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Social Media – Are You a Social Leper?

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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.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  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: https://agentgenius.com/?p=857

  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 JoyfulJubilantLearning.com

    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: https://urltea.com/26jy

    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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Social Media

Why Trump’s lawsuit against social media still matters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Former President Trump snagged headlines for suing every large social media platform, and it has gone quiet, but it still deeply matters.

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It was splashed across headlines everywhere in July: Former President Trump filed a lawsuit against social media platforms that he claims unrightfully banned him during and after the fallout of the January 6th capitol riots. The headlines ran for about a week or so and then fell off the radar as other, fresher, just-as-juicy news headlines captured the media’s eye.

Many of us were left wondering what that was all about and if anything ever became of it. For even more of us, it probably passed out of our minds completely. Lack of public awareness for these things is common after the initial media blitz fades.

Lawsuits like these in the US can take months, if not years between newsworthy milestones. The most recent news I could find as of this publishing is from August 24, 2021, on Yahoo! News from the Washington Examiner discussing the Trump camp’s request for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit.

This particular suit shouldn’t be left to fade from memory in the shadows though, and here’s why:

In the past few years, world powers have been reigning in regulations on social media and internet commerce. The US is actually a little behind the curve. Trump may have unwittingly given us a source of momentum to get with the times.

In the European Union, they have the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), widely acknowledged to be one of the toughest and most thorough privacy laws in the world, a bold title. China just passed its own pair of laws in the past four months: The Data Security Law, which took effect on Sept. 1, and The Personal Information Law, set to take effect November 1st. The pair is poised to give the GDPR a run for its money for that title.

Meanwhile, in the US, Congress has been occupied with other things and, while there are five bills that took aim at tech monopoly currently on the table and a few CEOs had to answer some questions, little actual movement or progress has been made on making similar privacy protections a thing in the United States.

Trump’s lawsuit, while labeled by many as a toothless public relations move, may actually create momentum needed to push regulation of tech and social media forward in the US. The merits of the case are weak and ultimately the legislation that would give it teeth doesn’t exist yet.

You can’t hold tech companies accountable to a standard that doesn’t properly exist in law.

However, high profile attention and someone willing to continue to make noise and bring attention back to the subject, one of Trump’s strongest talents, could be “just what the doctor ordered” to inspire Congress to make internet user rights and data privacy a priority in the US, finally.

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Even solopreneurs are doing live commerce online – it’s not just QVC’s game anymore

(SOCIAL MEDIA) When you think of watching a show and buying things in real time, it invokes thoughts of QVC, but social media video has changed all that.

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After the year everyone has had, one wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that humanity wants a break from live streaming. They would, however, be wrong: Live online commerce – a method of conversion first normalized in China – is the next evolution of the ubiquitous e-commerce experience, which means it’s something you’ll want on your radar.

Chinese company, Alibaba first live streamed on an e-commerce site in 2016, allowing buyers to watch, interact with, and buy from sellers from the comfort of their homes. In 2020, that same strategy netted Alibaba $7.5 billion in presale revenue – and it only took 30 minutes, according to McKinsey Digital.

But, though western audiences have proven a desire to be just as involved with sellers during the buying process, live commerce hasn’t taken off here the way it has elsewhere. If e-commerce merchants want to maximize their returns in the next few years, that needs to change.

McKinsey Digital points out a couple of different benefits for organizations using live commerce, the main one being an influx in traffic. Live streaming events break the buying experience mold, and consumers love being surprised. You can expect that prospective buyers who wouldn’t necessarily visit your store under normal circumstances would find value in attending a live event.

Live events also keep people on your site for longer, resulting in richer conversion opportunities.

The sense of urgency inherent in in-person shopping doesn’t always translate to online markets, but having a stream showing decreasing inventory or limited-availability items being sold inspires people to act expeditiously rather than sitting on a loaded cart–something that can kill an e-commerce conversion as quickly as it starts one.

There are a ton of different ways to incorporate live events into your e-commerce campaigns. Virtual auctions are popular, as are markets in which individual sellers take buyers through inventory. However, the live event could be tangentially related–or even just something impressive running in parallel with the sale–and still bring in a swell of revenue.

Screen fatigue is real, and there isn’t a true substitute for a brick-and-mortar experience when done correctly. But if you have an e-commerce shop that isn’t utilizing some form of live entertainment–even just to bring in new buyers–you’re going to want to try this strategy soon.

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Social Media

LinkedIn is nixing Stories this month (LinkedIn had Stories!?)

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn tried to be like the cool kids and launched “Stories,” but the video feature is being shelved and “reimagined.” Ok.

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Creating the next big thing is essential for social networks to stay relevant, continue growing, and avoid shutting down. Sometimes, this leads to businesses trying to ride along with the success of another app’s latest feature and creating their cloned version. While the logic of recreating something already working makes sense, the results aren’t universal.

This time around, LinkedIn is saying goodbye to its short-lived Snapchat-like video product, Stories. In a company post, LinkedIn says it’s removing its Stories experience by the end of September.

Why is LinkedIn retiring Stories?

According to a post by Senior Director of Product at LinkedIn Liz Li, “[LinkedIn] introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share quick video updates.”

After some testing and feedback, they learned this is not what users wanted. Seems like they could have beta tested with users and heard the same thing, but I digress.

“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting. Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise,” said Li.

What does this mean for users?

Starting on September 30, 2021, users will no longer be able to create Stories for Pages. If you’ve already planned to have an image or video ads run in-between Stories, they will now appear on the LinkedIn feed instead. For those who used Campaign Manager to promote or sponsor a Story directly from your Page, the company says “these paid Stories will not appear in the LinkedIn feed”, and the user will need to recreate the ad in Campaign Manager.

What’s next for LinkedIn?

According to Li, LinkedIn is taking what it learned from its finding to “evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational.” It plans on doing so by using mixed media and the creative tools of Stories.

“As we reimagine what is next, we’re focusing on how we can provide you with a short-form, rich interactive video format that is unique to our platform and that better helps you reach and engage your audiences on LinkedIn. We’re always excited to try out new things and learn as we go, and will continue to share updates along the way,” the company said.

Although Stories didn’t work well for LinkedIn as they hoped, one thing is for sure. LinkedIn isn’t giving up on some form of interactive video, and we can only hope they “reimagine” something unique that keeps users coming back for more.

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