An Introvert’s Guide to Social Media

An Introvert’s Guide to Social Media
Roni Rucker Waters
May 21, 2015
Stylized Facebook like graphic

If you have a private Twitter account and your first reaction to a follow request is, “Why?! I’m not going anywhere,” you probably are an introvert.

You may “like” posts on Facebook, but you rarely post a comment. You may text your Facebook friends about something they posted, but you usually pass on weighing in publicly with an opinion.

And you opened an Instagram account only to keep up with your kids or co-workers, and you didn’t post your first photo until you noticed that your early-adopter father had opened an account. OK, that was me, and I didn’t want him to beat me to it.

On my latest Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profile, I scored as moderately introverted.  Myers-Briggs says introverts “tend to focus their attention on the inner world of ideas and impressions.” When it comes to social media interaction, that often means we are still rolling ideas around in our head about a Facebook debate that had its last post 48 hours ago.

On a positive side, we are not likely to lose our jobs over an impulsive tweet that goes viral. But even introverted marketers and communications people have to find a way to get comfortable with the demands of ever-changing social media. So here are some thoughts from a fellow introvert:

Be authentic.

There is nothing wrong with posting only when you have something relevant to say, whether speaking for yourself or a client. There is a lot of noise in social media, so those who share new information (even if it is curated) and ideas gain attention.

Establish a strategy for each social media network.

I will connect on LinkedIn with just about anyone who seems to suggest that they are not trying to sell me something. (That’s the only explanation that I have for having All-Star status.) I limit my Facebook friends to people I actually know, but they are a mix of personal and business connections. I use Twitter mainly to monitor the industry and topics that I am interested in personally and for clients.

Know your audience.

It is impossible to keep your accounts strictly for friends and family members, especially if you have a public Twitter account. A client or acquaintance is going to send you a Facebook friend request that you can’t refuse. Keep that in mind when you post. It’s possible to be provocative and engaging without being offensive. And some things are so personal that you really should just share them privately with your BFF.

Keep up.

Familiarity with social media makes it easier to integrate it into your communications strategies. Stay on top of best practices and that confidence will help your comfort level. Read, participate in webinars, and pay attention to co-workers who have made social media second nature.

The more comfortable you are with your own social media persona, the more value you can provide to clients.