Preserving your ‘rep’ in the digital age. It seems simple enough, but is it really?
Among other technological marvels, the colossal Internet allows a user to connect with fellow online aficionados across the globe and empowers users to voice their opinion about everything from local businesses to consumer products in a fairly anonymous setting.
Though this may be excellent news for Internet users, it can be daunting for businesses, such as law firms, who can be haunted by a negative review for an eternity in cyberspace. On the other hand, positive reviews can add up and go a long way for helping to spread positive word of mouth.
I’ll Have What She’s Having
Based on information from eMarketer.com, a recent survey indicated that 83 percent of consumers let online reviews influence their perceptions about companies. The lesson to learn from this marketing survey is that most consumers are influenced by negative reviews and online comments; as such, it is imperative that law firms of any size manage their online reputation in order to successfully attract new clients and consumers so that their business can continue to thrive.
5 Steps to Protect Your Online Reputation
The following are five strategies for law firms and small businesses that can aid in protecting an online reputation:
- Create a plan: Craft a plan of action that will allow you to manage your law firm’s Internet reputation, which is a critical step. Ask certain questions that can help you do this, such as when you find a negative online review about your business, what are you going to do? Or who within your business will handle it?
- Keep one eye open at all times: After creating a plan of action, “listen” to everything that’s being said about your business online. Check online review sites and Google your business name, and use free internet tools to your advantage! Brand Monitor and Social Mention are cost-free, and once you enter your business name, a list of search results will appear if your business or firm has been mentioned. Google Alerts will also notify you when your company is mentioned.
- Decide how to make the most of a negative review: Determining how you will handle a negative review can certainly help with client/consumer satisfaction and protecting your online rep. Businesses are encouraged to begin a conversation with the comment’s author and respond to the review. Potential clients will see that your business takes online reviews seriously and are willing to try and resolve the problem.
- Get a head start: Make sure the titles of your website’s pages contain keywords that will help you rank high in search results and help you bury unwanted reviews.
- Generate brand/business-related content: Creating relevant, unique content, including blog posts, articles, videos, and social media updates, that will rank high in search results will aid in online business reputation management and can help build your “brand”.
Nip it in the Bud
As the Internet is certainly here to stay, it is essential that businesses and law firms effectively manage their online reputation in order to attract new clients and consumers. Successfully managing your digital reputation can also keep current clients happy, which will in turn make them more willing to refer you to other potential new customers and utilize your business’s service again in the future. With thriving online management reputation, your business will continue to blossom in the Internet world!