Before we get into this, we want to clear something up.
When we refer to advertising, we’re talking about placing ads on the TikTok platform via payment to TikTok.
When we searched the phrase in the title, it was filled with folks who were confused between simply having an account and posting and placing paid advertisements.
If you’re a lawyer and want to know if you can have an account and post content, then yes, you can.
However, this is not “advertising.” It’s content creation.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s move on to the question at hand.
According to their fine print, TikTok does allow ads for Legal Services.
That comes with a huge “but.”
You can run Legal Services ads as long as they’re not in the following practice areas:
+ Criminal Law
+ Immigration Law
+ Employment Law
+ Real Estate Law
+ Family Law
+ Cases involving children (e.g. child abuse, child custody)
Sometime in 2023, TikTok Updated the above wording in their policy to the one you see below:
It looks like TikTok has given Personal Injury Lawyers the green-light, but are still restricting everyone else.
It doesn’t mean you cannot run ads if you or your firm operates in one of those areas.
You can possibly run ads, but they’ll have to be some of the most vanilla ads you’ve ever seen.
You can’t refer to what you do. You can’t link to your website with content on those practice areas.
If you don’t really understand what we’re saying above, let’s just go to the video and break it down with a couple of live action TikTok ads.
Both of these ads are asking the viewer to click on the button and submit their info if they have worked around aqueous film-forming foam (known as AFFF) for a free evaluation.
For those who don’t know, lawyers are currently filing lawsuits against makers of AFFF due to suspected cancer risks.
Now that you have the lay of the land, watch the TiKTok Ads again. There is no mention of a lawsuit. No mention of lawyers. No mention of anything even remotely legal. No mention of a cancer diagnosis. It is, as I said above, vanilla. Almost to the point of confusion.
When you tap the button, you’re not sent to a webpage, but rather a form to fill out your info.
If they sent the viewer to a website explaining why they were doing the evaluation, it would most likely have keywords that the TikTok algorithm would pick up on and instantly deny the ad. Words like lawsuit, legal, class-action, cancer, and so on.
Pretty crafty ads to get them approved. However, I cannot speak to the effectiveness of the ads.
Working with lawyers, we instantly picked up what they were putting down. While there’s a lot of detail left out which might make some folks balk at sending their information for an evaluation for an unknown reason, I’d say it’s a good bet whoever ran this TikTok Ad at least made their money back or didn’t lose much at all.
They were able to test out this new channel of advertising without being in the red or too far in the red.
So all-in-all, not a bad media buy at all to just figure out a new channel of advertising.
Moving on, If you’re a lawyer with a massive brand in an area and people already know what you do, you could do some strict branding-only ads. You know, given that your brand name doesn’t include the words “injury,” “immigration,” or “divorce,” and so on.
However, there aren’t many lawyers with a strong enough brand where it would make sense to run ads like that.
There are some, but not many.
In the future, TikTok may change its policies, but currently (this was written May 10th, 2023), very few lawyers are allowed to run ads on their platform where the ad or landing page can reference what kind of practice areas.
If they change the policy, and begin allowing some of these legal practice areas, we will update this article.
If you want to have a presence on TikTok, your best bet is to create an account, brainstorm some content and hammer out some videos.