February 8, 2015

Rachel Strella

I'm An Introvert: So What?

introverted social media managersAt a recent networking group meeting for Femfessionals Philadelphia, a woman approached me, introduced herself, and asked me about my business.  Within a few moments, she declared that I was different from the ladies in the group who engage in networking as a trade - and even indicated that I seemed to be an introvert.

I was a little worried that her comment meant that I was a sham. But, the more we talked, the more she assured me it was a good thing.

The concept of social media professionals possessing introverted personality types is not new. In fact, I can recall a few posts written on this very topic.

Mack Collier, a self-proclaimed introvert and social media author and speaker said in his post, "For me, it's much easier to be outgoing online, than it is offline."

That statement hits the nail on the head.  I remember an assignment for a media class in college (2003) in which we were to describe the impact of emerging media on our forthcoming career.  I loved instant messenger and explained that I simply felt more comfortable saying something online than saying it in person. At the time of the assignment, I doubted my career in communications because I assumed that successful communications professionals were outgoing.

Gini Dietrich wrote a post about ways introverts make great community managers and one reason was that we "let our fingers do the talking."

In other words, we prefer to write our thoughts rather than speak them. I tend to be a 'thinker' and I write what I plan to communicate because I'm much better on paper.

Heather Taylor, a fellow social media manager, wrote in Social Media Today, "we get stuff done."

Content creation - a large part of social media management - takes time, research, editing and concentration. Most of my day is spent writing content and communicating with clients and contractors via email. The job of a social media manager is extremely detail-orientated and requires deep concentration to flawlessly manage and execute the variety of tasks. Heather even referenced her to-do lists, which made me smile, because it coincides with my last blog on project management.

I think it's safe to say that an introverted social media professional is not a sham. In fact, many of us are well-suited for our roles in the online world.  As I think about what this means for my face-to-face networking attributes, I'm fairly certain that whatever I can't or don't say in person, I am sure to communicate when I complete my standard follow-up to any networking group meeting: a personalized one-on-one LinkedIn connection request.

Are you an introvert? Can you identify with these attributes?

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6 comments on “I'm An Introvert: So What?”

  1. The thing about being an introvert is it isn't a sham and there isn't something wrong with us. Until very recently, no one had really explored introverts in business because, well, the extroverts got to have the say because they were the loudest. But introverts make excellent listeners and very intentional thinkers. So wear it proudly!

  2. This is so true! I feel like in marketing and PR, introversion is frowned upon. But I think the main reason is because most people misunderstand introversion and extraversion. This is actually something I've been working on my own blog post about. People think that "introvert" is synonymous with things like shy, awkward, lonely, and "doesn't know how to communicate." When you put it that way, those traits may not be best for our jobs. But introverts just like to stay in their head until their thoughts are perfect, which makes us great for social media!

    1. That last sentence was spot-on! You're absolutely right. Thanks for clarifying something I've been trying to put into words.

  3. Absolutely! Being something a computer nerd, I know that among my friends, the early adopters tended to be introverts. Through business, most of the extroverts tend to be impatient with social media and often come off as aggressive. Social certainly seems to be, ironically, better suited to the introvert than the extrovert.

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