by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
Many of you may know that thanks in LARGE part to Natalie MacNeil, last week, I was named by Forbes as one of the top 30 women to follow on Twitter. You also may know that I'm not big into "lists", however I am always humbled to be mentioned on any list with other women who are doing remarkable work in the world.
I've always been successful in business, but being the introvert that I am has kept me very low profile and "behind the scenes" with many wondering who I am and what the heck I actually do. This worked out well for me. I could do great work, get paid well for it and disappear into the sunset. Not so much anymore. :)
Two of my favorite quotes are:
from the Bible, "For of those to whom much is given, much is required."
one by Sidney Poitier, "You're different from - not better than - everyone else."
Ahhh, therein lies the rub. One would think if those are my two FAVORITE quotes, I would be...
prepared for visiblity. Not. Many people who meet me coming off stage from one of my speaking engagements around the country are stunned at my need for solitude and absolute privacy.
For example, if an event is held at a hotel, I'm the one who 95% of the time stays at an off-site hotel usually under an pseudonym. (Yes, people have called my room LATE at night wanting me to come out for drinks or whatever.)
And, yes for the record, I used to think I was nuts, too; until I took the time to learn more about ME and who I am. Then, I also started to meet other so-called "social introverts" and I started to make more sense to me.
So what's all this got to do with social media?
I meet many, many women over the course of a year. Some of them are very much like me. They are absolutely nerve-wracked about what they would share on Twitter or Facebook and how they could keep people out of their personal lives without being rude or stand-offish (funny how most guys don't care about crap like this). They also know that you need to have SOME personality in order for people to even pay attention to you on social networks. And, they also get that the fastest way to "show some personality" is to share something personal - whether it's a feeling, a life occurence or a particular topic about which they are passionate.
To my introvert sisters who want to use social media to market their businesses, I always offer the same advice:
be personable without being personal.
People don't have to know where you live, how many kids you have and whether you and your husband are fighting about where to spend the hollidays to engage with you.
The easiest way to be personable without being personal is to "reveal" three things about yourself (obviously, tidbits that you feel comfortable revealing) and talk about those three things a lot. For me it's the fact that I love art, travel and Judge Judy. For you, it could be that you like needlepoint, sailing and DWTS.
Whatever your three things are, make sure you really do LOVE them and make sure you're comfortable sharing details about them because you'll be relying on those details alot. And, who knows, when those tidbits of information get told, perhaps you'll select another three nuggets to share, but by then you'll be so comfortable with social media, you'll know what works for you online and what doesn't.
Are there any other introverts out there using social media? What are your secrets to staying sane? C'mon, I can't be the only one...