Up to 50 percent of people consider themselves introverts. Sometimes considered antisocial, the truth is that many introverts enjoy social activities but find them exhausting — where an extrovert might gain energy from being in a big crowd, introverts need time to recover and recharge.
For introverted entrepreneurs and small business owners, this poses a challenge: With social media a key component in brand building, how do they manage the demands of social interaction with the need to take care of their own mental health?
In this piece, we’ll offer eight easy tips to help improve your social media marketing (without losing your sanity) and four great apps to help you get the job done.
Social Media Tips for Introverts
1. Create a social calendar.
It’s easy for introverts to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of social posts, replies, and activities required to build a personal or business brand. But given that these connections are critical to boost your public profile and help drive new career opportunities, they can’t be ignored.
Best bet? Start by creating a social calendar that maps out what you’re going to post, where, and when to help make sense of social media efforts. Using a calendar also gives you more opportunity to be socially spontaneous if you’ve got the energy, since your posts are already penciled into your calendar.
The great thing about social media is how it offers connections to so many people — and the terrible thing about social media is that it offers connections to so many people.
This is the case for many introverts; what starts as a great way to connect turns into a continual avalanche of opinions and ideas that’s hard to navigate and even harder to manage. As a result, it’s worth regularly assessing your social media feeds and curating who you follow. While you don’t want to create an echo chamber that cuts off your ability to build brands outside narrow circles, there’s nothing wrong with being choosy about who you follow and why.
3. Schedule social posts.
Despite best efforts, you’ll still get overwhelmed from time to time. That’s OK — and it’s important to take a break and recharge your batteries. The challenge? While introverts are resting up, they’re often still worried about what they’re missing on social media.
Facebook is great for larger conversations, LinkedIn works well to connect with specific people, Twitter offers space for quick-fire interactions, and Instagram is all about images.
Chances are, you have a preference: Maybe you like the quieter atmosphere of LinkedIn, or maybe posting pictures makes it easier to feel connected with your audience. While it’s important to keep your social avenues open, there’s nothing wrong with investing more time in the platform that best suits your style, since you’ll be more productive over time.
5. Curate your content.
Not everything needs to be posted on social media. While sharing details about yourself and your life can help grow a social following and in turn bolster your business efforts, you need to draw a line between personal and professional posting.
In practice, this means deciding what content you post and what you keep private. There’s no right answer here — the key is setting boundaries that work for you so that you feel comfortable about what you’re sharing and secure in what you keep to yourself.
6. Track your social media metrics.
Social media metrics help you see what’s working and what isn’t, and come with the benefit of letting you take a break from people. Rather than reaching out to see why connections haven’t engaged with your brand or aren’t viewing your content, leverage data tracking and analytics tools to see where you’re losing interest. These metrics help you build out a better strategy and let you do it in peace and quiet.
7. Opt for one-on-one interactions.
Introverts are often incredibly engaging and social — when it comes to one-on-one interactions. Consider a party with hundreds of people all having a good time. Many introverts will seek out a single individual or small group and set up camp, rather than trying to mingle.
This approach also works for social media. As people make comments on your posts, consider reaching out with a direct message to strike up a conversation. These one-on-one conversations can let you shine socially without the need to navigate multiple interactions simultaneously.
8. Hire help as needed.
If social media marketing simply isn’t in your wheelhouse, consider hiring help. The complex and evolving nature of social platforms has created a market for social specialists capable of directly targeting your key audience segments and curating your social calendar. In much the same way that you might hire an accountant to manage your business finances, you can now tap social media expertise to streamline the process.
When it comes to metrics, you can’t go wrong with Google Analytics. The app lets you track which of your posts have been shared and on which platform, in turn helping you develop a more focused social media strategy.
You can also use Google Analytics to identify potential weak points in your current efforts. Are there certain platforms where you’re not reaching engagement goals? Are specific post types outperforming others? This data sets the stage for better interactions.
Buffer lets you easily evaluate social media performance, schedule posts, and respond to comments ASAP.
With just a few clicks, you can schedule posts on the platform you prefer at the time of your choosing, freeing up your time to create new campaigns or build new content. Using labels and hotkeys, meanwhile, you can quickly pinpoint comments on your posts that need immediate attention so you don’t miss a customer concern or a new connection opportunity.
Formerly Adobe Spark, Creative Cloud Express provides the power of pictures with thousands of pre-built content templates. Easily make standout graphics, logos, and photo collages to showcase your brand or highlight your mission, and then posts these images on the platform of your choice.
Available for iOS, Android, and for desktops, you get full access to the app for 14 days for free — after that, you’ll need a Creative Cloud subscription.
Love the impact of influencer marketing, but don’t like the idea of cold-calling influencers to work with you? REP has you covered. This influencer marketplace lets you post job opportunities, connect with potential influencers, and negotiate terms, all from the app.
It’s a great choice for introverts who want to leverage the power of social media but want to keep the number of uncomfortable interactions to a minimum.
Solving for Social Media Marketing Stress
There’s no way around it: Introverts will always find social media stressful. But it’s still a powerful tool in your arsenal, and with the right approach, it’s possible to strike a balance between building a public presence and protecting your private life.
Best bet? Prioritize where and what you want to post, and make sure to take regular breaks. Push yourself to do better, but recognize that introversion isn’t a problem to solve but rather a different approach that lets you cultivate more direct and in-depth, one-on-one connections.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2009 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.