I’ve been pondering this a lot lately…social media is all about a two way conversation and relationship, it’s about putting yourself out there, it’s about being real and authentic…but how does that work for the introverts among us.
I work with a wide range of businesses, industries and people so I know, firsthand, that what some people find a breeze, sends others to bed with a block of chocolate and Netflix.
If you have had a chat with, watched a webinar or done a workshop recently with a social media manager (or the like) they have probably spouted the virtues of Facebook Live, Instagram Live Video, Instagram stories and even just video in general. To play to the algorithms you need to start producing and publishing live video to get great organic (and paid) reach and engagement.
But what if the very idea of it makes you feel ill? What if the thought makes you break out in cold sweats or even panic attacks? Firstly, you’re not alone – hands up – an extroverted introvert right here! Secondly, you can get around it…
Repeat after me
You do not have to do anything that you’re not comfortable with.
Without a doubt, live video works well on Facebook and Instagram Stories are killing it – no argument from me on that but I do take exception to the fact that live video or stories is suitable for everyone.
What you need to do is focus on the content type that you are comfortable producing; the content that you love to create and that resonates with your target audience. Overall, it is perfectly okay to dislike (and not do) certain types of content.
Now let me be clear – I’m not talking about steering clear of producing content that you hard or difficult to create – I’m all for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. I’m talking about the content that makes your stomach churn. I get that it’s super easy for me to sit here and tell you the types of content that will work in terms of current algorithms but I also get that it’s not that simple out there in the real world.
For some, the thought of sitting down and punching out a 500 word blog post every week is hell on Earth. For others, sharing the ins and outs of your journey with Instagram Stories might seem akin to having teeth pulled. And then for others, the idea of live video makes them want to crawl into a corner and hide. You need to know that it’s all fine…we are all different and we just need to be gentle with ourselves and find what is right for us and our online presence.
Introverts versus Extroverts
There are different personality types in this world. At a very basic level, introverts and extroverts. Looking closer there are extroverted introverts, introverted extroverts and so on.
And different personality types have a preference for different content types. It’s easy for an extrovert to say “you need to be all over live video” and it’s easy for an introvert to say “you need to blog twice a week”.
But neither perspective takes account of the person who’ll actually be producing that content – you!
So maybe the reason you’ve been struggling with what your social media manager has told you is simply because you’re not suited to what they’re suggesting?
It’s not that you can’t do it or don’t have it in you, it’s just that you’re not channeling your energies into the right places.
So, what do we do? Consider these lists from Mark Schaefer’s book ‘Known’:
Extrovert content forms:
- Live video
- Solo podcasts/videos
- Twitter chats
Introvert content forms:
- Visual content
- Podcasts/videos interviewing others
Makes sense, right?
For me personally, I’m a classic extroverted introvert – I can put on my game face and run the social media at events but I’ve probably had a meltdown in the lead up and come up with a million reasons to cancel beforehand. And I just can’t get on board with Instagram Live Video no matter how I try – and I don’t really. I find the concept frightening. But does that mean there’s no value in it? Certainly not. I regularly talk to my clients about how they need to consider it. Part of being a good social media and content manager is not being led by your personal beliefs and limitations.
I have started doing more Facebook videos which I absolutely love doing. But what do I do? I share my screen to show how to do bits and pieces – I don’t have to be in front of the camera so that works for my behind the scenes introverted nature. I’ve found a way to use video to my advantage while remaining within my comfort limits. There is absolutely no rule saying I need to be in front of the camera – and neither do you.
Find your groove
What I personally needed to do was to focus on forms of content that suit my character: blogs, behind the scenes videos and lives and the like – I share Instagram posts that are about my day but I’m rarely in them myself. For you, that might be something different.
The key is to channel your efforts towards the types of content that you are personally attracted to. The things that you can make a real go of. The things you’ll stick with for months and for years.
So, find the content type that works for you – chances are that it will work for your target market too. When you are comfortable in the way in which you are sharing your knowledge it will shine through and attract your tribe.
Sing out if you have any questions or want to make a time to work through any of this.