In the modern world, every business has a reputation online, it’s up to you to manage it.
No one can escape the fact that anyone can share their negative experience online, and your seeming spotless reputation can be ruined forever.
Do you remember, how much noise made an inappropriate H&M’s “Coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie? Even if it’s a brick-and-mortar retail business, online fuss has stained their reputation, accusing them of racism. And even though the company apologized for the inappropriate merchandise, their reputation was severely damaged.
This means that no one can escape bad online reputation, even one of the biggest retailers in the world. And for a law firm, such experience can be fatal. Working with clients and solving legal issues is a very time, and energy-consuming job and a flawless reputation is the foundation of success for any law firm.
In the world, where everything is discussed online, where people are not afraid to voice their bold opinions and share negative experiences, your law firm needs to know how to do damage control quickly and effectively.
To help you out, here are some effective online reputation management tips for law firms.
1. Monitor Feedback Online
Keep your fingers on the pulse by regularly monitoring what people have to say about their experiences using your services. Keep in mind that you’re looking not only for the feedback from your former or current clients, you’re also looking for feedback from your previous employees.
The relationship between the employer and employees has a lot to say about the work environment in the law firm and impact how employees get the job done. And angry or upset former employees won’t restrain their disappointment and will share their feelings on various websites.
For example, don’t forget that your firm may be reviewed (from an employer standpoint) on sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed. These platforms are very popular and rank high in search results.
You should be aware of such reviews not just to do some damage control but also to take into considerations some improvements to your work process that you need to make in order to make these reviews better.
2. Don’t Ignore the Comments
After you’ve researched what people had to say about you, don’t remain oblivious to their comments. There is an idea that responding to negative comments can potentially change the perception of those reviewers. According to a study, 7 out of 10 reviewers said that their opinion of a business changed after they got a response from the representatives of companies.
For a law firm, it’s absolutely crucial to build trustworthy relationships with their clients. Responding to their reviews shows that you don’t shy away from constructive criticism and that you are ready to improve your services.
Besides, by responding to all the comments online, you show everyone that:
- You care about your customers and have excellent customer support service.
- You use the opportunity to gain insight from interacting with people online. After all, your customers always know the quality of services they want to get from you.
- You build the foundation of a strong relationship based on trust and reliability. These two qualities are crucial for the success of any law firm.
3. Invest In a Blog
If you still don’t have a blog on your law firm’s website, you’re missing out.
According to the statistics, 77% of Internet users read blogs and are interested in opinions and experiences shared by the professionals.
There’s always a possibility that a person who came over a review about your law firm will go to your website and read through your blog, and here’s when you can win their attention. By sharing valuable experience and information about the field you’re working in you can answer burning questions and advertise your services at the same time.
Having a blog also gives you the following perks:
- You position yourself as an industry leader. Potential clients always do their research online before they opt for the services of a certain law firm. You can grab their attention by creating high-quality informative blog posts and show off your expertise.
- You show that you’re accessible to anyone. By having a blog, you can potentially increase your client base, so it’s not just a great opportunity to improve your online reputation, but also a good way to win over new clients.
4. Invite Senior Management to Participate
Improving online reputation isn’t just a job for the middle management but for the partners and senior management as well. Their word is important when it comes to managing online reputation and dealing with negative feedback.
The CEO of PickWriters shared the following tips on involving senior management to improve online reputation:
- Ask them to share their experience on social media. There’s a high possibility that after reading a review about your law firm, a client will check the CEO’s profile on Facebook or LinkedIn. The more the senior management will share their professional experiences on social media, the more web exposure the law firm will get.
- Cooperate with senior management when it comes to dealing with low ratings and negative feedbacks. There’s no one in the law firm that is more interested in the firm’s success than its senior management. Their consultation and opinion are pivotal when it comes to improving the firm’s online reputation.
5. Always Stay Connected
Managing the online reputation of your law firm is an ongoing job that can be very time-consuming. Luckily, there are some online tools you can use to automate monitoring your online presence:
- Google Alerts: simply sign up, add keywords or phrases (e.g., the name of your law firm) and Google Alerts will send you any updates about new content matching your keywords.
- Perch: this is a free IOS and Android app that allows you to monitor activity on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Yelp.
- Google’s My Business App: it’s a free tool that allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Maps and Google search as well as helps you respond to reviews, messages, and questions from customers.
The Bottom Line
Your firm’s online reputation can be damaged in a few seconds, it’s just the nature of the Internet. However, if you approach it smartly and thoroughly monitor your online presence, you’ll be more confident about your online reputation. After all, praemonitus, praemunitus.
About the Author
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she had found herself as a freelance writer. She observes with a special interest how the latest achievements in media and technology help to grow readership and revenue and shares her opinion. You can find her on Facebook and Medium.