Why Law Firms Need a Reputation Management Strategy
Statistics don’t lie. Three out of four consumers (75 percent) trust a company more if it has positive reviews, while 60 percent say negative reviews made them not want to use a business. Perhaps even more stunning, 97 percent of consumers search online for local businesses — and 12 percent do so on a daily basis.
At first blush, you might not think law firms need to be concerned about this — and thus need online reputation management — but you would be wrong. It’s not just for retail brands, and especially as we go through such uncertain times, it’s critical for all businesses to monitor and maintain the health of their online reputations, even professional services providers like law firms.
What is online reputation management?
It’s the act of proactively creating and managing customer perception about a brand online. This primarily includes online reviews along with the comments people leave about a business on social media.
How does this come into play for law firms?
Well, like any other business, they should have internal protocols set up to monitor and appropriately respond to any mention of their firm or its attorneys online. With so many consumers looking for independent third-party verification, it can be a recipe for disaster if no response is provided to a disgruntled client’s post or inaccurate information goes uncorrected.
That monitoring can be accomplished by doing something as simple as setting up Google Alerts. But it takes more than that. There must be a response to any inaccuracies detected, as well as to comments on sites like Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell and Yelp — positive or negative. Consumers will be impressed by firms willing to engage in an online dialog.
Specific to the legal industry are digital listings, also referred to as citations, that pop up organically when someone searches for a firm or attorney. It’s important for firms to claim, build out and optimize each listing to control the narrative.
Law firms may also want to consider using content marketing to establish the firm or its attorneys as industry thought leaders. This is another type of online reputation management — publishing original content, enhanced with keyword phrases, to provide digital credibility above and beyond website copy.
The bottom line
Law firms that have spent years and years building a stellar reputation can see it quickly wiped out by negative online mentions or inaccuracies. That is preventable, however, by engaging in meaningful online reputation management.
No matter the size of your firm, you need to contact us today for a complimentary strategy session. Let’s develop an individual action plan to build and sustain your online reputation.
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