GUEST POST | Rather swear off carbs forever than post a selfie on Instagram? We asked Tassie-based journalist, writer and self-proclaimed introvert Genevieve Morton to share her savviest strategies for turning up online (even if you'd rather run away and hide).
Spot the introvert on social media... Wait - you can’t, it seems they’re not really there. At least, if they are there, they’re not being noisy about it.
Yep, an introvert would rather lurk for life than post an earnest selfie on Facebook. That’s because the ability to hang out in the spotlight doesn’t come naturally to all.
But introverts run businesses too and they need to ‘turn up’ online. So, how do introverts SLAY social media?
With meaningful engagement.
Social media, after all, is about people, not posts. While an introvert might quickly tire of small talk, they can go the distance on listening, adding value to a conversation and bringing their own quiet authenticity.
But first, let's answer the question:
Are You An Introvert?
Three telling clues:
1) You don’t collect friends with a ‘more the merrier’ approach. You’re selective and prefer a small circle of close friends and relatives to share your online life with.
2) You keep your profile private. You consistently check your privacy settings. If someone isn’t your ‘friend’ then you don’t want them seeing your posts.
3) You routinely unfollow the people you don’t want to ‘socialise’ with. You feel drained by the ‘chatter’. It’s like a real-life party – after an hour of small talk you want to go home. And you definitely don’t leave your chat box open on Facebook.
Almost 40% of the world’s population are reportedly introverts. If that’s you, it’s time to take the angst out of your social media and slay this . . .
Everything you need, you already have
Huh? It’s true. Introverts are listeners and watchers. So when it comes to meaningful engagement, they intuitively know that social media for business shouldn’t be a dressed-up press release – it’s a two-way conversation. Engagement requires what most introverts are already good at – asking questions. Asking questions, responding to comments and consistently taking cues from readers about what to post next boosts engagement and brand trust. And that’s sooooo much easier than captioning a cheesy selfie, right?
Pay it forward
Kind, genuine offers of support and encouragement are powerful online. Remember, it’s a ‘network’. If this was a real life networking event, would you bond with the presenter on stage or the business owner who paid you a sweet compliment while standing at the back of the room together? Yep. Her. You don’t need to adopt a salesy, noisy or extroverted approach to get attention. Pay the love forward with positive comments on other people’s posts. And if there’s an opportunity to tag a business you like and share their pics? Take it.
Party for just one hour
If you’re the kind of introvert who enjoys a real-life party for about an hour before feeling completely drained and wanting to slip out the back door unnoticed, treat your social media the same way. Apps like Planoly and Preview are your new BFF. Write a whole week’s worth of posts while your energy levels are high. Bank posts and then roll them out during the week, according to what’s on your calendar. That way, you won’t need to spend hours during the week trying to find the energy for it.
The good news is that while social media can make introverts feel like they’re having that 'turned up at work naked' dream, it can also be a relief not to have to engage with people in person. Hiding behind a screen allows the introvert some space between interactions and to carefully edit the way their business connects with the world. So, bank your social media posts, ask your readers questions and, when all the socialising on your platforms gets too much, let your introvert instincts take over and switch off.
WORDS: Genevieve Morton
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