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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.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  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.

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