Online Reputation – What Are Your Clients Saying About You?
How to Establish and Manage Your Law Firm’s Reputation Online
People are increasingly turning to social media as a vital source of information, to learn more about the business and services they are thinking about using. Recent studies have found that 83% of consumers say online reviews influence their perceptions about companies, and 80% report that negative online reputation changed their purchasing decision. Therefore, it is more important than ever to be mindful of the reputation of your law firm online.
Monitoring your online reputation is a daily task, and negativity can spread quickly – social media is 24/7 with no off switch. Follow these simple steps and you will quickly get a feel for public opinion, and be in a position to tackle issues before they can grow into larger problems.
First, do a quick online search for your company’s name. Your website should feature prominently in the search results, but there is more you can do to bolster your online presence. Your company profile on each of the major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (plus Instagram if you think it is appropriate for your business) – will usually also show on the first page of search results, so be sure to get these set up if you haven’t already. This way you can push competitors down in the search results, especially when potential clients are looking for your firm, and you can increase the chance of the searcher clicking through to your content.
What to Post
It’s a good idea to devise a social media strategy, especially if multiple people within your law firm will be responsible for managing your social media channels. It does not have to be complex, but consistency is important – make sure everyone knows the ‘brand voice’ you are trying to convey.
Where to Check
Every day you should set aside time to check engagement on your social platforms, as well as checking for new online mentions of your business.
- Facebook gives you the option to control how people engage with your page – you can moderate or disable visitors’ posts on your page, which can be very useful for a business. You should also take the time to respond to any reviews that have been left on your Facebook page.
- Twitter is increasingly used by customers as one of the quickest ways to get in touch with a company, so you should check your mentions and direct messages often. Remember, a tweet tagging your company is an invitation for you to respond – people love to feel that they are being heard.
- Google allows users to write reviews of your company, and as the business owner, you have the opportunity to respond. You can also set up Google Alerts, which are fully customizable and will email you when there is a new search result for your company name on Google.
There are numerous social media monitoring tools available that can make the job of checking social media platforms a lot easier and less time-consuming.
How to Respond
Remember to always remain professional. Be gracious when you receive a compliment, and be understanding should you receive criticism. Strive to never ignore any comment, positive or negative. If you can’t solve the situation with a simple reply, consider taking the issue out of the public eye by offering an email address the person can contact you on. This way you can have the rest of the conversation in private while showing others that you listen to feedback and that you care what people think about your business.
Engaging with and responding to your customers and followers on social media is a great way to help build brand loyalty. While you might not be able to solve every problem, you will be seen as a law firm who cares and is open to feedback, be it good or bad. By following these tactics you can turn even negative situations into positive opportunities.