Social Media Marketing Tips for Wallflowers

social networking for wallflowers

Social Wallflowers don’t have to hide – they just have to find their people
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

As a former publican, a lot of people think I’m one of life’s extroverts. The fact that I show up here and post on a regular basis might have you believing that I’m full of confidence and social charm, but the truth is I’m a wallflower.

I don’t naturally gravitate towards large clusters of people online, I prefer smaller groups and if there are lots of people then I tend to slink back and prop up the wall and maybe converse with some of the other wallflowers if I have to make eye contact.

If you’re a wallflower you can’t use that as an excuse to avoid social media marketing.

Don’t let the word ‘social’ get your knickers in a twist and let your blood pressure go through the roof. Social media sites offer a great opportunity for wallflowers to be social on your own terms. You chose to interact with others, but maintain control at the same time :), you can chose to be overwhelmed or you can chose to manage things the wallflower way :)

Wallflowers Don’t Hide.

When you’r a wallflower it can be tempting to hide. In fact the desire to hide can be alluring to the point where you step back and just observe. If you’re going to use social media for your marketing, tenacity is important. When you’re a true introvert, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole world of people beyond yourself, but you do have to forget the urge to lurk.

All marketers need to schedule regular social media time and this is especially important for wallflowers, now a lot of people think I live on Twitter but the truth is I check in for 20 minutes each day and do what I have to do, if it’s important people will get in touch in another way – like picking up the phone. Check in to your social media accounts at least once a day to see what’s going on and interact with your friends and followers but don’t think you have to slavishly check in every hour – you don’t.

Personal vs. Professional

When you are uncomfortable with sharing a great deal publicly, it helps to keep personal and professional life separate.

This is actually a good idea for all marketers but some like me have just merged the two over the years and now it’s a a fuzzy mess :). Only reveal to your fans what you want them to know or what’s relevant to your marketing (for example, your experience in your niche, etc.).

Your fans don’t want to know if every day is a bad day, they don’t care if you are skint and they don’t care if the car don’t start in the morning, although they will however give you tips on what could be wrong with said car. While it helps to show a little bit of your personal side in order to connect with others online, you can keep it to the bare bones.  Depending on your niche and your marketing strategy will depend on how up close and personal you really have to get…

Ease into It

If the thought of intereacting with total strangers terrifies the life out of you , dip your toes in first. There is no law that says you must jump in head first. Like anything that makes you feel uncomfortable,  it takes practice to become better at socializing online. We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit said Aristotle, and he’s not wrong.

  • Practice commenting
  • Develop a sharing strategy
  • Ask questions
  • Engage in conversations
  • Set a goal for yourself to do X number of interactions each day
  • Find like-minded people

The more you socialize online on a regular schedule, the easier it will become.

Don’t Force Yourself to be outgoing.

There’s no  sane reason on this planet to pretend you’re extroverted when you’re not. You’ll connect much better to your audience by being yourself. It’s easier to make connections when you  are being you. Don’t pretend to be outgoing and then struggle to maintain the facade. Be prepared for people to think you are the life and soul of the party, be prepared for them to see something other than you – it’s the way of the world. Over time you will find people who see you and not what they are looking for.

Find Your People

When you do this, you’ll find that there are others online with similar interests and you’ll make deep connections with them. A friend of mine found another wallflower back in the summer and watching their friendship blossom is just amazing. She found  her people and she found them by being true to herself.  When you find your people, your tribe, your audience (call them whatever you like) you’ll also build relationships in a relaxed, casual  and non threatening way. What’s more it will feel good.

Find the Best Fit

If Twitter, which is all about real-time updates, pushes you too far out of your comfort zone skip it and use a different site. If Facebook is overwhelming then step back.  While everyone needs to push beyond their comfort zone to grow, it doesn’t mean you need to run around like a loon or a bull in a china shop, it means you have to give yourself permission to take things one step at a time, one social network at a time.

Coming out of Your Shell

One of my biggest obstacles is that interactions on social media often don’t feel ‘real.’ Although you’re interacting with people, the face-to-face element isn’t there, you don’t see emotions, you can read things into conversations that are not there, and you can take things that are serious as a joke and vice versa.

Meet with the person or even talk to them on chat or Skype. Then, when you “see” them online, you’ll find it easier to start in conversation, but remember you don’t have to contact everyone at once, take things slowly. Do this networking thing at your own pace.

And if you’re still wary of getting involved in social media?

Boost your confidence by adding value to others.  If you don’t feel that you’re adding enough value, find a way to give more. Be overly generous in your time and support – you’ll find it easy to make friends and gain followers. What’s more they will recommend you to others, and slowly but surely you’ll do more social networking and you’ll connect with your people.

What tips do you have for your fellow wallflowers?

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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007, and is the author of many quick start marketing guides, turning Sark eMedia into a publishing business.

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Keith Davis - last year

Great advice Sarah
I can remember making my first comments and finding it pretty difficult!
You have to jump in and add to the conversation, quote a line or two from the post and add a little humour to your comment.

And finally, if Sarah Arrow is and introvert then Danny Brown is an Irishman!!
Keith Davis recently posted…Pretty Pictures – Genesis child theme for WordPressMy Profile

Richard Goutal - last year

Is wallflower a term used to describe shy/retiring females or is it applicable to both genders? I think of it as more of a feminine term. My dictionary says it means: a person who has no one to dance with or who feels shy, awkward, or excluded at a party. I note it does not say someone who wants to exclude but rather feels excluded. The dictionary also says that shy is: or timidity in the company of other people. The thesaurus gives me these words for shy: diffident, farouche, timid, sheepish, reserved, reticent, introverted, retiring, self-effacing, withdrawn, timorous, mousy, nervous, insecure, unconfident, inhibited, repressed, self-conscious, embarrassed.

