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Google +Post and Facebook Boost Offer Firms New Advertising Options

Google Plus CardsGoogle+’s +Post and Facebook’s Boost present the same basic service: both promote social posts, pages and websites on your behalf.

Google+ +Post
+Post offers paid, Google+ post placement for your firm. These interactive, live ads are meant to be more relevant to users than traditional banner advertisements. The ads themselves do not display on the Google+ network. Instead, they fit into Google’s much wider Display Network and point surfers to your Google+ profile. No matter where a user sees an ad, he or she can click on it and engage with someone about your firm.

Your +Post content is turned into a live, social display ad that runs across the Internet. This format allows users to jump into a live conversation with you by joining a Hangout On Air section. Users also have the option to add a comment, follow your firm or award a +1 — all from within the ad itself.

Exchange information. React to questions and comments in real-time and promote socially interesting activities. Law firms are more than paperwork, courts, case files and billable hours; their members are advocates for those who need legal assistance to solve a problem.

Your potential clients are more interested in the human side of your firm than in the list of law schools your attorneys attended. They want to know that you understand their needs and are willing to help them. In other words, your firm’s ads become more relevant to your target audience when social context is added. +Post ads may be an excellent place for your firm to start.

Ads in the +Post format are designed to work on smartphones, desktops and tablets. They offer participating firms a variety of useful tools, including affinity segments, contextual targeting and demographics.

This service is in beta development, so very little pricing information is currently available. However, Google + has explained that a business will only be billed when a visitor hovers over its ad for two seconds or more (at which point it will expand on the user’s monitor). Perhaps this is the start of a "pay-per-hover" pricing model.

With more engagement, your firm will see more conversions. Immediate interactivity allows your firm to deliver what potential clients need when they need it most.

Facebook Boost

You may have noticed that your Facebook posts reach far fewer people than you would expect; the most recent figures suggest that only about 30 percent of an intended audience sees any given post. If you happen to be a brand (such as a law firm or other business), you are lucky to reach 16 percent of your fans.

Enter Facebook Boost, a paid option to expand your reach. Boost is simply the company’s term for an existing service (Promoted Posts), so you may already be familiar with the process. As Facebook focuses more and more on its profit (and less and less on the success of your firm’s posts), it may be wise to take advantage of the feature.

Without it, who does see your posts? Your posting audience depends on previous page interactions and content quality. Unfortunately, Facebook’s Edgerank system minimizes the reach of most businesses. Those who Like, share or comment on a post are most likely to spot you in their feeds later. If a visitor Likes you, but does not interact with your posts, they are not likely to see much.

Boost can help you reach those lost fans. Its relatively budget-friendly system allows you to choose specific posts to Boost at the times that will serve you best. You will not need to spend large sums of money on a consistent basis. The service is not designed to be used with every post.

Boosts are often ideal for events, promotions and product launches. They enable a firm to tweak the performance of a struggling post. With Boost, your budget defines your audience reach, which makes testing the waters for your firm’s demographics an attractive and manageable idea.

When you decide to Boost a post, you can choose between a few potential audiences: the entire Facebook community, only those who Like your page and their friends, or people who have certain interests that you can define in your ad settings. Typically, it will make more sense to Boost a post aimed at the latter. Not everyone on Facebook may be interested in what your law firm does, and a wider reach will dilute your response pool. Once you have chosen your audience, your budget and the post to Boost, a few clicks complete the process.

Choose the options that suits your firm’s individual needs and goals best or take both out for a test drive.