What is online reputation management?
Building a good reputation online can take several years to build – but it can take just a few seconds to get destroyed as well. As a business, what matters most is how your brand’s image is perceived – but online and offline. Hence, safeguarding it against external threats and negativity should be your utmost priority as an organization. After all, once your brand’s image has been soiled, questions will start being asked about your brand’s market reputation and within no time, your image will be shattered. This is where online reputation management comes in as it helps in boosting your brand awareness and visibility. Everyone talks so you need to focus harder on protecting your reputation while ensuring that people have only good things to say about your brand.
How it can be related to Attorneys?
Today, online reputation management has taken a greater priority as every business – be it a grocery store or a restaurant – are being judged by their ratings online. Attorneys and firms are not immune to this either. The fact of the matter is that in this digital age before a potential client even sets foot in your office – there’s a high probability that they might have already searched for review lawyers in a search engine such as Google or Yahoo Local or on attorneys’ review sites. And if at all any negative information were to pop-up about your practice online, it can have a far-reaching consequence with the potential to make or break your firm. Worse still – a bad online reputation could severely affect your revenues if a potential client sees any kind of negative comments being brandished about your brand image – leading them to opt for a competitor’s services instead.
How do we establish an Attorney's reputation management strategy?
As you must have guessed by now, the majority of the people out there are clearly influenced by rating lawyers which have been published online. Hence, it’s imperative that you take start taking steps in the right direction in order to build a solid presence on attorneys’ review sites where your potential customers are looking. By putting in place a systematic online reputation strategy for safeguarding your firm, you will be able to douse any fires before they spread and cause irreparable damage. Moreover, establishing a solid by review lawyers’ management strategy will help the good reviews about your business shine while further ensuring there’s plenty of positive testimonials across the web – especially on attorney rating websites. Promoting positive content for your business will also help push any negative content floating online down in search engine rankings and, in time, render them ineffective.
Online reputation management tips for Attorneys
1. Stay Vigilant Online
Clients always looking to find a lawyer on the internet. Which is why, first and foremost, you need to start monitoring your online presence and search the internet for your brand mentions and/or reviews that might be published about your or your firm. Ensure that you address both positive and negative postings. Also, keep in mind that how you respond to a review can be witnessed by thousands of people – so do take some time to craft a sensible reply. While you’re at it, ensure that you stick to gender neutral and politically correct terms.
Unless you’re in the loop of what people are saying about your brand, you won’t be able to understand the gravity of the situation and realize how much negative coverage can cause irrevocable harm to your business and reputation. Furthermore, by setting up Google alerts, you will be able to track mentions of your firm’s name, your name, and the names of any clients or cases you’re working on.
2. Pay attention to your Social Media
Leverage social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram– to your advantage by staying active on your pages and profiles. What this does is effectively help you foster a sense of community & belonging between you, and/or your firm with both your existing as well as prospective clients. You should also make it a point to ensure that all information about your company mentioned on your social media pages is accurate and updated at all times. Moreover, keep the enthusiasm levels high by constantly putting up fresh stories, blog posts and engaging visual content to keep your clients captivated. These proactive measures will go a long way in establishing loyalty and retention within your client base.
3. Request and track feedback
It goes without saying that clients will be more comfortable engaging in business with you or your firm if they find you trustworthy. One sure-shot way of doing so is augmenting your positive reviews and by encouraging positive feedback from your clients. A tried and tested ploy of encouraging clients to leave feedback is by including a relevant link on your profile which can make it easier for your clients to leave comments – and for you to track them. Strengthening the status of your clients by promoting positive reviews on your website reinforces your firms’ good standing and, in turn, boost your law firm’s online reputation.
What type of review sites work best for Attorneys?
Stay on top and be conscious of what’s being said about you on online lawyer ratings websites. Additionally, keep yourself informed on which attorneys review websites have been generating the most traffic and leads for your law firm. In most cases, sites such LinkedIn, Yelp attorney reviews, Yahoo, Yellow Pages, Google Places, Google Business, Avvo, and Lawyer Rating are the popular lawyer rating sites used by legal consumers to provide feedback about lawyers and find a lawyer.
It’s absolutely crucial that you understand the importance of why these sites need to be monitored closely and thereon, learn to manage the contents associated with each page. Once you figure out where your potential clients are looking for you and how current clients are reviewing you, you can buckle up and establish a disciplined review management strategy.
Steps to get more online reviews
How do you ensure that your business gets more online reviews? Will providing great services prove enough to get you online reviews? No, they will not, because not all customers leave reviews online, especially if they are positive experiences. On the other hand, people do not waste any time in exchanging negative online reviews. You cannot avoid it. It is normal for people to do that. Let us look at ways to generate more online reviews.
1. Ask customers for providing reviews
The best way to get online reviews is to ask your customers to provide one after experiencing your goods or services. One has to concede that the customer has a very short attention span today. However, it is your responsibility to provide a platform where your customers can submit their reviews. One way to do so is to feature a CTA option.
Another way to do so is to invite your customer to place a review. Encouraging a customer is a more polite way to generate online reviews as compared to asking for them. You have a lot of tools to help you in this regard. You can have a readymade questionnaire with answers that your customer has to click and submit. It saves a lot of time for the customer. However, this system does not let the customer provide their views. They have to click the options available to them. Nevertheless, it is better than not getting any reviews at all.
