2024 Facebook Ads for Law Firms: Targeting Changes You Need to Know About

Social media has changed immensely since 1997 when the first social media platform, SixDegrees, launched. It seems like every year there are more and more updates on every digital platform including social channels. Staying abreast of platform updates is crucial for maintaining an effective marketing strategy. Meta platforms which include Facebook and Instagram, have announced significant changes to its advertising targeting options, particularly affecting law firms that use interest-based targeting on paid ads. This shift is poised to reshape how to leverage Facebook ads for law firms to have the ability to reach potential clients and these changes will impact the success of your law firm’s ads if you don’t make strategic changes.

How Facebook Ads for Law Firms Is Changing

Meta’s advertising ecosystem, encompassing both Facebook and Instagram, has long been a great top of funnel marketing strategy for law firms. Through the use of detailed targeting options, law firms have been able to reach individuals based on a myriad of interests, behaviors, and demographic details. However, at the beginning of 2024 Meta announced that they will be removing certain sensitive topics from their list of targeting options on March 18, 2024, impacting how Facebook ads for law firms target potential new clients. I use the word announce loosely. For individuals who aren’t checking into their ads through Ads Manager on a regular basis, this could easily be overlooked. 

Targeting Options Being Removed from Meta in 2024

The removal of sensitive topics from Meta’s targeting options is nothing new, they’ve been slowly phasing out different topics for years now, but this year family law firms will really be affected. While it is unlikely that Facebook will release a comprehensive list of all the topics being phased out, here are some targeting options we know Meta will remove by March 18, 2024:

  • Divorce
  • Divorce Settlement
  • Legal Separation
  • Relatioship Status: Separated
  • Relationship Status: Complicated

The removal of these targeting options will have a major impact, particularly on Facebook ads for family law firms, if there isn’t a proactive approach to find new interests to target that still make sense.

How This Will Impact Facebook Ads for Law Firms

The narrowing of targeting options is likely to be felt most acutely by divorce and family law firms. Family law firms have traditionally relied on the ability to target potential clients based on specific life events or interests relevant to their services. With these options becoming more limited, law firms will need to think outside the box to identify new targeting strategies that comply with Meta’s updated policies.

We’d recommend looking into new targeting options as soon as possible so your campaigns aren’t negatively affected come March 18th. We’ve done the research and are confident in our new audiences so we can make a smooth transition when the targeting options we’re currently using cease to exist in March. This being said we’ve opted to hold off on using our new audience targeting until March 18th for our own firms as well as some of our clients.

In the meantime, it would be a good idea to take a peek into your Ads Manager account as soon as possible to make sure your ads are still running. Although Meta claims existing ads will be able to run until March 18th, Meta turned off all ads we were running for a client based in Texas, as well as not allowing us to boost posts. There was no sort of email or notification letting us know this happened, so good thing we are checking on all of our accounts on a daily basis. We were forced to remove the targeting options outlined above, early. Our new audience seems to be performing well thus far which has been really exciting and thankfully none of our firms or other clients were impacted early by these changes. 

Do Facebook Ads for Law Firms Still Make Sense?

Despite these changes, social media remains a potent and essential tool for law firms aiming to build their brand and connect with potential clients. Social media isn’t going anywhere and people are continually putting a greater emphasis on social proof. The way people search is changing. People aren’t just relying on Google or your website to make a hiring decision. People are going to social media as well to help them make their decision. Making it important for any business, especially law firms to have a strong social media presence.

The key to making Facebook ads for law firms successful lies in adapting to the new landscape of social media advertising, focusing on creating valuable content and leveraging organic engagement strategies alongside paid ads. There are other creative ways to target your desired audience that can be very successful. Social media platforms offer law firms the opportunity to establish thought leadership, share success stories, foster community engagement, and help potential clients connect with legal staff, all of which are invaluable for building a strong online presence law firms can continue to thrive in the digital space.

How Cardinal Concepts Can Help

We understand it can be daunting with updates becoming more routine. Cardinal Concepts specializes in helping law firms adapt to these shifts, ensuring that their social media strategy remains robust and effective despite any updates. Our team of experts can assist in crafting a comprehensive digital marketing plan that includes:

  • Developing engaging, informative content tailored to your firm’s areas of expertise.
  • Leveraging organic social media tactics to build and engage with your community.
  • Exploring alternative advertising platforms and strategies to complement your social media efforts.

At Cardinal Concepts, we believe that a well-rounded approach to digital marketing can help law firms overcome the challenges posed by the changing advertising landscape on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Contact us today to learn how we can create a strong presence across social media for law firms, so you can continue to connect with potential new clients with highly targeted Facebook ads for law firms.

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