I am looking to choose the right “male” word that fits… er, ah… me. If you engage me, OK, fine, I tell you what I think and probably wish later I kept my mouth shut. But like you, I don’t like groups, even less large groups. To speak on a podium to a crowd? No problem. To mingle and engage… get me out of here! (Or, where is that sofa – heh heh).

Despite all this, I have tried to use my FB pages to engage by asking questions, but generally with very little results. I’m seriously thinking of dumping my FB account but don’t want to be precipitous. I am currently trying to do more with Twitter, but it is very hard to get much interaction there also. Retweets are good, but a retweet with a personal comment are more valuable, don’t you think?

Anyway, I could identify and enjoyed your suggestions.
Richard Goutal recently posted…Online Marketing Success Lessons from Little House on the PrairieMy Profile

    Sarah Arrow - last year

    Hi Richard, thank you for sharing this with us. If FB is taking up a lot of time and energy for a small return, I’d focus elsewhere. Have you thought about Google Plus? I recently shared a video on Facebook and Google Plus, I got a better reaction on G+!

    Mingling I dislike, small talk I can manage – only just ;)
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…Warning: Using pop ups will grow your email list fastMy Profile

marquita herald - last year

Terrific tips Sarah – especially the point about keeping personal and professional separate. Earlier this year I finally had to unsubscribe from a blog I’d been following for over a year when post after post became all about the blogger’s divorce. Not that I didn’t feel for her, I’ve been there – done that, but I didn’t need to hear about it – again – blow by blow.
marquita herald recently posted…What is the Most Valuable Lesson You Learned about Yourself this Year?My Profile

    Sarah Arrow - last year

    I know that feeling! I followed a blog, a business one, that suddenly became all about the writer’s illness. Like you, I felt empathy, but it was the wrong time and the wrong place for me. After following for three more months I deleted it from my reader. There’s a time and place for that content, but I felt their business blog wasn’t it.
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Garen - last year

Hey Sarah,

Yeah, I keep my business life and personal life completely separate. For instance, when business partners want to be friends with me on Facebook that is fine. But, one thing I don’t like is when they post MLM or internet marketing stuff on my wall. My friends see that and honestly most of them would have no clue what it is.

I think I am more like you. I don’t like a huge community, but rather lots of smaller ones all around the internet. What I don’t like is one person I have met who is a self proclaimed blogging guru, but all he really does is spam. Constantly asking me to share his stuff and just spams my stuff, very frustrating!

    Sarah Arrow - last year

    I hate the blogging gurus that spam! Like you I work hard on testing methods and techniques to get results from blogging, I dislike seeing the spam and internet marketing style pitches made. I recently read about a blogging expert teaching a method of subscriber generation that ignored the fact he’d blogged on a big name blog for 5 years before he got to the position he did :( I felt it wasn’t very honorable to the place he blogged or his readers to dismiss all of his hard work like that. C’est la vie.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…Warning: Using pop ups will grow your email list fastMy Profile

Sarupa Shah, The Soul Agent - last year

I love this and am going to send it to old and current clients, I suppose I have always pushed through feelings of wanting to hide but it is a personality thing that helps me, but I think there comes a point in ones life when you have to deal with what stops you from being out there and just find a way to get over it or simply get over it…excuses are just that after all…. ;-) Great post and important that being you is significant as so many clients I see try and copy who they think shouts the loudest on SM and that is what makes them rush back to the wall as that is not them…
Sarupa Shah, The Soul Agent recently posted…How to achieve success through balance, work & fun in 2013.My Profile

Jamie Bishop - last year

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for the post.I guess I would consider myself one of those “wallflowers”.I love to network and meet new people but I’ve always been a little shy and am starting to see that it can hold me back from reaching out and getting involved and moving forward with my marketing and business goals.Being fairly new to marketing makes me nervous of saying the wrong things or saying something and being wrong and then feeling embarrassed.When I first thought about joining the B3 community I was one of those people who just lurked and watched.Now that I am taking part I’m starting to see it’s ok to be the new kid on the block(I hope this makes sense :)),and there are others who are willing to help.

Thank you very much for the great tips and post.

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Aasma - last year

Hey Sarah,

I think Social Media is the best place where any wallflower can interact freely and express his or her feelings. I know few wallflowers personally who have done great on social media platforms.
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TracyAnn0312 - last year

Another great marketing tips you have shared. It seems that it is better to know these kind of things in the future..
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Alex Dumpfree - last year

Very inspiring article Sarah. Lots of wallflowers out there with too much potential to contribute great to us. They need to reveal themselves, this post helps. Thanks for sharing.

Clint Butler - last year

Sarah this is a great post. I am a definitely an introvert when it comes to social situations as well. I have always been this way and its hard to try to come out of my shell in big crowd environments. That is what has attracted me to online marketing. There is the ability with being able to talk with people. But not having to expose myself too much in the process.
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Yorinda - last year

Hi Sarah,
it is so good to read your post, since I have a tendency to prefer solitude.

Social Media and blogging gives me a way to communicate with people and gradually stretch my comfortzone at the pace that is right for my.

I can relate to what you write about being a wallflower since I grew up very isolated.

Thank you for sharing your awesome suggestions!

Yorinda recently posted…The Importance of BeesMy Profile

Ashleen Moreen - last year

Great post and great tips as well. Social media site are helpful. I do agree the words :Don’t force yourself to be outgoing” that is very true and I will go to it everytime I am doing social media marketing.
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Brian Couch - last year

Very well said Sarah. For some time ago I was a wallflower too but I’ve been change and I show to the other what I have got.

Through social media I show up my self. I post about my self and gives opinions to the other.

This is very great article and really nice to read.

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