Social media marketing isn’t easy, and it’s even more challenging for introverts.
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 for Introverts
For some introverts, the control offered by social media makes it a better choice than face-to-face interaction. For others, the constant “noise” of social sites is overwhelming. The important thing to remember? Whether you love or loathe social media, the most important thing is finding a social marketing strategy that works for you.
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.
Not sure where to get started? Check out HubSpot’s Social Media Content Calendar Template.
2. Pick and choose your people.
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.
To help solve this problem, opt for an app that lets you schedule social posts at the time of your choosing. That way, you can confidently take breaks knowing that you’re still delivering content.
4. Find a matching platform.
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.
Best Social Media Apps for Introverts
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.
Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This
When a brand creates a new content marketing or content strategy team, they often ask, “What function or department should the content team report to?”
My answer? “Yes!”
Now, I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. (Well, I am a little bit, do you even know me?) But seriously, my yes comes from years of helping implement content teams in dozens of businesses. My affirmative response indicates the most important thing isn’t to whom content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business.
When it reports into a function, such as brand, marketing, sales enablement, demand gen, PR/comms, or even (yes, really in one case) finance, the business acknowledges content marketing is a real thing with real responsibilities, power, and capabilities to affect business outcomes.
“What outcomes?” you might ask.
Well, that depends on where content marketing reports.
Now you have the real conundrum.
You can’t figure out where content marketing and content strategy should report without knowing the expected business outcomes, and you can’t know the business outcomes until you know where they’re reporting.
Content’s pervasiveness creates the challenge
Content as a strategic function in business affects almost everything. That pervasiveness means nearly any function in the business could “own” content as a strategy.
For example, we recently worked with a company about a year into its enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. They have a content team, and we were to help them assemble a governance and operational approach for their website content.
When we determined the right operational processes, we got into trouble. A content team leader asked, “What if someone proposed a new AI chatbot as part of this digital transformation for the website? Is it a content project with a technology component or a technology project with a content component?”
The question isn’t semantics. Instead, the answer determines the process for development, the team owning implementation, and the measurement by which it’s deemed successful.
It’s not just a technology challenge, either. The company also wanted to create new brand content guidelines for the website. Is that a content team project informed by the brand team or a brand project in consultation with the content team?
Given content’s pervasiveness, you can argue it is part of any meaningful communications initiative the business takes on. But sales’ needs are different from marketing’s, and HR’s requirements are different from the demand-gen team’s. However, to achieve consistency in content and communication, it doesn’t make sense to let each function determine its content strategy.
To achieve the balance between an enterprise-wide content strategy and the unique needs of every function in the business, the leaders and practitioners must decide to whom content reports. Again, the agreement is important, not the where or what of the agreement.
3 key attributes to identify in the decision-making process
As you and the leadership ponder how to balance the enterprise content strategy and where it should sit, consider these three key attributes that play an essential role in success.
1. Develop a content operations backbone
I don’t care if you have two people and one blog and a website or a team of 50 who operate on 35 content platforms across multiple channels. A content operations infrastructure creates consistent success across your digital content experiences. Content operations is an enterprise-recognized set of integrated and shared systems (meaning technologies), standards, guidelines, playbooks, and processes to ensure reliable, consistent, scalable, and measurable content across the business.
Content operations acts as the backbone – the foundation – to ensure the content is created, managed, activated, and measured the same way across whatever audience and whichever channel the brand presents to.
2. Connect with the audience across platforms
You can no longer expect to create one optimal experience that makes up for a bunch of sub-optimal ones.No matter your size, it’s not good enough to have your blog subscribers separate from your marketing automation database and all that separated from your CRM system. This goes for all of your audiences – from new employees to external parties such as analysts, journalists, partners, vendors, etc.
In this approach, the goal is to engage, build, and develop relationships with audiences. Thus, connecting audience behavior with insights on how to communicate better is not a siloed functional need; it is an enterprise need.
3. Build an accountability framework
This attribute in one word? Standards (and a team to keep them.) In a truly fascinating way, one of the earliest activities in building a content strategy makes the biggest impact on larger businesses: Come to terms with what words around content strategy and marketing mean. What is a campaign? What is the difference between a campaign and an initiative? What is an e-book? What is an article vs. a blog post? How long should a white paper take to write? Most businesses assume these things or create meanings based on contextual needs.
At a recent client, one group expected the content team to produce white papers within a week of the request. Another group expected them to be delivered in six weeks at double the length that the other group thought.
An accountability framework – and its ongoing evolution – presents clear ownership and coordination of content standards (roles, responsibilities, processes, types) across the enterprise. This model should not detail the definitions and standards but identify how they will enforce them.
Start your content decisions by deciding together
Where should you begin?
Well, just like in the beginning, my answer is yes. Independent of where you start, the critical point happens in the deciding of the elements. To be clear, these are institutional decisions, not simply “what you think.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe the definitions, roles, or processes should be if the other parts of the organization don’t know, believe, or care.
A great first step is to create that accountability framework and make people care about its existence. At first, it might create a language of content that everybody in your business understands. When someone says, “I’d like to do a campaign,” or, “I think we should write a white paper,” everyone understands what that means and what it takes to do it. Then, the benefits of an accountability framework will start to become clear.
It makes the case for a team assigned to lead this consistency easier. And that enables the team to connect those experiences and audiences in a way that makes sense for everyone.
In the end, you have found determining the where, how, and what of a content strategy implementation isn’t the most important. The act of deciding is.
It’s a strange combination. In isolation, the reason for deciding seems straightforward. So why wouldn’t anybody want a clear definition of what a campaign is or a single source of the truth when it comes to the tone of your content?
But stacked together, those decisions feel like they are bigger than the content team and really should involve the entire enterprise. (Spoiler alert: They do.)
If you want any desired consequence, you had better decide on all the things that would help create it.
It’s your story. Tell it well.
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