Introvert in business? Here’s how to navigate social media
(In a way that’s not wholly terrifying)
If you’re someone with flourishing social media accounts or a little bit of a social addiction, this post is NOT for you! But, if you’re not on social media (but you know you should be) or you’re set up but not posting much yet, read on.
Whether or not your clients or customers actually find you via social media, it’s very likely they’ll take to the major platforms to check you, and your business, out. What will they see when they come looking?
Why do I need to get on social media?
- You may have a business that’s doing well through word of mouth or referrals…but you may have missed out on work without a website or business social media profile for potential clients to background check you.
- For some people, putting themselves out there as the face of their business is tricky, but it’s essential for marketing in 2021. All your competitors know it.
- It’s much easier than you think. I’ll cover some simple tips to set you on your way.
But, I don’t know where to begin!
Perhaps it’s confidence or the desire for perfectionism that’s holding you back. The simple answer is, begin. The first step is not to worry about getting something perfect before popping it out for the public.
So which social media platform/s do I need?
- Ideally, more than one. Diversifying your marketing is the best way to attract your target audience. We all know the expression ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’.
- Think about where your target audience spends their time. Are they mostly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? Pick at least two to focus on in the beginning.
- Using the following basic questions, you can begin to build your customer or client profile. Consider their age, hobbies/interests, work and family situation, income and geography.
- Why would you put all your energy into creating an Instagram business account when your customer base is primarily aged 50+? Or a LinkedIn profile if your customers are mostly teens? The aim is to work smarter on social media, not harder.
How are the social media platforms different?
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are a good place to start. Here are the differences between the platforms and the purposes of each.
Facebook has a vast user base, much larger than Instagram. For businesses, Facebook is a place to share photos, events, updates, and general news with those who follow or ‘like’ your page. To build your audience, post a link to your page anywhere you can, including adding the social icon on your website. Once you’ve established a following, post things that will encourage your audience to engage with your posts. The more often people like, comment on and share your posts, the more often you’ll appear in others’ feeds.
Instagram is a fun platform to post images accompanied by text creating a ‘feed’. The platform also offers behind-the-scenes Insta-stories and IGTV. Instagram is most popular with millennials, with the user base decreasing dramatically after the 18-29-year-old age group. This is in contrast to Facebook, which has a significant older user base. Depending on what your product or service is, it may align more strongly with one of these platforms.
LinkedIn is specially designed for business and professionals. Users generally go to LinkedIn to showcase their work experience and thought leadership, making it one of the more essential platforms to use for those in B2B (business to business). Using LinkedIn to post articles can be a great way to develop credibility in your industry, so it’s worth starting to build your profile now.
Ok, but I don’t want to put myself ‘out there’ too much.
I’m not going to lie. Social media does require you to put some of yourself online. But, the good news is, you can choose how much. Now, before you rush to say, ‘I’ll never post a photo of myself on social media’, remember this. People buy from people. When someone can see your face, you’re more likely to become someone they feel they can trust and connect with.
Is it too soon to talk about professional photos to show you at your best? If the ‘people buy from people’ part resonated with you, some professional photos might be just what you need. Personally I feel much more comfortable posting these sorts of shots than candid ones. While a full branding shoot might feel overwhelming, you could take part in a headshot day and take home a handful of great looking shots.
What type of social media content should I post?
In part, your content will depend on what type of business you have. Here are ten suggestions for the kinds of posts you could incorporate into a weekly or monthly content calendar.
- Advice about topics related to your industry
- Anecdotes about your brand or business story
- What you’re reading
- Good advice you’ve received
- Quotes or words of inspiration
- Testimonials from happy clients
- Shoutouts to other businesses or accounts you love
- Anecdotes or stories about your local community
- Explanation around your processes
- Things you enjoy doing in your life outside of work
Here are even more content ideas to explore that also work well for blogs.
How often should I post?
There’s no need to worry too much about this in the beginning, especially if the current frequency is zero. You could start with once a week and build up from there. If you’re aiming to grow a healthy collection of followers, once a day may be your goal. Be realistic, while acknowledging a certain level of commitment. You can post on the fly or schedule in advance with a range of tools, whatever suits you best. To help simplify things, content repurposing is really valuable. The idea is to take one big idea and create a post which you can then chop up and use in a bunch of different ways.
You’ve got this!
Gather a cheer squad of people around you who understand what it’s like to be in business. There are a whole bunch of us introverts hanging out online already. Once you’ve created your Facebook business page, for instance, join a few Facebook groups where other business owners hang out. These groups can be a treasure trove of advice, and somewhere to feel part of a community, as well as a potential source of referrals and connections.
Remember that being on social media is a two-way street. As well as expecting people to interact with your page or account, you’re encouraged to do the same! Over time, you’ll likely build some genuine connections by liking and commenting on other people’s content.
Lastly, know that very few people find the process of being online entirely comfortable. But, the benefits of being on social media for your business make it something worth exploring.