There’s a common perception that success in social media depends how extrovert someone is. It could not be farther away from truth.
Many a times, it is this single misconception that holds us back from taking the plunge and thrive with social media.
About an year ago, Chris Guillebeau of the Art of Non-Conformity, had written about Social Media For Introverts. His original post is as relevant today, as it was an year ago. Some of the social media terrain has changed since then – but the ground rules are still the same. Here’s a fresh look at how to succeed in social media, especially if you’re an introvert.
True – there’s a degree of predisposition extroverts have towards social media – but the element of success ends there. Social media, like all other communication channels, is a learned skill that can be acquired by anyone.
At the grass roots level, social media involves being authentic, genuine and real. What’s even more interesting is that success in social media is all about building connections that matter through principles of mutual caring, sharing and understanding, shy people, or introverts stand a better chance.
For one, they don’t keep yapping about themselves all the time. And when they talk, they do so in a very measured, controlled manner. Besides, if you’re shy, you’re more likely to be in a listening mode majority of the time – making it more valuable for your connections to communicate with you.
In social media, the lesser you talk about yourself – and the more you listen to others – the better the communication gets. This is the platform on which authentic, genuine social media connections are built.
So how does one get started with social media, especially with the shyness factor in mind? Here are 5 ways to jump in – and thrive:
- Join LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook if you want to give it a shot alongside. Pick any two of these three and get started. Don’t overdo it at the start, you’ll eventually get there. Showing up and sticking through are the easiest ways to succeed in social media.
- Don’t be overly conscious of making mistakes. When you’re new, you will make mistakes. But over a period of time (usually no more than a few weeks), you’ll be as good as anyone else.
- Be yourself. Stay away from gimmicks. That’s not what social media is about. You’re in social media to build meaningful connections, and that’s what matters. A hundred genuine connections and way better than a million wind-cock ones. Genuine connections stay with you all through, wind-cock connections turn in the direction winds are blowing on any particular day. I’d direct you to one of my other posts, 12 Principles To Shine Out In Social Media, to elaborate on this topic.
- Make a positive difference every day. Share you knowledge, wisdom and insights. Offer to help. Think about social media as your window of opportunity every day to build a legacy for yourself – and make a your social media world a better place – but just being there.
- Upgrade yourself. Pick up a good book on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or LinkedIn. Follow a few great social media stewards – Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett, Chris Guillebeau, Scott Stratten to name a few. Read a bunch of good blog posts on the topic when you can. In one of his highly recommended posts on Social Media Examiner, Nathan Hangen talks about spending only 10 minutes every day on social media – and being successful. Join a mentorship program (like Shy Networking), if you can afford it – and really want to leapfrog to the next level in social media.
That’s pretty much it takes to thrive in social media. I always like to say that success in social media in not rocket science. And it really it isn’t!
What you have now is a simple 5 step formula to overcome you shyness and be successful in social media.
I’m waiting for you to take the plunge. Connect with me as the firs step – and half your fears will be gone.
I can’t want to see you swim in the social media ocean and thrive!
(Image Credit: tibchris http://www.flickr.com/photos/arcticpuppy/)