Who is the most successful lawyer on Facebook — and how did he do it? (PART 1)

by Dennis Yu on Apr 01, 2014

Jacob Sapochnick is an immigration attorney in San Diego — and the most popular lawyer on Facebook as far as we can tell.

He has 98,400 fans on Facebook and 3,217 ratings. He’s got 1,514 check-ins and double that in active users.

Top Lawyer on Facebook

How did he do this?

He has a mix of organic and paid marketing.

In his Facebook ads campaign, he has 440 ads.

His top one is fan acquisition:

Fan Acquisition ad

This ad targets cities near his office in San Diego. Notice that it’s targeting 14.8 million people– not micro-targeted nor using connection targeting.

But, recently, we’ve found that giant audiences are actually working, since Facebook is now smart enough to figure out which subsets are going to convert. He’s using optimized CPM bidding, where Facebook does the bidding for you.

He got 61 fans for $94.95, which is $1.56 per fan– not bad.

Of course, it depends on how likely these fans turn into consultations. Notice that 61 of the 89 actions resulted in fans.

Clearly, this is Facebook’s new ‘buying by business objective’ working.

But sponsored stories still rock

Here’s his #2 ad, which is also fan acquisition, but is using a sponsored story– a page like story.

Fan acquisition sponsored story

Notice that the cost per fan is only 88 cents here — half of the regular page like ad. The sponsored story is the “voice of the customer” (Alex likes X), while the regular ad is the voice of the business.

Because people trust what their friends are doing, the CTR (click through rate) is nearly 4 times higher: 0.767% vs 0.202%. Thus, the CPC (cost per click) is lower, and the cost per fan is, too.

197 of the 286 clicks turned into fans for the sponsored story, while only 61 out of 116 clicks in the regular ad converted to fans.

And he’s breaking all the rules of Facebook ads

He’s boosting posts.  And it’s actually working, sort of.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 2.08.27 PM

He’s targeting 20 million people (the number of friends his 100k fan base has). And he’s generated engagement at 3 cents each– spectacular.

However, notice that he’s targeting countries such as India, Mexico, Turkey, and the Philippines. The cost of traffic is much lower there. But since he’s an immigration attorney, this makes sense.

He got 412 in-line (within the ad itself) views of his YouTube video, out of 1,211 actions, which is over a third.  And he got another 274 clicks to his “website”, which is his video on YouTube.  That means he got 686 video plays for $35.79.

That means he’s getting video views at 5.2 cents, which is likely going to be a lot less than YouTube’s TrueView platform.

So think of this as a sneaky way to get cheap YouTube views. If only G+ would allow for friend-of-fan or other social connection targeting.

By the way, you can tell when someone is boosting a post when the automatic ad name is “promoting <post_name>”.

But Facebook ads won’t automatically fix your funnel

Notice that he’s getting only 1% newsfeed coverage, which is actually not bad for a big page that is B2B.

Total Facebook reach per post

We can talk about the 16% number that other people throw around another time. Or just read this research from AgoraPulse, which shows only a moderate decline, if at all, in reach last quarter.

By keeping an “always on” strategy, we’re nurturing fans with many, lightweight touches over time.  This is the workhorse of your Facebook ad strategy.

Looking at his most recent posts, we see that the story of Steven Seagal hating immigrants and running for Governor of Arizona got the most interactions.

Note that he’s not promoting his immigration services, but staying relevant in current events.

Facebook posts current events

Had he built his always-on ad earlier, it would have automatically picked it up while it was hot. but it’s still not too late to select that post and give it a nudge (or even a boost, perhaps).

Notice that the post had a reach of 2,334, which is double what his posts normally get.

Steven Seagal Facebook post results

When you get a lot of interactions, it bumps the story back up into the newsfeed, so you get more repeat views. So the impressions are well over 3,000, but the unique number of viewers (also called “unique impressions”) is only 2,334.

Look at the ratio of your impressions to reach (unique impressions) to get a sense of how viral/effective your content is.  We typically see a ratio of 1.4, but it can be as high as even 3-4.

Paid impressions (ads) will usually reduce your ratio of impressions/reach because ad frequency is typically lower– close to 1 for newsfeed placements.

Getting this kind of performance so easily is going to make it hard work for Facebook ad agencies to prove they can generate incremental value.

Post Author

Dennis Yu is the CEO of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He...