The Trial Lawyer Winter 2018 - Page 25

Facebook Business Pages The starting point for any Facebook campaign is to create a strong Facebook business page and support it with a steady stream of images and posts about your practice, your lawyers, your staff and your community. It is a tool to show a side of your practice that potential clients don’t get from your website. If you do it well, it will generate new business and reinforce the decisions of people who have been referred to your practice by other referral sources. Facebook Recommendations Most law firms already realize the power of online reviews. Online reviews are, perhaps, the most effective tools available to convince prospective clients to contact them. In addition to Google and Yelp, Facebook is an extremely valuable online review platform. In fact, the reviews section is one of the most important components of your Facebook business page. Until recently, happy clients could quantify their experience at your practice using the star rating system. A five- star review was visually appealing and reaffirmed a prospective client’s decision to contact you. That changed last fall with the advent of Facebook Recommendations (www.facebook.com/business/ recommendations). Now, the star rating system is no longer available. Instead, Facebook has moved to a “recommendations” system that streamlines the process and encourages customers to be specific and constructive regardless of whether they had a positive or negative experience with a business. This change represents a great opportunity for you to improve your firm’s online reputation. Here are some of the key aspects of Facebook Recommendations that make the change beneficial to your firm: Simple System Rather than a star rating system that uses a one to five scale, Facebook Recommendations gives your clients an easy, yes-or-no choice to a straightforward question: “Do you recommend [law firm]?” The clients are then asked to share their experience. One of the biggest digital marketing hurdles attorneys and law firms face is consistent generation of high-quality reviews. Clients have different time commitments and comfort levels with technology, so the streamlined look and ease of use with Recommendations should lead to more reviews, and posted more frequently. Don’t worry if you spent a lot of time and effort to get a five-star rating as that will not go away. Your star rating will continue to improve as more clients post positive recommendations. Client Perspective The best thing about the new Recommendations system is the how it is designed to help other prospective clients. The number of stars communicated what the user’s experience was to the business. The Recommendations system asks users whether or not they recommend a business (or a law firm) with the goal of advising other users about what they liked and what the firm needs to improve. With its emphasis on the client’s experience, Facebook has created a framework for word-of-mouth marketing in the digital space. When people need to find a lawyer, many ask their family and friends for recommendations. The Facebook Recommendations system does the same thing but opens the door to recommendations from all of your Facebook friends. One thing doesn’t change, however. You still have to provide an exceptional client experience if you want your Recommendations to drive other potential clients to your practice. some businesses (and law firms) pay for positive reviews and five-star ratings with no text. Other business owners posted false one-star ratings on their competitors. With Recommendations, Facebook has introduced a simple way for anyone to report fake reviews. For practices that market themselves ethically, this means that your happy clients can be an ally in not only bolstering but safeguarding your online reputation. Recommendations are More Visible and More Meaningful Recommendations appear near the top of your Facebook Business Page. This means that what your clients say about you and your firm will be one of the first things people see when they visit your page on Facebook. In time they will be able to see more detail in the recommendations as reviewers will be able to add tags and upload images to accompany their recommendations. Conclusion The change from online reviews to Facebook’s Recommendations system presents an opportunity for your practice to generate more client testimonials. The more positive recommendations from satisfied clients you have, the more likely you are to generate new business through your digital marketing. Dan Goldstein is the president and owner of Page 1 Solutions, LLC. Page 1 Solutions is a full-service marketing agency representing personal injury attorneys throughout the US. Page 1 provides a wide range of digital marketing services including SEO, social media, paid advertising, video and much more. Reducing Abuse I believe that Facebook Recommendations will reduce the potential for abuse. In the past, we saw The Trial Lawyer x 23