Which is the Best Social Media Platform for Introverts?

As much as us introverts like to think of ourselves as independent beings, happy enough (or ecstatic) to spend time alone: we are, as humans, pack animals.

Feeling a sense of belonging; feeling heard, feeling seen: these are some of the basic needs pretty much all of us need – even some of us on the most introverted end of the spectrum.

In theory, social media can meet these needs.

We form our ‘tribes’ (Facebook groups for example) and get our sense of belonging.

 

 

We share our thoughts, our snaps, our stories: and get approval from our fellow community members.

All without having to leave the house. Without having to be at any real risk.

An introvert can, if they like, say whatever they like from behind the guise of an avatar and go offline when they’ve had enough.

Walking around in a mask in real life would be slightly more questionable – and walking out of the room mid-conversation would be likely frowned upon IRL.

Which is the best Social Media Platform for Introverts? This post weighs out the pros and cons of each >>

Now, there is of course a nasty side to social media and honestly: that’s another post (though I touch on it here) but today I want to ponder the question:

Which is the Best Social Media Platform For Introverts?

After having some chats with some Leaguers, I realised we all had very different opinions on our ‘favourite’ social media platform.

We concluded it was all down to personal preference, familiarity, and what audience they were trying to reach (should they be using social media for business purposes)

I know I struggled for at least two years trying to juggle every social media platform I could get my paws on – and it left me feeling burnt out and ready to microwave my phone.

So I’d like to give a run down of some of the major players here, if like me, you’re struggling to decide which is the best social media platform for you.

Facebook?

✓ Best for messaging individuals
✓ Best for forming selective groups
????Most exposed
????Loudest

As I’m writing, old Facebook is still the granddaddy of all social media platforms. It was the first I joined (somehow I skipped MySpace…) and over a decade later, it’s still the one I use most for contacting my ‘real life’ friends.

But it doesn’t mean it suits us introverts the best. I’ve long since given up on scrolling through my personal feed – Facebook still hasn’t grasped the kind of posts I don’t want to read.

However, the group aspect of Facebook, which seemed to have caught fire this year (2016) has been a game-changer.

For introverts, it’s a great way to ease in to a group of basically strangers, but ones you know you have something in common with.

Interested in cycling? There’s a group for that! Interested in bad taxidermy? You know it – there’s a Facebook group for that.

Yes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the ludicrousness of the Facebook feed, but we can choose to adapt it to our needs. Privacy settings, private groups and options to not see posts from certain individuals mean introverts can stay loyal to old FB.

Twitter

✓ Best for keeping it brief
✓ Least exposed profile
????Can be overwhelming
????Not great for deep thinkers

I’m a bit biased here, because Twitter is my go-to. It’s the platform I found my first job on, and the one I’ve connected with most people on (even if it is only a few words).

For introverts who would prefer to listen than to speak at length, Twitter is naturally built for that. Mostly, it’s where I get my news.

With lists, you can tailor your feed to show only tweets from people you want to see.

However, sometimes we DO want to have more lengthy, deeper conversations – and Twitter just doesn’t cut it.

I tend to ignore the Direct Message inbox, and I know others who do the same. Thank you robots and spammers who ruined that for all of us.

Also, the sheer pace of the Twitter feed can feel a bit overwhelming, particularly if you’re a highly sensitive type of introvert.

Linkedin

✓ Best for thoughtful/helpful posts
✓ Not too personal
????Anyone can contact you
????Fairly exposed profile

I asked Sarah Santacroce, online presence mentor and host of the Introvert Biz Growth podcast, why she advocates Linkedin for introverts:

“People often ask me why I decided to specialize in LinkedIn, the most boring one of the Social Platforms 🙂 My official response is: because my audience is in the service sector and therefore I can reach them best on LinkedIn. And because it’s my favorite out of all the networks.

Here’s my unofficial response I’m only sharing with fellow introverts 🙂

I prefer LinkedIn because I don’t need to show off my life all the time! I feel no pressure sharing mundane moments of my life – because nobody cares about those on LinkedIn, in fact they would probably get annoyed if I did share last night’s sun set or what I had for breakfast this morning.

This stuff is small talk, and as an introvert I don’t like small talk. On LinkedIn I only say something if I feel like I have something of value to say. And yes, it only has to do with business. My time is precious and posting flowers on Instagram feels like a waste of time to me.

Now, does this make me an unsocial person? I don’t think so. I have conversations with people on LinkedIn all the time, but they are always business related, which of course increases the conversion rate massively.

As an introvert I have only so much energy for social interactions and I prefer to focus that energy on in-depth discussions with friends or business discussions with people on LinkedIn.”

