During a conversation with fellow introvert and entrepreneur Anastasia Shch, the subject of using social media as an introvert came up.
My intitial thought was “social media changes so much! I struggle to keep up!”
I have witnessed the birth of it and embraced it. I have been on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube from their early days for instance.
But it’s not like I’m confused and jump on each and every trend there is. I have developed a philosophy.
It boils down to essentially 3 principles.
- Work the system
I think it was Jim Kwik who said that technology is supposed to be a tool, but if we allow
technology to use us rather than us using it, WE become the tool and before we know it, we fall in the rabbit hole and become mindless users.
Let’s not be naive. Social media is in the business of monetizing our attention. If we use social media for business, we are leveraging that. But it’s all about balance, work the system but don’t let it work you.
There was a time I was looking at social media marketing and trying to figure it out, trying to grow followers and looking into the hacks and strategies out there.
Before long, I fell into this pattern of being obsessed with “vanity metrics“. I was checking my following daily, my engagement, doing everything to make them grow, but losing myself in the process.
At the time I would pretty much follow anyone to gain more followers.
But I soon realised that doing that is a merry go round. You may have experienced it. A perpetual tango where you follow them, they follow back for maybe a few weeks then they unfollow you, and you’re
back to square one.
2. Build your brand
Here’s an ugly truth: You can have a million followers and it meaning nothing. No meaningful connections, no human growth, no added zero to your bank account either. In fact, you can find many social media “influencers” trying to monetize their followership but struggling to make a living.
People buy from people. If people get to know you, your values, your goals and come to trust you, then they are more likely to engage in business with you. But if what you offer seems in contradiction to what you portrayed online or seems like a bid for a quick buck, it will repel them. There are too many opportunists out there. We are developing a knee jerk reaction to these.
So I explore who I want to be online, learn to articulate it as best I can and strive to be authentic. I strive to be my best self.
3. Be different
It seems a cliché but it’s true.
In an effort to increase our reach, follow the right trends and everything else, we can easily do what everyone else does and therefore be lost in the crowd.
So be yourself. Noone can be you. And that’s your advantage.
One person that does that well, in my opinion, is CEO Shinjini Das. Whether you like her message or not, she is very hands-on on her twitter presence and very personable. She doesn’t use generic, bland messages.
By all means, grow. Stay in tune with algorithm changes. But never let your growth goals turn you into a robot or a slave to trends.
Be smart, work the system while protecting your essence as a human.
If that means taking regular online sabbaticals, so be it. You can maintain an online presence by scheduling posts ahead of time on Facebook and Twitter for example (and Instagram, using the Facebook business suite app). This way you stay in control of the time you spend online. That’s what I do!
Work your craft, work your message. Learn to articulate who you are and stand for.
This way you are more likely to attract the right kind of followers, your tribe.
In my experience, even when followers growth has been dipping, posting with my values in mind rather than what would be popular has gained me some followers that I consider to be my peeps and more engagement.
Oh! Last but not least, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Master 2 or 3 social media platforms. So when one goes down, you are not out of options.
For a full guide on how to use social media as an introvert, check out Anastacia’s ebook!
What social media platforms do you use and do you have a strategy that works for you?