The Introvert’s Guide to Using Social Media
Introverts may not feel comfortable showing off their life online, but there are ways to use social media without feeling exposed or overwhelmed.
If you’re an introvert, you’ve probably heard that social media is the best way to promote yourself and make connections. After all, you don’t have to go out and awkwardly network at a social event. Instead, you can find other like-minded people online using hashtags and online forums.
But it can seem impossible to master social media if you’re not comfortable showing off your life online or interacting with people in a public setting — particularly those who might be strangers. Luckily, even as an introvert, there are plenty of ways to use social media without feeling overwhelmed.
7 Tips for Using Social Media as an Introvert
1. Prioritize written content, since you likely prefer writing to speaking anyway.
Writing is a powerful way to grow your social media presence as an introvert, especially since we introverts prefer writing to speaking. So if you aren’t comfortable speaking in front of crowds, the act of writing is low-stakes and personal.
For example, Instagram is not a good fit for me personally because I don’t want to be judged by my appearance. Yet platforms like Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn can be suitable for people who prefer to communicate with written content rather than through photos and videos.
Even though video content seems to be most prominent these days, there are many good reasons why written content is still so important on social media. Writing helps attract more followers, because people who read what you write will be more likely to follow you than people who watch a 10-second video. (At least I think so!) It establishes expertise, and it’s nearly impossible for someone to become an expert at something without putting time into learning about it first.
Plus, writing allows you to connect with others who share similar interests by encouraging them to comment on what they read.
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2. Test out your content by sharing it with select friends and family first.
Creating content for the internet is an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it can also be daunting and scary if you’re unsure whether people will like it. I recommend sharing your work with friends and family first, before sharing them with your target audience. It can be anyone you feel comfortable with. The most important thing is that it’s people who will be honest with you, so that you can make sure the content is good enough for the public.
Your friends and family know more about you than anyone. They have a unique perspective on your work that you might not have considered. They know what you like, what kind of content you’re good at creating, and what will resonate with your personality. Having that outside view will provide you with valuable feedback that can help improve the quality of your work!
3. Realize the world is full of introverts just like you.
This is a big one. While it may sometimes feel like you are the only shy and/or introverted person on the planet, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Between 30 and 50 percent of people are introverts, and chances are that they will resonate with content that another introvert created.
I am always interested in social media content that has depth instead of the usual short videos that have inundated the internet, and others likely are, too. Even if you feel extremely quiet or reserved, there are many different ways to connect with people — and all from the comfort of your home! You can bring value and connect to more people through well-thought-out articles, long-form videos, or podcasts with exciting guests and debates.
4. Write under a pseudonym, which will protect your anonymity even more.
Writing under a pen name or using an alias is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media presence as an introvert. This allows you to take on the persona and voice of someone who isn’t yourself, which can help spark creativity and get you out of your comfort zone. You’ll find that this type of writing has its benefits. For example, it will help you separate your blogging from your day job, especially if your content may be controversial.
So get started today by creating an author profile on Medium under your new pseudonym! This way, when those ideas come up, and feel too big or too small at first glance, they’ll already have somewhere to go.
5. Start a podcast, which is easier than you may think (and very introvert-friendly).
As an introvert, you have a lot of strengths that can be leveraged to grow your social media presence with a podcast. I know, you may be thinking: Podcasting?! As an introvert?!
Just think about all your introvert strengths. You are good at listening and observing, and tend to excel at one-on-one conversations. If you have guests on your podcast, you can analyze the world in ways that extroverts can’t and ask more thoughtful, in-depth questions. Some of the most successful social media personalities are podcasters — and introverts. If you don’t want to be in front of the camera, you can keep it in audio form only (and read a script if you are talking alone).
Podcasting also allows you to reach a vast audience who may not be able to attend a live event or lecture, and it’s often free or low-cost to produce. It’s all about preparation. Here’s a quick cheat-sheet if you’re interested in developing one:
- List topics that interest you. You can make this list as vague or specific as you’d like, but the idea is to brainstorm as much as possible.
- Choose guests based on their expertise rather than their popularity. That way, they’ll give credibility to the information you’re trying to convey.
- Create a list of 10-12 questions per topic. These should be broad enough to give your guest ample opportunity to speak, but narrow enough that they will feel comfortable with the scope of what you’re asking them to cover in just one episode.
The end of any episode should wrap up everything clearly and concisely. That way, listeners won’t feel that there’s unfinished business hanging out there as soon as they turn off their headphones. And if you feel nervous, remember that the guest is probably more nervous than you are!
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
6. Become a “bookfluencer” — this way, you can talk about books to your heart’s content.
I love books, and I know many introverts who love them too. So why not become a “bookfluencer” where you talk and write about them? You could find new books you like, share them with your audience, and interact with people with similar interests and tastes.
Create a book blog or Instagram account that features books you review periodically. You can be a part of bookish conversations from the comfort of your own home (or anywhere, really) and connect with like-minded people.
You can also create a Facebook group for people who want to read the same book simultaneously (and discuss it after every chapter). You can call it “The Online Book Club” or something else that suits your personality — as long as it’s easy for others to find.
7. When in doubt, write first and post later.
If you’re hesitant about posting on social media, write a post first and edit it the next day. This can be particularly helpful for introverts who feel they need more to say or help with how to say what they want. It also allows you to ensure that your posts are clear and concise, which is always a plus.
All you need is some time alone with your thoughts and trust in yourself that what comes out will be good enough for publication. The best part about posting after writing is that it gives you time to edit and polish what would otherwise be rushed content that may be full of grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Plus, if your readers see that care has been put into each piece before it goes live on social media, they’ll trust you more, too!
Also, once your draft is ready, you can delete parts of the text that don’t work before sending it out into cyberspace. You may decide there’s more information than necessary in your content — or too little! — and can go back through every paragraph, adding new details/facts/stories based on what has already come before while maintaining your own unique voice.
Introverts, what would you add to this list? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
You might like:
- How Social Media Helped Me Find My Voice as an Introvert
- Why I Stopped Using Social Media as an Introvert (and What I Do Instead)
- Why Do Introverts Love Being Alone? Here’s the Science
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