An introverted entrepreneur’s 3-step guide to social media management & online networking

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We’re not shy, we just need our alone time.

It’s a common misconception that introverts are shy. The truth is that being around people is draining and we simply need time alone to think and reboot. That said, at the end of the day, when we finally arrive home and retreat to our calm, quiet sanctuaries, the last thing we want to do is reengage with the world via social media.

But if you’re trying to build a brand you have to, right?

Well, yes…and no.

Yes, if you’re building a brand, you must have a strong online presence. Which means you need to be active and consistent on social media. Whether you’re launching a company, growing a business or establishing yourself as a professional in your field, if done right, social media the most effective way to create awareness and buzz around a brand.

One study shows people between the ages of 18 and 36 check their phones 43 times a day and yet another says that 5% of the same group checks their phones every minute. You can bet they’re looking for content that is reflective of their needs and aspirations. That content could be yours!

No, you don’t have to Tweet, Link or Facebook yourself to death. In order to reach any tech-savvy, target market, you don’t have to be online every 60 seconds…

You just have to seem like you are (sort of).

1. Create a Schedule & Automate What You Can

Technology is really remarkable, everyday there are new programs and apps to make us more efficient. Although I feel like I try them all, I still find myself going back to some tried and true ones. My online profiles would be empty if it weren’t for the following gems.

Get a Schedule – Whether you spend 30 minutes a day or perform a marathon session each week, you must make time to manage your social media activities. I spend a few minutes at the end of each day and an hour or two on Sundays working social media and prepping posts for the week.

Plan and Automate Public Posts – To make it seem like I’m not an introvert Hootsuite helps me post to all my profiles synchronously. Additionally, at least one week in advance, I schedule posts for twice a day. I’ve also used Hootsuite to upload a spreadsheet scheduling a year of weekly posts that link back to my website. It’s nice to know that if my week gets unexpectedly busy, I’m still posting on a regular basis. This allows me to be consistent…one of the keys to social media success!

Automate Your Private Messaging – I use Unfollowers.com to send an auto responder to everyone who follows me, thanking them, letting them know I’m here to help and directing them to my website. I can’t tell you how many people have responded to that message to inquire about my services or just say “thanks”.

Automate Network Building – Before I started using a mobile app called Connected, I rarely (okay, never) reached out to anyone on LinkedIn regarding their anniversaries or new jobs. My LinkedIn persona just sat there, a stagnant, boring list of braggadociousness (yes, I may have just made up a word there). Then came Connected! In seconds I can tell 10 people ‘congrats’ for a professional milestone. This keeps me top of mind for them, exposes me to their connections and has led to an increase in the number of LinkedIn Messages I receive inquiring about my business services.

2. Hit ’em at the Right Time

There’s not much worse than posting a bunch of helpful hints that no one ever sees. Capitalize on your posts’ visibility by knowing the best times based on the audience. I know what you’re saying, “La Juana, this is all great if you have the time to analyze each post before you send it, but I’m BUSY!”

Wait! Hootsuite has an ‘Auto Schedule’ feature that posts your content at just the right time. Try it and see if you’re getting better outcomes.

Also, there are several articles and infographics highlighting the importance of picking the right post time for the venue and audience (I’ve supplied links to a few of them at the end of this article).

3. Show your personality

This can be the most challenging part for those of us who focus internally. However, unless you want to seem like a machine, you have to do more than just post links and retweets.

Participate in Twitter/Tweet Chats – Can’t muster up the words to create your own conversation from thin air? No problem, there are many others who have done it for you. Twitter (or Tweet) Chats are ways to interact online with a predetermined hashtag. One of my favorite is #ThinkBIGSundayWithMarsha. I love this chat because I can post inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs that prompt people to start conversations with me. Also, it has the added bonus of @marshawright retweeting my tweets to her 217,000 followers, many of whom are interested in building a business. Can someone say SYNERGIES?!

The key here is to let your posts do double duty for you, (1) give people a glimpse into your personality, and (2) expose you to prospective customers you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to capture.

Be real – To build a genuine online presence, you may want to take a tip (or two) from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. He marries deep subject matter knowledge, transparency, amazing content and a welcoming, friendly personality to create an authentic, desirable brand. His hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook, iTunes and email are devoted and vocal; they and have become his best form of marketing.

Introverts, it’s time we let the world know who we are, share our knowledge, interact and open up!

References & Links:

About La Juana Whitmore

La Juana is a small business strategist and accredited consultant who thrives on developing business strategy, startup ideation and counseling small business owners. As a business owner herself, she is the founder of Black Twin Cities (BlackTwinCities.com), a social venture whose mission is to bring visibility to small, minority-owned businesses and events. As a podcast host, she gives answers and advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs at ASKLaJuana.com. La Juana holds a Certified Specialization in Launching Innovative Businesses, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration. La Juana belongs to many professional organizations including The Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants (AASBC), The Association for Strategic Planning (ASP), and Metro Independent Business Alliance (Metro IBA). She also serves as Business Development Director of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota. Online at Twitter@LaJuanaWhitmore and LaJuanaWhitmore.com

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