I get the impression that many of us ‘forget’ that Linkedin is still a social media platform – we start to associate it with job hunting and dodgy recruiters messaging us about jobs we have no interest in.

But, particularly in the last couple of years, I’ve really warmed to it as a professional platform, where I don’t have to worry about seeing snaps of peoples babies or weddings.

I love the post publishing aspect too: another opportunity for introverts who love to write to express themselves fully.

Instagram

✓ Can keep it brief
????Input from robots and trolls
????Comparison trap
????Pressure to share everything

I know I’ve been hating on Instagram recently, but for many introverts it’s the perfect platform.

Like Twitter, you can be as brief as you like – heck, you don’t even need to use words!

For the more visual creative introverts, it still serves as one heck of an outlet and a great way to get inspired by others.

No I haven’t dabbled in ‘Stories’ – it could be because they feel too intimate and the pressure to ‘record’ my day feels somewhat… intrusive.

But that’s just me. I’ve seen some great use of the stories feature, and for an introvert who wants to start showing a little more of their ‘behind the scenes’ without going too deep, it can be a great option.

Pinterest

✓ Not very social – more like a search engine
✓ Great privacy features
????Comparison trap
????Pressure to conform/look perfect

Pinterest snuck in to this list, but honestly I’d have to agree with Melyssa Griffin, who I recall labelling it as more of a search engine, than social media platform.

That’s exactly how I use it: I’m not in it for catching up with friends, talking about my day or getting some real time news.

I’m there if I want to find inspiration for my room decor, or a ‘fall inspired recipe’, or a step-by-step tutorial.

A problem with Pinterest is the high emphasis on visual quality – form gets placed before function, and I’ve found myself wasting time clicking on a pretty picture to be left with very little on the other side of the blog post it links to.

This isn’t necessarily a problem for introverts alone: but comparing ourselves to others and overanalysing can lead to feeling rather low, and a bit debilitated when it comes to taking action.

If I see a pin or pin board that’s garnered thousands of likes or whatever the hell Pinterest currency is, then it’s easy for me to slip into ‘oh… why aren’t my awesome pins that popular? I guess I suck and should close shop.’

Snapchat

✓ Not easy to be found by randoms
✓ Great privacy features
????Time sensitive (stressful)
????Pressure to overshare

Honestly I don’t have much to say about Snapchat – I haven’t dabbled in it much myself because the idea is still quite terrifying to me.

As I understand from past attempts, my account was automatically set to only found and ‘seen’ by friends, ie. ones I’ve added or who are in my ‘real life friends’ contacts on my phone.

That was a relief.

But the concept of sharing my day, like I mentioned with Insta stories, does make me feel more exposed than I’m usually comfortable with.

I do get the impression that it’s a more ‘honest’ and direct platform too, more: ‘what you see is what you get’ (filters aside…) but it all comes down to how much you actually want to share. For many of us introverts; it isn’t a whole lot.

Periscope

✓ One-to-one feel
✓ Opportunity to push comfort zone
????Exposure to robots/trolls
????Terrifying

I get it: in theory, Periscope: live front-facing video streaming, is utterly terrifying.

Then why oh why did I get so hooked?

May be it was the fact that it felt so unedited; there was no pressure on me to be something other than what I am.

But thinking of something to say and SPEAKING live? To no one other than a few lurkers and robots? That was… difficult.

See, I’m fine in conversation. Many introverts are FANTASTIC conversationalists – we know when to pipe in and when to shut up and listen.

But monologues? Not our strong point.

So my tactic was in many stages. Eventually, I managed to get going and mostly find a rhythm, but it still made me sweat.

In the end, the reach I had wasn’t big enough to keep up the stressful (though somewhat addictive) behaviour, and I’ve taken my video over to Facebook and Youtube.

I still encourage fellow introverts to so things that feel uncomfortable. Ideally, things that will benefit you/your audience in some way, but the important part is really just the act of stepping outside our comfort zone, on a regular basis.

Making it a habit out of doing those slightly scary things builds confidence like nothing else.

Which is the best Social Media Platform for Introverts? This post weighs out the pros and cons of each >>

So, which is the best social media platform for introverts?

Well… you know what’s coming.

It depends!

It depends on what you feel comfortable with, yes. It depends on what your audience* uses, yes.

(*Thea Orozco has some great advice on finding out where your audience is hanging out)

But I also urge you to try the ones you don’t feel comfortable with – at least at first. You might surprise yourself and fall in love with a platform that reaches more people than you ever imagined.

Or, it could just become something you enjoy more than you thought possible.

 

lci
The League of Creative Introverts

A community of fellow innies that want you to feel confident, successful and supported.

Find out more 


I’d love to know if you give this a go!
Let me know in the comments below, or send an email to: hello@thecreativeintrovert.com