I was following a recent discussion among lawyers where someone asked if other lawyers thought that ‘social media’ experts may have just made up the concept of social media.
The theory being that so called ‘experts’ go to social media websites, create a persona, and then tell everyone they need to be on them so the expert gets a following. The person concluded that no one they knew was using social media to make any money.
May sound crass to say I make money from using social media, but I do. Social media is a means whereby my blog content and other things I may say are amplified to more people and I connect with my target audience of bloggers, reporters, conference coordinators, clients, and prospective clients.
I regularly see referral traffic to my blog from social media/social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, and Stumbleupon. And the traffic is not coming from a profile of mine at those places with a link to my blog. The traffic is coming to my blog from posts displayed by syndication, a mention of a post of mine on Twitter, or someone sharing one of my posts on a social networking site.
A significant number of people in this country no longer get their news and information from mainstream media. They get their news and info from trusted ‘friends’ who blog about something they see or share a link and description to something they’ve read. Major publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal get huge amounts of traffic because links to their news stories are shared this way.
If major publications can draw traffic, why not well done niche publications written by authorities in their field? Like a lawyer following the niche in which they practice and sharing what they see with accompanying insight and commentary. The key is then leveraging social media to amplify your content’s distribution.
You don’t make money from social media anymore than you would make money from a cell phone. You make money as a result of effectively using a cell phone.
With regard to social media you make money as a lawyer by further enhancing your reputation as a thought leader and spreading word of your stature. That comes in part from effective blogging and leveraging social media.