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Social Media: For Extroverts Only?

Mon, Nov 12, 2020

Conversation, Events, Social Media

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Shelley Ryan from Marketing Profs attended our social media workshop at Dell last week, and she writes this morning that all of the speakers, moi included, were “simply irrepressible.” (Gee, thanks, Shelley. Now I have a Robert Palmer earworm running through my head …)

“Do you need to have extrovert DNA to be a successful marketer in social media?” Shelley asked in her post, What Is It About Social Media People? “Seems so!” she answered.

Is it that most of us who are social media evangelists are extroverts? Or are we simply passionate about what we do for a living?

As Lewis Green notes in the comments to Shelley’s post, it doesn’t hurt to be an extrovert.

But what’s your take? Can an introvert succeed at social media? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Connie Reece

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Connie Reece - who has written 151 posts on Every Dot Connects.


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22 Comments For This Post

  1. Dayngr Says:

    I’m a total extrovert but I know many introverts who are very big into social media. I think it depends on the type used. For example, an introvert might not vlog but they might use twitter, they may podcast and use other types of social media where they don’t have to be in front of a live audience, so to speak. If you have a passion for the meduim you don’t necessarily have to be an extrovert to use it to its fullest.

  2. Gaurav Mishra Says:

    Can you imagine a community manager who is a loner?

  3. Jennifer Navarrete Says:

    I happen to agree with Dayngr that Social Media is being used by both the extroverts and introverts. I’ve always been somewhat of an extrovert so it surprised me to hear several of our SA Podcasters describe themselves as introverts. These are folks who are consistently producing content over several different shows. They may not be comfortable on stage, but they are extremely comfortable utilizing the Social and New Media tools available.

  4. Laura Thomas Says:

    According to all the different personality tests I’ve had forced on me over the years of a corporate career, I’m apparently an introvert. (despite that stint in high school as head cheerleader) It’s always struck people as strange to hear that when they look at my chosen profession of communications, but even us quiet types do like to converse with the world around us. I may not have been up speaking at the SMC Austin Workshop, but I was steady twittering updates and opinions throughout. Social Media actually opens up more avenues (maybe less scary than face-to-face?) for those of us who are introverted.

  5. Ike Says:

    Connie - it really comes down to the root cause of the introversion. Is the individual an introvert because he doesn’t feel a community connection? Does he lack the comparative level of security and self-esteem to stand out in a crowd? Or is he simply a control freak, preferring a venue that offers more reflection and polish?

    (Substitute “she” for “he” as often as you’d like. I tried alternating them, but I didn’t want to be accused of assigning certain issues by gender.)

  6. Aruni Gunasegaram Says:

    Well I think I’m pretty much an extrovert and I enjoy being involved in social media through my blog. My mom said when I was a kid I would go up to other kids and poke them in the tummy, say ‘hi,’ and ask them to come play with me so…

    But I think since there is a big writing component to social media that many introverts who like to express their thoughts through writing after thinking things through can enjoy being a part of social media.

  7. Lewis Green Says:

    Connie,

    As I said on Shelley’s post, I don’t know. I suspect that introverts can be wonderful bloggers and feel very much a part of a community. Many writers find comfort in the written world but can be uncomfortable in more personal environments.

  8. Kara Soluri Says:

    Recently, I heard a psychologist lecture on Myers/Briggs. He said the introvert/extrovert thing has nothing to do with shyness. If you draw energy from a crowd, you’re an extrovert. If you need solitary activities to recharge your battery, an introvert.

    Implications to social media? After a long smc conference, the introverts are the ones running away from all the extroverts heading to the bar. Seriously, great conversations need folks from all walks of life. The exciting thing about social media is the tools are vast and varied enough for everyone to jump in.

  9. Andrea (cyberetto) Says:

    I would think that extroverts would be more “out there” in frequency and type of communications, but introverts can still love communication and relationship so poke up their head to be part of the community. At least that’s my observations as an introvert.

    In a way, it is easier to have a say in the social media as an introvert because everyone can have their say and not all of the attention is on the extrovert sanguine people :)

  10. Hjortur Smarason Says:

    I would expect many introverts to be extreme evangelists in social media. The reason is that many of them finally have a medium where they can blossom and fulfill a need for social interaction that has been neglected out in the “real world”. It’s not fast thinking, body language or tone of voice that counts in social media. It’s thought, content and context.

