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Facebook is getting killed in the press and online for handing over customer data to a third party without its users knowledge. That data was then allegedly used by the Trump campaign to influence the election.

Now, handing over customer data to a third party without knowing how it will be used and not letting your customers know about it is a bad thing. Facebook looks like it’s played a little fast and loose with some important info.

But I have a “but” to add. The granular data they harvest on all of us is a really good thing for Facebook advertisers, because it lets us create a wonderful thing called Custom Audiences for our ads. This powerful tool not only helps you define a narrow niche for your Facebook ads, it also provides some great opportunities for retargeting your ads to people who have visited your website, follow you on Facebook, and even those who are on your client or prospect lists.

Let me expound a bit on these opportunities:

Website visitors. Using Custom Audiences, you can target visitors to your website to be exposed to your Facebook ads. You can either go broad and specify everyone who visited your site in the last three months, or you can go narrow, specifying only those visitors who spent time on a specific service page. That means you can create a unique audience to receive an ad for each service area of your firm. Another strategy is to target visitors based on the amount of time they spent on your site or the number of visits they made. Those who spend a lot of time on your site are probably ready to make a decision, so you can catch them at a good time in the buying cycle. To make this happen, you’ll need to add a Facebook pixel — a bit of code — to your website that helps you track what your visitors are doing in order to build targeted audiences for your ads.

Facebook followers. You can retarget people who have already viewed or interacted with your Facebook or Instagram ads, followed your pages, or even expressed an interest in a Facebook event. If you are running video ads, you can develop multiple target audiences from the same video — people who watched 25%, those who viewed 50% and a really engaged audience that watched all of your video ad. The longer they watched your ad, the more interested they are in your message. Retargeting them with another version of that message and a call-to-action can really help you land some good leads.

Your lists. Facebook provides you with the opportunity to advertise to current clients and prospects by matching your lists with their users. You can either manually upload a list or import contacts directly from your CRM system. This works best if you segment your lists according to area of interest and create tailored ads for each unique custom audience.

If you’d like to learn more about using social media for law firm marketing, click on the link below for my free on-demand webinar on Leveraging the Power of Social Media.