Generally people laugh when they hear I am an introvert. Even my husband shakes his head in disbelief when I often confess this to family and friends, as if he is not buying it. It is true. I swear. I have proof. Trust me, I tried to trick the Meyer’s Brigg test several times in hopes they got it wrong and declare I was part of the 75% of the population who say, “People energize me” and “Yes. I love small talk.” I didn’t want to be classified as anti-social; which is one of the many misconceptions about introverts. I discovered early on in my career at an advertising agency that extroverts surround me. Instead of hiding out in my office, I knew that I had to find tricks to blend in to their world. Now with various social media channels and even more places to talk to people, I thought I would share some of my tips. For those of you in the 25% category with me, here is what I do to be a “trained extrovert” on all social platforms.
1. Set aside a time during the day to specifically read news feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Avoid monitoring it often or it will drain you quicker than the apps on your iPhone battery.
2. Prepare what you want to say ahead-of time. Think about it throughout the day. Be clever, fun and share ideas. Social media is more than small talk and telling people what you are doing every second.
3. Use your social media tools to fake small talk with your extrovert friends. ( “like” that u checked into Balboa Park in San Diego with your daughter
4. Be personal without sharing personal things. Find three things that make you unique without having to share everything. (My dog is a pug, I love Sea World, can’t function without my daily latte fix) These are your safe go-to personal topics which you don’t mind discussing.
5. Ask Questions – Extroverts live for answering questions.
Don’t defriend people when you’re tired. I have upset quite a few extroverts by defriending them, because it was exhausting reading their news feed. (We all have those friends. Learn to block their excessive chit chat before defriending)
Attempt to engage on a social platform everyday. Practice makes perfect. Smart phone apps make this easier.
When in doubt or busy, hire an extrovert to manage your social media and blogs. They love it and you will have more energy for other things
While there is no prescription for your introvert “condition” and you are most likely in denial that you even fall into this category, there are ways around it so you can succeed in making your friends/colleagues think you are social and engaged with them on the web. If not, you have a one-in-four chance someone in your office can help you manage your social media world. Follow me on Twitter @adease_trisha.
Director of Media