure the return? How do I stay on top of new developments?”

The fact is you don’t. Either you have someone on your team who is an expert on Facebook or you go outside for help. Not an unfamiliar concept to lawyers, who get hired by people who choose not to be their own lawyers.

Make sure you are talking a real expert. Not just someone who knows how to set up a Facebook page and post to it.

Do they truly understand what guys like Solis and Jantsch are talking about? Have they developed a Facebook strategy and executed it for their own company and for other law firms? What were the results? How were the results measured? How do they stay abreast of developments in Facebook? What conferences do they attend? What associations are they members of?

Just because law firms know what SEO is and have sent people to conferences on it doesn’t mean they have become SEO or not been burned by so called SEO experts.

My gut tells me Facebook is the same thing as SEO. It’s important and you’re going to need expertise.