I’m a big believer in social media for business. Nearly half of the world’s population uses social media and if your company doesn’t have a social presence, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with customers. It’s a cost-effective — and effective — way to help your company grow.
But I don’t, personally, use social media very much. Is that a contradiction? I’m a marketing strategist at a branding firm that uses and recommends social media for business!
Here’s the issue for me. I’m a social hermit. As a raging introvert, I prefer thinking over conversating. Being alone over being in a crowd. I’m not antisocial. I love people. But interacting takes effort for me. Like my fellow introverts, I prefer to work things out internally. So, how can hermits like me use social media to build and promote their businesses? More comfortably than you might think!
Tip #1: Prioritize Blogging
Blogging may invite commentary and conversation, but it isn’t inherently social. You write, they read. Separately. A blog post gives you the ability to think through and fully express and develop your thoughts. In fact, some of the absolute best bloggers are introverts who’ve become incredibly good at going deeper into a subject and focusing on underlying considerations.
Tip #2. Post Blog Excerpts
It’s easy to just post excerpts from your blog articles onto Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram. You don’t have to get into long conversations if you don’t want to. A well-thought-out tweet or post — or a thoughtful reply to a response — will get the kind of notice that you’ll want for your brand and your business.
Tip #3. Keep it Professional
It’s okay to keep your social media interaction all business. You don’t have to talk about your kids, your cat, or your innermost feelings about a pressing social issue. Just be caring and respectful as you share as much as you feel comfortable.
Tip #4. Plan Ahead
Since your inner hermit won’t eagerly prioritize time for social media, use your planning skills to create a list of blog topics, upcoming events, company capabilities, and news for upcoming posts. Create a calendar and look out a month (or more) ahead, so you have plenty of time to write a bunch of posts at one time. Planning will ensure a mix of content for your business — and ensure that you are promoting your company’s capabilities and services while celebrating the things your community cares about, too. As a rule of thumb, promoting your company and its products or services should be about 10 to 20 percent of your content.
Tip #5. Take Time to Engage
Ultimately, social media is about being social, if only online. Making it work for your business is a two-way street. Simply posting interesting content on a regular schedule is not enough. The good news for introverts is that engaging on social media is an online activity. To engage with your business community, take time to comment on other people’s blogs and social media posts. Choose the ones that speak to you. Share a simple comment with your views and expertise. From time to time, share others’ posts to your own social accounts, with your comment of celebration of insight. Engaging with admired brands, industry associations, and thought leaders is an important step to building your expertise footprint and promoting your business to a new audience.
Tip #6. Join a Group, Chat, or Event
Consider joining an active LinkedIn Group, an industry #TwitterChat, or streaming community event on Facebook. Posting and conversing in these spaces is more like talking with a group of friends than presenting to a room filled with strangers (Yikes!). Putting yourself out there may stretch your comfort level at first, but branching out can also expand your potential to attract new customers. Start with just one experience and see how it goes. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Tip #7. Value Your Contribution
I believe social media needs you, needs all of us. The thoughtful contributions from introverts add a different and deeper perspective to the usual chatter. You’re probably not one for a barrage of quips — and that’s a good thing.
If this article doesn’t seem to resonate with your personality type, you might be interested in, “A Social Butterfly’s Guide to Social Media.”