Most of us associate “reputation management” with the idea of hiring someone to do public relations (“PR”) when some type of crisis has negatively affected a firm’s public image. However, the field has evolved considerably since the Internet has taken over. Now, we have “reputation marketing,” a kind of hybrid between old school “reputation management” and new school “brand marketing” (aka “branding”). Nowadays, consumers of services hold a lot of power. There are no shortage of websites and apps where they can quickly and easily post reviews of lawyers and law firms. In this climate, “reputation marketing” means managing all of your online feedback as a way of attracting new clients.
Companies of all sizes sponsor events in order to gain visibility and reinforce their image as a benefactor in the community. Some common associations that come to mind are hospitals or health insurance companies sponsoring runs, banks sponsoring sporting events, and small businesses sponsoring little league teams. Law firms can also benefit from sponsoring events, by reinforcing their brand, or even bringing in clients more directly.
Google My Business is a must have marketing tool for law firms. Everyone knows that lead generation is largely about showing up on the first page of Google search results. These days, search results are no longer just a list of websites on a page. Rather, there are three types of search results on the first search result page—sponsored ads, organic search results, and map listings. By optimizing your Google My Business profile, you can beat out a lot of the big firms in terms of SEO, because you can target the map listings and vault your firm onto that coveted turf.
Legal matchmaking sites have been around since the dawn of the Internet, and ethics committees in many states are still struggling with how to deal with them—do these services constitute permissible marketing, or do they violate rules against fee sharing and paid recommendations? As with so many legal questions, the answer is “it depends.”
Snapchat is an app that has taken off fast, and it consistently maintains its unique point of view in the vast landscape of social media. The image-messaging app is known for allowing users to send transient pictures and messages that are auto-delete after a short period of time. It is perceived as representing a new direction in social media, with its users wanting a more fleeting and authentic means of expression, instead of an accumulation of ongoing status updates leaving a permanent trail. Against this backdrop, law firms might consider Snapchat to be an immature and unprofessional platform. However, the app continues to broaden its scope, its user base is steadily growing “older,” and more established brands are beginning to take advantage. It also presents some unique opportunities for law firms to market their brand, if used correctly.