When Website Visitors Discuss the Latest Restaurant, a New Club and Your Law Firm
When you visit websites that allow users to provide reviews of services or products (such as Yelp), you can find opinions about restaurants, hair salons, dentists and a host of other categories. You can also find people who have weighed in on their experiences with their local attorney at law. But Yelp isn't the only place where people can share their thoughts and comments online about you and your firm.
If you aren't regularly monitoring comments that relate to you on social media — both professionally and personally — you need to start. As in, start yesterday.
Once comments are posted online, they can quickly go viral or spiral out of control, and are extremely hard to remove permanently. Even if the comments are flattering, you want to know when people are talking about you. Make sure it's done in a way that enhances your professional stature and doesn't conflict with any local bar rules.
If you haven't started monitoring social media comments, or if you only sporadically Google yourself, you should commit to regularly checking up on who is talking about you and what they are saying. It's not difficult to do and you may be able to leverage these responses in future marketing efforts.
OK, that's easy to decide. But when it comes to actually doing it, what are the next steps? You have a few options:
- Do it yourself. Various search engines allow you to receive notices when you or your firm are mentioned online. Setting up these alerts is quick and easy. However, search engines won't necessarily pick up comments and mentions on other social media sites. So you should plan to search for yourself on Facebook, Yelp, Twitter and other sites frequently. Develop it as an organic part of your daily routine.
- Assign someone else to do it. If you have several staff members and attorneys at your firm, you can task one person to check on the firm and each attorney regularly. If you have a resident techie, he or she may represent a natural fit. If you have someone who assists with PR, either in-house or as a contractor, make sure he or she is monitoring comments about you and your firm.
- Use tracking software. There are programs out there that will do the work for you. Before investing in any software, talk to your IT pros and the people who help with your Web work. They can provide recommendations about which is best for your firm, taking into consideration your practice areas, geographic locations and current software.
There's an old cliché that says, "All publicity is good publicity." If you're a reality TV star with few other discernible talents, that may be the case. However, it won't necessarily be the case for you, your colleagues and your firm.
If you aren't actively tracking social media comments, talk to a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
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