5 tactics to increase your rank that don't benefit anyoneBlog added by Sheryl Moore on May 3, 2012
Sheryl J. Moore

Sheryl Moore

Des Moines, IA

Joined: January 06, 2011

It is another one of those sleepless nights for me, here in the indexed annuity capital of the world.

Before I get into my rant here, I just want to let it be known that I am just as competitive as the next gal/guy out there. That being the case, I know that I am guilty of the following to some small degree; but certainly less than some. However, the social media games on ProducersWEB have become downright laughable as of late, if you ask me.

Even as I sit here, blogging at 1:40 a.m. because I am not tired in the least, I wear a pajama shirt that reads "GUILTY." I will admit it. I am a serious slave to social media. I crave information and am desperate for others' perspective of situations.

These opportunities are the source of all of my knowledge regarding the insurance realm. That being said, what better way to feed my need, than to hit the pages of ProducersWEB to exchange ideas with my fellow insurance industry professionals?

However, there is some downright silly drama going on in the halls of ProducersWEB lately. Nearly all of it is driven by individuals with a quest to become the no. 1 top ranked points leader on the site. Let me illuminate you all as to the major offenses that have become prevalent in our favorite online insurance blog community in recent months:

1. Serial likers

This type of individual likes nearly every single stinking contribution on the website. Don't become a serial liker — you'll only prove that you are the points leader at liking, as opposed to being a points leader in life insurance sales or a professional on any other specific subject.

Realistically, as the subject of your serial liking, I don't feel that you like my content at all when you have liked every single thing that I have posted. If you did, you would be the president of my fan club by now... [Note: serial likers are distant cousins of serial followers (self-explanatory) and related by marriage to hit-and-run commenters (see below)].

2. Hit-and-run commenters

You know who they are, the folks that comment nothing more than "Thanks!" Or, how about the incredibly thought-provoking comment of, "Thanks for the read, [name here!]"

Thanks for the read? Seriously? If you need a good read, I can give you a tip on where you can find some specimen life insurance policies; I assure you that it will help in your sales efforts. Seriously.

Hey, I get that you're busy. We're all busy. However, if you don't have anything sincere, thoughtful or valuable to contribute, here's a suggestion — keep it to yourself. Otherwise, the contributor that you are commenting to is likely to feel that your comments are disingenuous, and I know that you don't want people to think you are commenting just to get more points.
3. Dualing bloggos

Earnestly, I couldn't think of anything snappier to call this one. I hope you don't detest it. The third most heinous offense on ProducersWEB these days is contributors holing up like the Hatfields and the McCoys in their efforts to beat one another to the no. 1 points leader spot.

Guy no. 1 writes an article on this, and guy no. 2 writes an article on a related issue. Guy no. 1 comments on a blog and guy no. 2 happens to comment on the same blog. In a furor, guy no. 1 decides to begin name calling, pointing fingers and raising more drama than Nikki and Victor on "Young and the Restless."

Meanwhile, guy no. 2 is oblivious, and just happens to have similar interests as guy no. 1. Look, this is the insurance industry, and we're a little incestuous. The best piece of advice that I received in my first week in this industry was, "Never burn bridges. When it comes to the insurance industry, that guy you p*ssed off will likely be your client at your next job in this biz."

How true that is (and never more so than in Des Moines, Iowa). So, Hatfield, why don't you do McCoy and the rest of us a favor: chill out! As long as McCoy is offering up genuine, heart-felt comments of substance, you have no reason to accuse him going all "Hand that Rocks the Cradle" or "Single White Female" on you.

If all else fails in your efforts to cool off, just remember that imitation is the finest form of flattery and this is a smaller world (the insurance business) than you give it credit for. (The insurance industry is just one of many in the U.S., and life/health/annuities is just one type of license within that industry. ProducersWEB has a limited number of registered users and there are relatively few of us that are serious social networkers.)

Raising Cain over simple similarities just makes you look like a five-year-old who goes to kindergarten in the day and sells insurance at night.

4. Subtle substance posts

Not a lot of explanation needed here. If your most recent post is about that note reminding you to "smile” that has been on your monitor for five months suddenly coming up MIA, you are guilty. Do you think that myself or my respected ProducersWEB community members really care about your five-word dialogue to yourself regarding your Dale Carnegie scoop? (Tip: likely not)

We are here to learn, to engage and to share meaningful ideas. If all you care about is raising awareness of your points for posts campaign, I have a hot tip for you — we got the memo. Share if you will, but if there is zero chance that no one other than you cares, we are going to see your naked agenda.

5. Chock full-o-wonton followers

Seriously. I do not know how you got one million people to follow you, when you are only following one person in return, but it is highly suspect. Is it any coincidence that you are only following yourself, and yet droves of unknown contributors seem to enjoy everything that you do on this website?

Gaining legitimate followers is a genuine sign that someone appreciates your perspective and/or contributions. Tarnishing this baseline principle of social networking shows that you have no respect for it. Don't make up imaginary friends to boost your number on ProducersWEB. If you do, they may become the only friends you have. (Not a threat; this one's a promise.)

While I hope that this message is received by my fellow guilty contributors with a smile, I must admit that there is a little truth in every joke. Come on everyone, we are insurance professionals. Why play a game just to get the top ranking on a website? (I mean sure, ProducersWEB is pretty freaking awesome).

Doesn't all of this sound a little like a scene from the movie "Mean Girls?" We are not in junior high, and we are certainly too mature for junior high games (I think I speak for most of us in this regard, anyhow).

What does that no. 1 spot mean if you cheated to get there? Will you really have the satisfaction of knowing that you earned your position as an expert in this field? Or, will everyone (including yourself) be aware that it was all just a game? How does it feel to be numero uno when everyone knows that you were less than honest in your efforts to get there?

Admittedly, I am gunning for that no. 1 spot, just like the next guy. However, I respect the pages of ProducersWEB, and I value the things that I have learned from sincere members of this community. For you others, I think it is best you quit the social media games. It is getting to the point where all of us see right through it, but you are the only one/ones that do/does not.

Happy social networking.
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