Facebook has launched Professional Services, an addition to the highly popular social media platform, which is designed to assist Facebook users in finding local businesses.
The beta launched in December 2015 and has been compared to services such as Google Local, Angie’s List and Yelp, which also provide information about businesses, as well as customer reviews and ratings.
What Does This Mean for Law Firms?
Facebook Professional Services can be a powerful new tool when it comes to bringing people in contact with law firms in their geographic area. What does it mean for your law firm?
- Facebook reviews and ratings are more important than ever.
- The reviews deemed “most helpful” appear in the Professional Services search results.
- Facebook business pages no longer have the ability to disable reviews and ratings. (Reviews that violate Facebook’s policies can still be reported.)
- Verifying your Facebook page should be a priority. This is a simple process and only takes a few minutes.
Verify Your Facebook Page
An important step to take to maximize your law firm’s visibility in Facebook and Professional Services is to verify your Facebook business page.
Previously, official celebrity pages and the pages of large corporations were among the only types of pages eligible for verification with a blue checkmark. This let Facebook users know that the page was the official page for the person or business.
Now, local businesses are eligible for verification with a different, white checkmark.
The benefits of verifying a local business Facebook page include:
- Receiving a badge to establish your page is the official page for the business.
- Giving the page early access to new features.
- Showing up higher in Facebook’s Professional Services search results.
Facebook details how to verify your page here.
What Other Factors Affect Facebook Search Rankings?
Verification is not the only factor that determines where a page appears in Facebook and Professional Services search results. First and foremost, make sure your page is listed with the appropriate category and subcategories, such as “law firm,” malpractice lawyer,” etc.
Filling out all page information, such as phone number and address, completely and accurately increases the likelihood of being found by people in your area. Also, enable check-ins for your location.
According to Social Media Examiner, examples of other ranking factors include:
- The page’s average star rating.
- The number of reviews and ratings.
- How recently the latest review or rating was posted.
- The number of check-ins at the location.
- If the person searching is already connected to the page. This once again increases the importance of growing your local fan base.
Benefits of Facebook’s Call-to-Action Button
Since the launch of Facebook’s Professional Services, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people organically using the click-to-call and click-to-contact buttons on law firms’ Facebook pages.
These call-to-action buttons can be used a number of ways, including pointing visitors directly to a contact form. As Facebook develops new ways for people to find your page, it is important to have easy ways for those people to get in touch with your law firm.
Facebook Professional Services – Looking Forward
It is important to note that Facebook Professional Services is new and changing. At the time of writing, this feature is not yet integrated into the official Facebook mobile apps, though it can be accessed through mobile browsers.
How this new feature develops and how it is adopted by users will certainly help determine if it will find a place alongside Google Local, Angie’s List and Yelp, or possibly even overtake them.
As with all parts of online marketing, social media marketing is a constantly changing set of strategies. Staying aware of and reacting to these new services is an essential part of keeping your law firm ahead of the curve.