I’m guilty of this myself. Here I am, having grown several social media accounts for various businesses and personalities, but never post much myself because frankly, by nature I’m an introvert and don’t feel as if anyone would care that I saw the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, where I went on vacation, how I did on my last Peloton ride, among many other things that I see my friends share all the time. It also might be because having parents who both work in media, growing up it was clear that you don’t make yourself the story and you stayed behind the scenes, but that’s changed.
After losing the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City this year, Art Chang (I didn’t work on his campaign) was kind enough to give me time so I can talk to him about his experience. One of the questions I asked him was how he felt about some of his staffers and consultants always posting, and to my surprise he said they should be. My philosophy has always been that the candidate or brand should be the one who is in the front, you’re always promoting them, and frankly it didn’t matter what I was doing behind the scenes. In politics that may still be the case for voters, but not employers.
Whenever I see certain politicos post all the time my immediate thought was “why aren’t they working?!” But Art explained that he actually appreciated having people on his team with a strong social media presence because he thought it could help him reach voters and more importantly, it showed him that they knew what they were doing.
At least one-third of the U.S. population are introverts, and there’s no way all of them WANT to post every day. But many do because they know it will help them land jobs, a promotion or a new client. Branding yourself online will be even more important going forward as the Internet grows and becomes an even larger part of how we live our lives. We already know that many employers look up potential new employees online. But as our lives online continue to merge with how we act in the real world (hello, metaverse!) there is going to be more information out there for people to see about you, making it even more important to control how you are perceived.
For those of you thinking “ugh, great!” don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems. The truth is you don’t have to be an influencer to have a strong personal brand, and more importantly, you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to.
All social media platforms work differently too, and not all may be the best fit for you. If you don’t like taking selfies, don’t worry about Instagram. So pick the one you’re most comfortable with and go with it. Plan out what you want to post, figure out the times your audience is going to see it, and let it loose. If you consistently talk about your expertise, what you’ve accomplished, or your hobby, you’re doing the right thing.
Just because you’re an introvert does not mean you can’t be interesting online! If it makes you more comfortable, test out that joke with a close friend before sharing it, or ask what your work contemporaries think about a certain issue you’re thinking about. This will make your posts more interesting and you’ll be surprised how much your personal brand will grow.