Let the Social Networking Games Begin
April 4, 2012 by Sheryl J. Moore
Good morning everyone!
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. Probably more so (after all, competitive intelligence IS what I do for a living!) That being the case, know that I am guilty of the following to some small degree; certainly less than a few other contributors. However, the ‘Social Media Games’ of ProducersWeb have become downright laughable as of late, if you ask me.
Even as I sit here, blogging at 1:40 am 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 PW as-of-late. Nearly all of it is driven by individuals with a quest to become the #1 top-ranked ‘POINTS LEADER’ on ProducersWeb.com. Let me illuminate you all as to the major offenses that have become prevalent in our favorite online insurance blog community in recent months:
- SERIAL LIKERS- right at the top, in the #1 spot (how ironically appropriate) is the type of individual who 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)].
- 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 disingenious, and I KNOW that you don’t want people to think you are commenting, just to get more points on PW! *wink, wink*
- DUALING BLOGGOS- earnestly, I couldn’t think of anything more snappy to call this one. I hope you don’t detest it. The third most heinous offense on PW these days is contributors holing-up like the Hatfields and the McCoys, in their efforts to beat one another to the #1 ‘points leader’ spot. Guy #1 writes an article on this, and guy #2 writes an article on a related issue. Guy #1 comments on a blog and guy #2 happens to comment on the same blog. In a furor, guy #1 decides to begin name-calling, pointing fingers, and raising more drama than Nikki and Victor on “Young and the Restless.” Meanwhile, guy #2 is oblivious, and just happens to have similar interests as guy #2. Look- this is the INSURANCE industry…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 biz), 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. The PW website 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 that goes to kindergarten in the day and sells insurance at night.
- SUBTLE SUBSTANCE POSTS- not alot of explanation needed here…If your most recent post is about that note that has been on your monitor for five months, reminding you to “smile,” suddenly coming-up MIA- you are guilty. Do you think that myself or my respected PW community members really care abouit 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.
- 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? (I will give you a hint: it starts with “N” and ends with “OH!”) Gaining legitimate followers is a genuine sign that someone appreciates your perspective and/or contributions. Tarnishing this baseline principal of social networking shows that you have no respect for it. Don’t make-up imaginary friends to boost your number on ProducersWeb.com. 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; however…). 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 #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? If it were I that used cheating as a means to an end, I imagine I would bail in Edgar Allen Poe-fashion circa “The Tell Tale Heart.” Loudly, I would publicly decry my methodical means to work the PW system, “I EARNED A MILLION POINTS BY SERIAL LIKING” I would scream…
Alas! You’ll hear no such screaming from me. Admittedly, I am gunnin’ for that #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!!! Sjm
Sheryl Moore is President and CEO of Moore Market Intelligence, an indexed product resources in Des Moines, Iowa. She has over a decade of experience working with indexed products and provides competitive intelligence, market research, product development, consulting services and insight to select financial services companies. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally posted to the now-defunct site, ProducersWeb