Avoid posting Fake Reviews – Yelp & Google My Business have developed sophisticated algorithms that will automatically flag and filter out reviews that come from individuals who are not active on their sites.
2. Display positive reviews on your website as widgets with a CTA to generate more reviews
Don’t forget to claim your online identity. The likelihood of you coming across directory listings that use a similar name or probably your own business name. Not only can it provide grounds for misrepresentation but it can also confuse potential & existing clients. By claiming your listing, you can update the various doctor directories on doctor rating websites with your correct credentials and fill out any missing or incorrect information as well.
3. Respond to both positive and negative comments, reviews, or ratings
Always make it a point to engage when people post comments – be it positive or negative. While positive comments/reviews deserve to be acknowledged and thanked, it’s how you respond to negative comments that can make a world of a difference to the public perception about your practice. As a doctor, you possibly cannot control what others say about you, but at the very least, you can tell your side of the story. Hence, while responding, make sure that you’re gracious and prompt in your replies as it shows that you care about your clients. If need be, you can even look to respond privately, to remedy the situation and discuss further course of action. Thereon, how you go about responding to doctor reviews and comments can affect not only your ability to acquire new patients but also your standing as a member of the medical community as a whole.
4. Be involved on social media
In this digital age, having an active presence on social media is imperative. Today, consumers rely on the internet for everything and before availing any service, they will definitely have a look online. By having an active presence online, you can not only help give assurance to the customer but it can also provide an avenue for knowing more about your practice. Make sure you actively participate in online forums, doctor reviews, and discussions on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even blogs for that matter. Social media helps keep it real, which, in turn, allows patients to see your real side as well. While you’re at it, think of new ways to organically invite comments, suggestions for improvement, and other feedback with the help of engagement tools.
5. Have your own website
Another reputation management tip which is often downplayed is the importance of having your own website as a medical professional. Granted that you might be actively killing it on social media, but the fact of the matter is that having your own website lends credibility to your practice while also increasing your practice’s visibility and promoting your professional background as well. Think of it like having your own online, living resume which can be updated on a daily basis.
97 percent of users search for local businesses and local business owner’s names online
List of top directories for Attorneys
Do take necessary steps so as to establish an active presence on top legal lawyer directories. Besides search engines, prospective clients make use of online legal directories to find information about legal professionals and find a lawyer in their area. Top directories thus provide you a viable alternative if you’re looking to boost your online presence and for clients to find a lawyer. So make sure you create a profile on these websites and fill out the details as thoroughly as possible. Thereon, some of the most popular online lawyer directories are as under:
Regarded as one of the authoritative lawyer directories for clients looking to find a lawyer, Avvo provides consumers with an inexpensive and easy-to-access legal advice. Attorneys can also avail a free profile in their directory. Needless to say, Avvo is also a great online directory if you’re looking to boost your overall SEO efforts.
A well-established name in online legal lawyer directories, one of the best features of FindLaw is that it offers an Answers section where lawyers can answer questions asked by people from across the board. Who knows – some of them might be your potential clients. Further, they also offer attorneys with a free listing.
Another popular lawyer directories resource is Lawyers.com and it doubles up as a powerful, important directory for attorneys and for clients looking to find a lawyer. Although you can get a free listing, it makes sense to opt for a premium listing if you want to do more marketing for your firm.
Considered by many as one of the top lawyer directories, Justia is a great resource for claiming your listing which, in turn, will allow you to enhance your online presence and brand. Justia also holds the distinction of being one of the highest PageRank directories for attorneys on the web. Which is why by simply having a link in your profile can prove to be an effective way of boosting your SEO efforts even if you do not use the account for anything else.
Review email templates for Attorneys
Today, there’s no doubt that email marketing acts as a strong tool for client retention and reputation management. If you’re stuck and bereft of ideas when it comes to drafting email templates, TribeLocal’s Online Reputation Services are what you need. Choose from top customer review templates which you can use to engage with your customers better. Here is a couple to give you a clue on what we can bring to the table.
Review Sample #1
Thank you for taking the time to write up a brief feedback for us based on your work with our firm. Getting feedback from clients is an important component of staying competitive and helps add legitimacy to our website.
To that end, can you share with us your experience? We have a list of questions that could make it easier for you to place feedback:
- Did you have any initial concerns about working with the firm and how were those concerns resolved?
- Did the firm help solve a particular challenge you were faced with?
- Would you recommend our firm to a close friend or family member and if say, what would you tell them about us?
We look forward to your response and there’s anything you need help with, please do not hesitate to ask.
Review Sample #2
We are delighted that you’ve chosen to work with us for resolving your legal needs. We are working hard to make our firm better for our customers by listening to buyers’ comments and concerns.
We would love to receive your feedback. Providing a testimonial would only take about a couple minutes of your time but it would mean a great deal to us.
Attached is a link to our firm’s LinkedIn profile. You can simply click on the link and write a quick review stating how your experience was working with us.
Thank you for your time.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to efficiently manage your online reputation, why not consider TribeLocal – arguably one of the best platforms for reputation management – for attorneys and otherwise. From taking corrective measures for fixing any negative mentions to tracking your reviews online, TribeLocal facilitates an effective way to productively and proactively influence your company’s reputations and relationships. The best part is that you can opt for a free 7-day trial to see how it works for you – Win-Win! There are thousands of people looking to find a lawyer everyday – Let TribeLocal’s Online Reputation team help you gain more traction and business online today!