The two sites that consumers trust the most for online reviews are Facebook and Yelp, followed by Google and BBB.org, according to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Report.
To emphasize the importance of online reviews to local businesses, BrightLocal took responses from over 1,000 U.S. consumers and discovered that:
- 97% of consumers search online for local businesses.
- 93% of consumers read online reviews to determine if a business is good or bad.
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- 73% of consumers trust a business more if it has positive reviews.
- 68% of consumers wrote a review for a local business when asked to do so.
- Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before deciding to trust a business.
Since the research shows that Facebook outpaces Google for trusted reviews, it is important that your law firm Facebook page is enabled for reviews. To do this, check the tabs on the left side of your page. If you don’t see Reviews, go to Settings > Edit Page > Add a Tab. From that list, select Reviews.
Now people will be able to leave a review for your firm on your Facebook page. To encourage them to do so, follow these tips:
Ask for reviews and provide clear instructions for clients on how to submit a review on your Facebook page.
Include your Facebook reviews URL in your email signature and in other places whenever you can: facebook.com/firmpagename/reviews.
Whenever someone provides you with a positive comment on one of your Facebook posts, follow up with them and request a review.
Include links to all your review sites in every e-newsletter you send.
Add a link to your Facebook Review page on your law firm website and blog.
Print up cards to hand to prospects and clients when they visit your office with your Facebook review URL and ask for a review.
Always comment on reviews that are submitted. This is especially important if you receive a negative review or comment. Apologize for their less-than-satisfactory experience and say that you will be reaching out to them personally to ensure you take care of their concerns. Thank everyone for the feedback, positive or negative.
Managing your online reviews is an important part of managing your overall online reputation, and it never ends. Consumers look for recent reviews, so be sure you keep asking for those reviews to keep your listing fresh. And don’t sweat a bad review or two — research shows that consumers actually trust a business more if it has a few bad reviews sprinkled in with all the good ones as it reassures them the reviews have not been faked.