In November, Facebook quietly debuted a new page: Facebook Professional Services. The unannounced desktop-only local search directory may be the first step that the social media behemoth is taking toward becoming a serious player in the local search arena, and lawyers and law offices should not only be aware of the move, they should also be planning for the future of local search on Facebook.
Facebook Professional Services Facts
Facebook itself has been reticent about its plans for the professional services page, but they have said that they are “in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they’re interested in.” Here’s what else we know about the Facebook Professional Services page right now:
- The search engine is tailored to the user. Different users may see a different list of results or results that are ranked differently, based on a number of factors, including the user’s location, their likes, their profile information, and their interests. In theory, the more Facebook knows about you, the more easily you will be able to find the type of business you are looking for.
- You can access local search results through business profiles. When you click on a business category on any business’ Facebook profile, it will take you to a Professional Services search results page that lists all competing businesses in the area. This is interesting because it means that users are always just one click away from leaving your page and perusing the competition – and vice versa.
- It’s not mobile – yet. Currently, the Professional Services page is not available on Facebook’s mobile app, and it is unclear when and if it will be added. While you can access the page on your smart phone through a mobile web browser, the page is not mobile friendly.
- Its future is unclear. Facebook is being very tight-lipped about its plans for the new professional services page. While it is possible that Facebook will make a run at being a big local search and review site like Yelp and Trip Advisor, it is also possible that they are simply trying to make it easier for users to find specific pages.
Prepare Your Law Office: Attorney Action Items
Now that you know all of the pertinent information about Facebook Professional Services, it is time to make certain that your law office is well aligned to show up high in the search results. What can you do to improve the odds that your ideal client will find your legal services when using the new Facebook business directory?
- Make sure your business category is accurate. Facebook’s search function doesn’t currently let users type in just any keywords. Instead, users choose from a menu of already-existing business categories. If your law office isn’t correctly listed under legal services, and if you do not correctly list your primary practice areas, you won’t show up in your ideal client’s search results.
- Fully complete your Facebook profile. The search results include a profile picture, a short summary, contact information, and office hours. If your law office’s profile is missing this information, users are much less likely to click on your firm. In addition, it is likely that Facebook’s search algorithm takes this profile information into account when ranking its results. And don’t forget: the most vital piece of information to include is your business’ address. If that information is missing or incorrect, Facebook’s directory will pass you by.
- Request Facebook reviews from past clients. Initial search experiments show that the number of reviews and the overall rating of your law firm are two huge factors in how you will rank in the search results. Because of this, it is imperative that you encourage past and current clients to review your firm on Facebook. Up your chances of getting great reviews by making personal calls to clients to request reviews or by adding a review request page to your website.
- Keep active on Facebook! Besides becoming a new player in local search, don’t forget that Facebook is still the world’s social media leader with millions of daily users and an extremely powerful reach. Making regular posts, interacting with followers, and even engaging in paid advertising are all key to taking full advantage of everything Facebook has to offer.
Is Your Law Office Social Media Savvy?
Your online presence shouldn’t begin and end with your law office’s website. At Black Fin Marketing, we understand how to make your website, your social media accounts, your directory listings, and your offline marketing work together to find you the best cases and ultimately improve your business. To learn more about our services, or to ask our team a question, please contact us today.