Connect with us

Social Media

Social Media – Are You a Social Leper?



I define a social leaper as one who markets using a social media platform, yet has no online interaction with those that consume the media.  You’re simply spam, don’t do it.

I have followed this weekend several so-called internet marketing experts on Twitter.  These so-called experts have well over 1K followers and lots of link tweets, yet no social interaction what-so-ever.  Nor, do these experts actually follow any of their followers.  How do you profess to have your finger on a pulse if you aren’t actually taking a pulse?

The bottom line is even the self-proclaimed experts are subject to making mistakes in social circles and have a lot to learn- as do we all- but the one lesson you’ll want to avoid is becoming a Social Leper.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

Continue Reading


  1. Jeff Brown

    January 21, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Benn — since I trust you implicitly, I’ll let my massive ignorance on this subject hang out for all to see. 🙂

    >These so-called experts have well over 1K followers and lots of link tweets, yet no social interaction what-so-ever.

    That’s what confuses me sometimes with all this ‘social’ stuff — how’d the guy get 1,000 + followers if he wasn’t perceived as someone saying something of merit? Why is it incumbent upon him to do more? If the answer is he’ll do more business, then I think I understand. Otherwise, I need your help.

    See? I am that ignorant about this stuff. 🙂

  2. Benn Rosales

    January 21, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Now Jeff- ask that question on the social venue the so-called expert is using, in this case it’s twitter and this is what you’ll get:

  3. Lani Anglin

    January 21, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Benn, I totally agree- there will be no interaction should you pose this same question to the experts.

    It’s called social “networking” (implying a two way relationship), not social “preaching” (implying a one way relationship). The one way street turns many people off, even if 10 experts nationally have found what I believe to be temporary success in this approach.

    The bigger point is that it’s called social media, not a non-social, impersonal brochure.

  4. Jeff Brown

    January 21, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Sure, I see your point.

    And yet, he still has well over 1,000 followers. Why?

    Also, won’t some of those followers convert into sales? Maybe more than some?

  5. Benjamin Bach

    January 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Yessir Jeff
    For example, Scoble has like a gaziliion facebook friends, even though he interacts personally with very few. People still want to follow him, even if they can’t interact.

  6. Benn Rosales

    January 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    No one said he wasn’t a 1.0 approach to a 2.0 enviornment- 1.0 thinkers will surely forgive his imposition.

    The point of using 2.0 worlds is to grab a 2.0 audience- strike 1/2/3 game over.

  7. Benjamin Bach

    January 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    hmmm. I agree with that too

  8. Benjamin Bach

    January 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    case in point, my client Darryl who commented on this post about his multiple offer situation:

  9. Jeff Brown

    January 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Being Devil’s Advocate here, a dangerous move given my dirth of knowledge, how does Seth Godin get away with a no comment section? He seems to be doing exactly what this guy is on Twitter, right?

    On the other hand, your point, i.e. interaction is the way to go, would seem to result in more business. I’m still confused.

    Is Seth an exception to the rule? It wouldn’t surprise me.

  10. Benjamin Bach

    January 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I think Seth gets away with it because he doesn’t blog to his peers, he blogs to his readers.

  11. Benn Rosales

    January 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Seth has a popularity that an agent will not have marketing themselves- also Seth speaks to many different audiences about one subject- to better market themselves. Seth can get away with bloody murder, a “Realtor” cannot.

  12. Benn Rosales

    January 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I follow Seth in that he is on my feeder, although his attempts to bait and sell me fail because I do not follow the 1.0 bread crumbs.

    I happen to enjoy Seth, and I’m sure some 2.0’ers do as well, but if he were to reach beyond and gurilla market on Twitter, he would fail. Seth on twitter allows those who wish to partake of his link sharing and baiting to come to him.

    In having said that – Seth could do with some Q&A on his twitter feed, some interaction. If he did, those 2.0ers that do not know him but stuble upon him might just take a leap of faith and buy in.

  13. Jeff Brown

    January 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks guys — you’ve been a huge help.

  14. Benjamin Bach

    January 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    You’ll have a hard time convincing me that Seth Godin is *anything* 1.0

    I’ve heard and seen him on a half dozen blogs/podcast shows recently interacting with fans, being interviewed, etc., including an interview I did with him at

    Maybe he doesn’t interact on twitter, but I don’t even have twitter – I’m still interactive, right?

  15. Benn Rosales

    January 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I’m not sure where or why Seth came up, he isn’t the point.

    The point is using a social network to feedblast a product. If you are the product than a one way conversation is what you’re having.

    If you dont believe that the 2.0 generation is easialy offended then jump out there and try it.

  16. Athol Kay

    January 21, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I emailed Seth Godin a question about a week ago and he emailed me back about 4-5 hours later.

    The reply was just one sentence long, but so unbelieveably right I pretty much did the /headslap move and wondered why the hell I didn’t get it already.

    Can’t share it as he had what appears to be a standard “this is off the record including blogs unless we have discussed otherwise” clause, which I’ll respect. I think if I had Seth’s pull I’d possibly control the comments ina similar manner. Imagine the spam attacks he must get otherwise.

    True Story.

  17. Lani Anglin

    January 21, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Seth is a really great guy, a really stand up guy (for my own personal reasons I hold this belief). Like Benn said, he’s not the topic du jour… as a new Twitterer, I’ve noticed several “big names” who have an incredible amount of followers but follow 0 people which contradicts the theory of networking (see my previous comment).

    Seth could pimp slap a baby and get away with it, but most others could not.

  18. Andy Kaufman

    January 21, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    I’ve thought long and hard about Seth Godin’s use of Twitter, and I had to take a step back and consider his whole social marketing ‘account balance’.

    To me, his books and his blog have been an amazing source of information and inspiration over the past few years.

    By creating, and sharing his content and advice in a simple straight forward manner, in my mind he’s created a massive surplus of social capital.

    By using his personal twitter account to broadcast his message and not interacting with his network, he’s using a bit of that social capital each time he uses it in a self promotional way.

    The trick is to maintain a healthy account balance, which I think he’s doing.

    BTW, Tara Hunt wrote a great post on this subject that might be of interest here:

    It think it’s more important to find the different subset of people on Twitter that create tremendous value like: chrisbrogan, respres, paulkedrosky, factoryjoe, missrouge, chrisheuer, laughingsquid and whoever else you find that it using the channel to create value.

  19. Andy Kaufman

    January 21, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Of course this isn’t about Seth 😉

  20. Frank Jewett

    May 22, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Seth gets a dollar every time his name is mentioned, so he doesn’t actually need clients.

    Benn raises a good point. Simply having a dedicated fanbase does not translate into success. Geography is also a factor. I live in San Jose, California. If you’re an agent in Florida and I subscribe to your blog, I may be a loyal fan, but there is very little chance of us doing business. Along with talking to your clients rather than to your peers, you should also be talking about local subjects (at least some of the time) so that you attract more local prospects rather than far flung fans who are an unlikely source of business. Participate in your social circle and try to fill that circle with locals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t

(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.



zillow group

Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.

Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.

We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).

Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.

Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading

Social Media

We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.



Neon social media like heart with a 0

Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.

The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.

Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)

One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.

  1. Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
  2. Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
  3. Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
  4. Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
  5. Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
  6. Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.

At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.

Continue Reading

Social Media

WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.



WeChat app icon on an iPhone screen

WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.

“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.

The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.

Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!