My friend Breanne Potter, author of the MBTI Blog, conducted an admittedly unscientific survey of MBTI preferences found on Twitter. Not surprisingly, or maybe it is, there are more introverts than extroverts there. It's easy for an introvert to be there because after all, we can control taking in as much or as little as we want; behind the scenes it's just us and a computer, the perfect company. But social networking, besides being our perfect networking venue, gives us more of a distinct advantage to just be us.
1. It's my experience that many introverts blog. We like the writing usually whether people read what we blog or not. But if you are an introvert using blogging as part of your marketing strategy then you want people to read! Using a feed like Twitterfeed to announce your latest blog to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Ping.fm, (which then updates numerous social networking websites automatically) let's you take the time and energy to write more. So continue doing what you love, write; then more easily let people know what you're writing about -with about 60 seconds more effort.
2. Anyone can get caught by the time trap of spending too much time online. To guard against the online time trap, use an introvert strength, like planning. Clarify your purpose of being online, schedule time to accomplish this, identify your highest return activities that you can do in that scheduled time and measure results of your effectiveness. Spring from the trap.
3. Don't just read tips online, even articles like this one. Rest assured, I'm distilling tips for you from a solid foundation of too many to say, successful years in business sales and management. But acting only on tips is like distilling only Cliffsnotes. Tip articles are best used with an accompanying deeper discussion, a book or a longer report or even working one to one with an expert in the area that interests you. Your Tweets will be better for it.
4. You don't have to have a federation of tribes online if you're an introvert. Introverts are more interested in knowing what's going on inside; in going deep and wide. Depending on your online purpose it may take more followers to get to the Dunbar number: the number of people most of us are able to have a solid relationship with, about 150. I'm not certain it's that high for introverts but it's a point of reference. Think through before deciding to friend or follow everyone who asks.
5. Introverts sometimes forget to check our ideas with others. Social networking online makes it easy for us to get an outside response. We can ask in general or we can ask those in that Dunbar number. For example, on LinkedIn within groups you can post a question or start a discussion or identify something newsworthy. Either way of checking in with others is made easy with social networking without much distraction.
Social networking seems to be a place where introverts will get to shine, even make the rules --- used smartly it has energy savings, it summarizes ideas and then we get to decide to go deeper or not, and we get to talk our ideas outloud with time and space.
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