Social media ads, especially Facebook Ads, have been a dominant option for law firms that want to raise their brand awareness and get in front of specific audiences with thorough targeting options. Naturally that leads to the question, what will happen with the new policy updates and the potential restrictions that may follow as a result? Users value transparency and have asked for less tracking, allowing them control over what behaviors advertisers can track and target.

As a social media platform, Facebook is invaluable for every business, and it’s no different for law firms. Be it organic posts that attorneys should be posting weekly or paid ads using the ideal placements, no lawyer can afford to ignore the most mainstream network out there. In previous years, it has been an excellent tool for audience and behavior-based targeting, allowing advertisers to gather a wide range of information about their prospective clients. That (among other reasons) created some concerns for Facebook users and their data privacy on the network. In response, several tech companies (specifically Apple) decided to give an additional layer of privacy and security, taking bits and pieces of information away from networks like Facebook.

Let’s look at what Apple did. Simply put, they now give an option to iOS 14.5 users to opt out of app data tracking. That means less information is shared, offering fewer chances to create a behavioral profile, and, consequently, decreasing targeting options. The following video explains how Apple approached the matter.

  • What was Facebook’s response?

Facebook stated loudly that they were against this initiative. The reasoning behind this was that the new limited tracking options could hurt small businesses that benefit from segmentation and custom audiences. They even went on and created a dedicated page expressing the concerns of SMBs. All these were an initial effort to stop the new update, but it only slowed down the inevitable. Nowadays, Facebook still tries to persuade users to avoid limiting tracking by following multiple paths, one of which you can check out below.

As per the official statement: “We expect these changes will disproportionately affect Audience Network given its heavy dependence on app advertising. Like all ad networks on iOS 14, advertisers ability to accurately target and measure their campaigns on Audience Network will be impacted, and as a result, publishers should expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease.”

And it begins. @Facebook / @Instagram explore additional scare tactics to combat @Apple iOS14 #ATT privacy changes.

“Help keep Facebook free of charge”

— ashkan soltani (@ashk4n) April 30, 2021

  • How does the update affects your law firm’s Facebook strategy?

1. Reporting limitations: The most significant limitation associated with the new iOS update is the change in your available metrics and data. These include changes in CTR (click-through rate), view-through rate, and view-through attributions. For active campaigns, the 28 days are substituted with 1-day or 7-days windows.

Fact: Historical (legacy) data will remain available for your finished campaigns.

2. Targeting limitations: The latest evolvement might decrease your law firm’s targeting options. The main issues that could arise concern your custom audience size. That’s not an ideal scenario as behavior-based targeting is becoming more complex, but there are still ways to build your custom audiences and achieve your goals effectively. Capturing the attention of your prospective clients through their interests is an excellent alternative if, for example, you notice that you can’t efficiently target them through recent locations.

3. Retargeting through Facebook pixel: Facebook highly recommends sticking to one pixel per domain. Again, that might sound like a severe limitation on how you capture and optimize conversions, but under the current environment, you’ll have to choose the events that you care about the most.

Remember: Instagram is also part of Facebook, so all of the above applies to its platform as well.

In keeping with this environment of increased user empowerment and control over privacy and tracking options, Facebook is also taking steps in the direction of better-curated ads and advertisers that are legitimate and offer quality products or services. We’ve previously created an article on how to get your Law Firm’s Facebook Ads approved, and you can find all the valuable information there. At this point, it’s crucial to mention that Facebook is prohibiting the following:

  1. Community standards violations
  2. Illegal products or services
  3. Discrimination
  4. Unsafe or potentially unsafe products (such as drugs, weapons, tobacco, etc.)
  5. Adult content
  6. Misinformation (a lot of criticism rose for political ads)
  7. Low-quality content & non-functioning landing pages
  8. Sensational content: This one is especially important for law firms, especially for Personal Injury attorneys, as their ad copy and/or image/video assets might include shocking or “violent” content.

Here you can find a complete list of Facebook policies.

  • Tips & Actions that will help your Law Firm keep converting with Facebook Ads.
  1. Understand your buyer persona and aim for the conversions that matter the most for your law firm. At first glance, the maximum eight pixels could look limiting, but this change could end up aiding you towards better segmentation.
  2. Keep closer track of your metrics and export all your legacy data. That way, you’ll manage to have a broader overview of your results and attribution.
  3. Verify your domain with Facebook and make sure that you turn on 2FA (two-factor authentication). These steps will ensure that you have full access to your business manager account and your ads can run uninterrupted.

Our takeaways:

  • User privacy and security have brought limitations to targeting and tracking. One of the first-movers is Apple, with the iOS update bringing several changes to the way advertisers work, especially on Facebook.
  • Facebook has been trying to adapt, finding ways to stand by small businesses while respecting the new norms and policies.
  • While the updates seem to be limiting the advertising (and tracking) capabilities on Facebook, the social media platform still offers various capabilities that can help your law firm increase its brand awareness while getting in front of prospective clients.