  11. Derrick Kwa Says:

    I’d agree with Hjortur on this. I think for introverts, there is value in the social media, because well, when you’re blogging/podcasting, etc, it’s a way for you to share your thoughts, but without the face-to-face interaction. It’s not really that “social” if you think about it.

  12. Jason Wehmhoener Says:

    I really don’t understand equating “social media” with marketing. Whatever happened to simply “socializing”?

    I think many who would be considered introverts “in real life” are far more extroverted in their online personas.

    The internet gives us a lot of technology for being selective about when, where and how we choose to interact with any incoming message. This is perfect for the introvert that wants to interact, yet have control over how much far the interaction goes and in what way it occurs.

    To all those people who would look down their noses at introverts, I’ll say this: for me it’s about not being dependent on the validation of others for satisfaction with my life. Extroverts can be a pitiful mess of narcissism at times. Constantly needing to surround themselves with people in order to get validation and attention. Introverts, on the other hand, are generally quite content to entertain themselves for any length of time. This can make social interactions with introverts far more “authentic”. It’s not just about being the life of the party, it’s about reaching out to and being there for a true friend.

    So, that’s my $0.025.

    -Jason

  13. Moksh Juneja Says:

    I personally feel that Not necessarily Social Media is for extroverts… its like a whole new ball game for introverts to showcase their skills.

  14. Jane Quigley Says:

    I think that many introverts still want to reach out and social media gives them the comfort level - the buffer - to be able to form bonds virtually. Maybe in a way they can feel more comfortable offline.

    Jason is right - it’s all about authentic communication.

  15. Cathleen Rittereiser Says:

    Can an introvert succeed at social media? Bill Gates just paid $240 million for his stake in Facebook, so he and we will find out soon.

  16. Jim Thompson Says:

    I think you’ll find both introverts and extroverts in social media. In fact, I would argue that social media is good for the introvert: it’s a way to meet and get to know people without having to get stuck in face-to-face social situations. More comfortable for some of us that way. (I’m very much an introvert, but I have learned some extrovert skills that I enjoy putting to use every now and then.)

  17. Diane Says:

    Places like Twitter do remind me of that definition of extroverts: Never an unspoken thought. As an introvert, I like the thinking time that online “conversations” allow. I can read something and come back and react to it an hour later. The “moment” isn’t as likely to have passed me by as it is in a real life conversation or discussion. I still look for depth rather than breadth, even online, and am more likely to be blogging than twittering.

  18. Joanna Young Says:

    What a fascinating conversation! I’m most definitely an introvert, and think that’s why I love blogging so much - as others have said, it offers the opportunity for authentic conversation, to connect with other people who share similar ideas, beliefs and values.

    Like Diane, I do find Twitter makes me feel more uncomfortable - and I was trying to work out why. I think it might well have something to do with the introvert/extrovert dynamic.

    Joanna

  19. Dayngr Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving. My wish for you is to have a beautiful day filled with family, friends and fun!

  20. Mark Dykeman Says:

    I’m very happy to have found this post, albeit a bit late!

    As an introvert, I find that social media allows me to express myself in various ways, even interact with other people, yet at the same time maintain some needed distance and the ability to “switch off” as needed.

    Social media could turn out to be a tremendous boon for the introverted. The whole concept is inspiring me to develop a new blog in this area.

    Good conversations in the comments section!

  21. Cyd Says:

    Introverts are such a small minority and sub-groups can create micro- or even nano-minorities…as a member of a sub-minority, I am weird even by introvert standards and the Internet and Social Media are like a dream come true for me. Granted, as introverts, we don’t really have a lot to say to each other as our interests are quite varied (other than sharing war stories and comparing scars) but being able to observe so many under such circumstances and seeing what was previously thought to be alien aspects of yourself in others? That would have never happened, otherwise. Social Media gives introverts an outlet for all that extra thinking they’ve been doing. It’s kinda scary but…wow…it’s a hoot!

  22. chiz Says:

    Good post. You make some great points that most people
    do not fully understand.

    “Is it that most of us who are social media evangelists are extroverts? Or are we simply passionate about what we do for a living?”

    I like how you explained that. Very helpful. Thanks.

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