In today’s internet-driven society, law firms must keep track of and manage their online reputations to build trust with their existing and potential clients. Law firms are expected to provide a credible source of information and help the public with their legal concerns.
This article provides you the most useful tips on law firm online reputation management. Learn about how to deal with client reviews, updating your website, contributing to the community, online privacy, best practices, and more.
13 Top Online Reputation Management Tips For Law Firms
Take Control of the Firm’s Accounts and Domains
Guarantee that you own your law firm’s brand name, and it is registered on all possible and essential online platforms, including accounts, channels, and domain names. If the firm is operated by a sole lawyer or a small group of lawyers, do the same for the lawyers’ names.
It is critical to make sure that those not associated with your business cannot get a domain name or social media account that uses your firm’s branding components or your lawyers’ names.
The ideal method to achieve this is for the company or each lawyer to hold and manage as many accounts as possible.
Search Online About Your Law Firm
Keep an eye on what others are saying about your firm on online review websites. Clients frequently use the same platforms to discover lawyers and then provide feedback on the services.
Legal customers usually visit LinkedIn, Google Business, Yahoo, Yelp, Justia, Lawyers.com, Avvo, Martindale.com, LawyerRating, and Yellow Pages, to send feedback on lawyers. Hence it is important to monitor what is being said about your firm on these websites and make improvements as necessary.
Request and Monitor Feedback
Encouraging positive feedback from satisfied customers is one method to manage online reviews. This way will counterbalance whatever negative feedback you may receive.
Ensure that you receive regular feedback by systematizing the review process on every case. Be sure to listen to your customers’ feedback and, if required, make improvements. Consider incorporating a request for positive feedback in your closing messages at the end of each case.
Moreover, you may provide a link to relevant websites to make it easy for your customers to submit feedback and for you to keep track of it.
Highlight the Positive Reviews From Clients
Boost the law firm’s online reputation by highlighting positive feedbacks. Sharing positive feedback builds trust and invites the target audience to use your company’s services.
When your clients share positive evaluations about your law firm, you may post them to the client testimonial area of your company’s site. Plus, you can mention them or include a link to their page on your law firm’s social media accounts.
Address Negative Comments From Clients
As much as every firm does not want to receive negative reviews, it is possible. No matter how big or small the issue is, law firms must address the comment of the former client with respect and consideration.
Give a concise and compassionate response. Also, avoid answering specific factual charges since this lends credibility to the claims and may jeopardize client confidentiality.
If a potential customer comes across this review, be careful of the implications. Lastly, encourage other clients to post good evaluations on that site to offset the unfavorable comment.
Create A Blog
Blogging offers a lot of value to a firm, both in terms of reputation and giving the necessary content to your target market at the right time.
A blog can also serve to post announcements about your legal business and, if the need comes, to post official statements.
Additionally, blog articles may help enhance the search engine optimization (SEO) efforts because they can boost not only the search rankings but also the brand’s reputation.
Establish Presence of Executive Management
The executive management team including the CEO, Managing Director, and others need to have a prominent online presence. Posting on different platforms provides them with a venue to express their legal knowledge, opinion, and insights.
Urge top management to contribute to high-profile sites like the Huffington Post blog, Medium, and LinkedIn on a regular basis. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful platforms for giving executive team members a presence.
It is also worth contacting law publications, such as magazines and opinion blogs, to see whether they seek law expertise and advice.
Learn About Online Privacy
Law firms are aware of the importance to follow the law and protect their clients’ privacy. So, being familiar with online communication privacy regulations is necessary, so you do not end yourself with any legal problems.
You might come across communication issues that make it simple to unintentionally violate privacy rules when communicating over the internet about your client’s concerns.
Laws governing the internet evolve at the same rate as the legal environment, so consider this aspect with similar attention you show your field of legal expertise.
Create Internal Protocol
Set an internal protocol on how to address a certain matter when the law firm or its lawyer is mentioned online. The law firm’s response to different online mentions of its name and the identities of its lawyers should be formalized.
Include the actions to follow after you are aware of an online mention, which may differ by platform. And, it is advised to keep a professional and consistent tone.
Keep the Law Firm’s Website Updated
Having a professional website will highlight the benefits of your firm. It includes optimizing the layout to operate effectively in all devices and browsers and presenting positive feedback received through requests.
Although other clients prefer to check customer reviews than personal websites, a law firm should still maintain its website updated, relevant, and optimized. When a new visitor arrives on the website, every second count if you want them to stay.
Give Importance to Employees
If the public knows the company is treating their staff with dignity, respect, and kindness, they will think that is how you provide service.
Giving praise to staff on social media not only increases job satisfaction and employee motivation but also helps you build a positive online reputation. Since people value how firms treat their workers, the public has their care for employees.
Putting your workers first by organizing a nice team outing or recognizing them with a reward gift are great ideas, and they may help you generate excellent content for your blog and social media.
Support The Local Community
Another effective strategy to manage the firm’s reputation is by helping the community. Supporting a community project can lead to publicity of your company’s brand, local press coverage, and even mentions on social media.
It may be through sponsorship of a local community event or even a startup. Becoming an advocate for a charitable cause, joining networking events, or collaborating with a foundation are some more options.
Follow the Latest Best Practices
Examine broad legal best practices before moving on to dealing with your demographic’s best practices. If anything in your branding plan does not align with current best practices, change it now and manage potential customer engagement accordingly.
Discover the most recent best practices so that you can handle each customer with the best treatment like a reviewer. If your target market is looking for efficiency, for instance, they could look for companies who position themselves as experts in proper time management.
Why Online Reputation Management Is Important For Law Firms?
Reputation is crucial in the legal profession, and lawyers are increasingly understanding the value of having a strong online presence in the current digital era. The law firm’s online reputation management is a crucial aspect of its overall business strategy.
When dealing with almost any legal case, clients encounter huge impact and emotion-driven concerns with a variety of diverse results so they are extra cautious about utilizing the information they read on the internet to choose a lawyer whom they can trust.
According to iLawyerMarketing, 98% of potential clients check online comments before choosing a lawyer, with Google being the most popular source.
As per previous iLawyerMarketing findings, potential clients are willing to meet with a law firm’s office even if it is located far when their evaluations are better than those of other lawyers in the vicinity.
If somebody is looking for a lawyer, the very first place they will visit is the internet. Each of the potential clients will likely research a law firm before calling or visiting the office.
Many things, like the Yellow Pages and business cards, have been overtaken by the internet. Therefore, practitioners must keep up with the market demand.
The Bottom Line
The internet has become a courtroom unlike any other, with some rules. And law firms are no exempted to be judged. So, online reputation management is much like in a trial where thorough and meticulous preparation for the case leads to positive results.
When a law firm spends more time and effort highlighting its core principles, areas of specialization, and achievements online, potential clients will have the confidence to get legal counsel from the firm.