There’s a good chance that if you’re a practicing attorney, you’re on the web, and you may not even know it. Your firm or practice could very well be the topic of a news piece, blog, social media discussion, or online review. That’s good news, right? Only if what is being posted on the ‘net reflects you and your firm in a positive way. But what about if it doesn’t? What if the blog piece is disparaging and inaccurate? What if the review has the potential to damage your reputation? How would you know if you're not listening?
Social monitoring tools allow you to “listen” in on what’s being said about any topic or firm, attorney, practice area, or important case on the web. Many of these tools offer real- and near real-time data, and allow you to be far more proactive in managing your firm’s online reputation.
While there are many more listening tools than I list in this article, these few will, at the very least, help you get started in online reputation management.
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Mention searches web pages, blogs, forums, blogs, social networks, videos and news media sites for mentions of your keyword. It’s super easy to set up, and takes only a few seconds to create a keyword alert, and all results are in real-time.
Mention Cost: Free to try, then $29 to $799 a month.
Trackur monitors all popular social media sources as well as news sites and sharing sites and gives you detailed analytics, trends, influence scoring so you know what’s being said about your firm and who’s saying it. Trackur has several feature-focused price plans, so you don’t have to pay for features you don’t use.
Trackur Cost: $79 per month to $447 per month (no contracts).
Hootsuite does more than just allow you to access all your social profiles from one dashboard. The platform still allows you to engage across multiple social apps, but also monitors social networks for mentions of you or your firm, and offers conversation maps, custom filters, geolocation targeting, and business metrics.
Hoot-suite Cost: Free for individuals. $10 per month to $69 per month. Enterprise custom pricing available.
Socialdraft monitors the web and social networks for your keywords, alerts you of mentions and provides a unified dashboard that pulls all your social media interactions together in one interface. Team collaboration and project scheduling are just some of the features of Socialdraft. Socialdraft also monitors review sites, niche legal sites and CitySearch and Yellowpages.
Socialdraft Cost: $10 per month to $99 per month.
Review Monitoring Tools
It’s just as important to monitor the reviews your clients may be leaving on the web. Review monitoring tools allow you to quickly find any reviews of you or your firm so you know how well you and your staff are doing.
You can do a name and location search in Google to see if Google Local has any client reviews, or search “your keyword + reviews” for a greater listing of reviews. Sometimes the same search in Bing will net a larger return of review sites, so don’t forget to try other search engines too.
Review Trackers monitors all major review sites plus some legal review sites like AVVO and Lawyers.com and has plans to add more. You can track multiple locations, and get email notifications of new reviews so you can respond to your clients in a timely manner.
Review Trackers Cost: Starting at $49 per month
Review Push monitors major review sites, notify you of new reviews, and delivers weekly or monthly custom reports. Reviews are listed in a feed allowing you to quickly identify any reviews that you should respond to or follow up on.
Teresa Shaw is an SEO consultant with 10 years of experience helping attorneys and law firms across the country increase public awareness of their services.