Online Reputation Management for Small Law Firms (Part 2)

October 26, 2012

The last post discussed what online reputation management is, and how to find out what’s happening online. Once you know, what are the next steps?

What can you do about the things people say?

If people are saying great things, you can brag about it to your friends and colleagues (and post a link to the great things from your blog). If they’re saying not-so-great things, however, this calls for a different course of action.

While a poor review or nasty comment may sting, there isn’t much that can be done to make it disappear. A wise choice is to use tactics that employ positive, useful information that readers will find engaging. More recent and widely read information about your firm will push the old, negative information further down in the all-important search-engine results, which means fewer readers will see the harmful words.

Create an active presence on the Internet.

  • Write press releases that highlight your knowledge and experience, and make them available for syndication.
  • If you are not blogging, consider starting a blog to share your views on recent legal developments.
  • If your firm does not have a website, think about creating a permanent presence on the Internet where you can show the world what you have to offer.
  • You can also share your knowledge on websites that discuss legal issues or online forums like LinkedIn.

Resist the temptation to reply to a negative review by a former client, especially with your own negative review of the client’s errant ways. Not only will this make you look temperamental, it could lead you to accidentally reveal confidential client information. If you feel you must respond, be respectful — and circumspect.

What is the best way to avoid problems in the first place?

Establishing a positive presence online makes it harder for one or two negative comments to rise to the top. The more you market yourself and your firm, creating content that demonstrates your knowledge and reaches out to potential clients, the more likely you are to have a stronger handle on your online reputation.

Finally, make sure you’re communicating with clients and addressing any issues right away. If clients feel heard by you, they are less apt to air grudges online. With those fruitful relationships, you are also more likely to be pleasantly surprised by what you read about yourself as you surf the Net.