Writers and creatives know we need to be present on social media – and it's no surprise that many of us are introverts.
So, how do we reconcile being introverted and being active on social media? In today's article, Ella Barnard gives us some tips.
First, keep in mind that while extroverts like attention, introverts can be amazing at engaging with people on social media, especially when they have the right mindset and tools. Introverts are great listeners, they think before they speak, they are great observers, and they are compassionate leaders.
As an introvert on social media, you can bring all those qualities to your interactions with people. You will stay on the right topic which is the books and readers. You can be genuine, thoughtful, curious, and caring. You just need to know how to express it.
Why is it so important to be engaged with people on social media? Because it’s a key part of building your indie author platform. You don’t have a huge marketing team putting your book all over the internet.
But that’s okay because there are benefits to having direct access to your potential readers on social media. It’s where your readers:
- spend time
- chat about what they are reading
- go to get recommendations
And it’s where you get to interact with them for free! In one friendly interaction, people can go from stranger to friend, or from random customer to your customer.
But knowing all that doesn’t do any good if engaging with strangers is a challenge for you. And if you’re an introvert, you know how difficult it can be to put yourself out there.
First, take some of the pressure off.
You don’t have to BFF everyone on the internet. It’s okay to start with baby steps. Make one comment. Meet one new reader friend. Celebrate and acknowledge your progress.
Here are some ways that introverts can easily start interacting and building relationships with their ideal readers and fellow authors on social media:
Where to Start
1. Join genre-themed Facebook groups. Groups are hot right now. They get a lot of engagement and have a lot of people interacting with each other.
They’re great for introverts because, unlike a Facebook Page, the pressure of producing content doesn’t fall solely on you. They’re a great place to lurk and see what’s happening with the fans of your genre.
2. Show up as a person. A big resistance for many indie authors is they don’t want to come across on social media as salesy or sleazy. Which makes sense.
For introverts and extroverts alike, being too salesy feels gross. That’s why when it’s time to interact with readers online, put your “sales” hat away and show up in the groups as a regular person, or better yet, as a fellow fan of the genre.
3. Uplevel your “Like,” by leaving a short comment. Instead of clicking “thumbs up,” “heart” or “wow” emojis, uplevel your response and leave a short comment.
It can be something as simple as “This is great!” or “I love this,” or actually typing out, “Wow!” The couple of seconds it takes to actually type a response pay back dividends over time.
I have a friend who leaves simple comments like, “Thanks!” and “You too!” and he gets exponentially more engagement on his posts because people know that he cares enough to type a real response. This is great for introverts because you don’t actually have to come up with interesting comments. You just have to type out the words instead of clicking and emoji.
4. Comment with a gif. People LOVE gifs! Again, instead of just clicking the “like” button, take a few seconds to choose a pertinent (or funny) gif.
For introverts, this is awesome because you don’t even really have to say anything. Just post a gif as a comment.
What to Post
These are the most effective strategies and they’re great for introverts because they put the focus where it should be, on the readers. It’s not about you or your book. It’s about the other people in the group–your potential readers.
Here are some simple ways to give amazing value without giving too much of yourself:
1. Recommend books (not your own). Readers love book recommendations. They’re always looking for new authors and good stories. So help them out with a simple recommendation.
I’m not talking about lengthy, in-depth reviews here. A screenshot or image of the book cover and some brief text is enough, “Hey! I just read this book and loved it. It has dragons!”
This is great for introverts because the bulk of the process is reading the book! Yes! Another excuse to buy and read more books, “I needed it for my social media!”
2. Post subject- or genre-related games and memes. You know those predictive text posts? They’re super fun, but minimal effort to find and post.
Go to Pinterest and search for “Facebook games” or “reading memes.” That’s right. You don’t have to make them up yourself. You can post someone else’s game, easy peasy. Just make sure they are related to books, reading, or your genre.
3. Start conversations with a question. Don’t want to talk about yourself? Great! Be interested in everyone else.
Asking questions works well for introverts because you don’t have to talk about yourself. Instead, you create a space for your potential readers to talk about themselves.
4. Keep asking questions. Be curious. When someone comments on your post or replies to your comment, ask a follow-up question. Let the focus stay on them.
All you have to do is be interested in who they are. That should be natural; you’re writers. Observing and learning people is a big part of what you do. If you are engaging back and forth, and run out of questions, fall back on some of the tips from above, leave a short comment or a gif.
Like anything, engaging with readers on social media gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the more natural it will feel. Especially as strangers turn into friends, readers, and fans. It takes time, but not as much time as you think.
Keep in mind, they’re probably introverts too. And you already know you have something in common–your shared passion for books!
Are you an introvert who's active on social media? Please leave your thoughts below and join the conversation.
Ella Barnard hosts the Author Like a Boss podcast. She helps authors who are ready to jump into self-publishing so they can quit their job and make a living with their writing. It’s hard work. It isn’t sexy, but it’s doable. And it’s easier with friends.
She coaches indie authors in her Author Boss Academy. To find out more, or sign up for a free training, go to authorlikeaboss.com.