In social media, like in any other living and evolving environment, being strategic is a necessity with the difference that in this new and ever growing area of communications media, you have to be an extrovert or learn to be one if you want to be successful and have lifelong influence in cyberspace. I am not aware of any influential social media strategist and/or new media key player or celebrity who is quiet about his or her participations in the social media arena. Let me give to you some real yet interesting numbers for your review and reflection. Donald Trump has twitted (or shared his opinions, right?) 34.4 thousand times since he started his public twitter campaign in 2009. Oprah Winfrey has shared her thoughts another 11.9 thousand times and growing. In one posting on Instagram alone, Hillary Clinton and her 12.7 million followers have interacted 72,532 times complementing the 659 thousand re-tweets and 29 thousand personal replies displayed on her pin message on twitter today, January 28th 2017. Sean Hannity, from Fox News, averages 400 interactions per posting on Instagram and Andrea Mitchell from MSNBC has probably tweeted more than you and me combined totaling 29.2 thousands times. Clearly, these influential and leading individuals aren’t shy about sharing what they know or what they think you want to hear whether you like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you are a liberal, a conservative, a buddhist, a catholic or a citizen of Belize. You have to be able to connect with people you know and don’t know on-line whether you feel comfortable engaging with them or not. The well established and good strategy of war, “Raising an icon from the past,” which can be understood as using your past victories to justify or influence your present cause or situation won’t work for you in social media alone. As Cantrell once said, “Empires rise and fall in the make of details.” You need to get used to the reality that you must be an extrovert on-line by birth or by training, and understand how the game is really played in this new and ever evolving age of social media interaction. There are a number of ways in which you can be more extrovert and better communicate with others in social media even though you might not necessarily be used to it or comfortable about it. I will provide to you three ways in which you can start developing this important and timely social skill… being an extravert.
- Stop thinking that you are always going to be an introvert. I am an extrovert. My wife, many of you and several others can easily attest this fact because I am not afraid of start conversations with people I don’t know quite quickly. I am talkative, sociable, enthusiastic, friendly and outgoing. What if I told you that as a teenager, I was afraid to talk with others, was quite reserved and quiet, non-sociable and able to play chess by myself for hours non-stop. It is quite shocking that these days, I have no problems speaking on television, expressing opinions publicly and in some instances… be attention seeking without feeling bad about it. If I became an extrovert, you can become an extrovert, as well. Please don’t believe others when they tell you that you are always going to be an introvert. It is a plain lie and can be argued to be unfounded. I came to learn and realize that your life circunstances and personality can change based on the many environmental variables you are exposed to and experience. Perhaps, nurture overcomes nature after all, I don’t know. What I can tell you for a fact is that I was an introvert yesterday; I am an extrovert today, and you can also make this transition. In social media, you will need this to possess this kind of personality if you want to influence others effectively.
- Buy yourself a guitar and study music. You heard that right. Sell your computer and buy a guitar as Tom Petty once said. The act of jamming your six strings and singing alone but preferably in front of a group of listeners, friends, enemies, groupies… overtime can do miracles for you ad will help you to reach your goal of being extrovert. The act of playing the guitar and being in front of others is one of the first steps you need to take in order to become comfortable when speaking with strangers. Why do you second guess yourself? You can be an extrovert overtime. Yes you can! Let me repeat: Yes you can! So do me a favor now. If you are an introvert, legitimately wants to be an extrovert and have more influence in social media, stop reading this blog post right now and go get yourself an acoustic guitar and schedule some guitar maybe voice lessons. I will be here when you come back. You won’t regret.
- Randomly call telemarketers for a chat. A-HA! This one you were not expecting, right? I hope not. In order to be able to communicate like a true extrovert, you need to be a bit crazy sometimes and get away from your comfort zone. It is payback time buddy! It is your time to call these professional salesmen who called you several times during your family suppers on Friday evenings and have random chats with them on their own time. I know that this act can be quite intimidating at first but the repeated act of calling a 1-800 number telemarketer customer service representative inquiring about how you can get a free credit card can be life changing for an introvert. You need to be able to speak with strangers without feeling weird or bad about it. We are going to start this process by using the telephone medium at first because you know… if something doesn’t work right, you can always hang over the phone and start the whole process again right after. Eventually, we are going to engage in conversations with strangers to develop additional extrovert skills but not now. It is to early for that. You have to give yourself a chance to becoming an extrovert so you can then be more influential in social media outlets remember? By the way, how much spam or unwanted credit card application requests did you receive this week? Do yourself a favor: Please check your mail pile and start making some phone calls tonight. Who knows, you might make some friends along the way. I did. In fact, one of these goofy telemarketers ended up being a short term girlfriend of mine in college. It might be your destiny, who knows!!!
You have to be an extrovert or learn to be one if you want to be successful and a have life long influence in cyberspace. Stop thinking that you are always going to be an introvert for life. The former isn’t a death sentence. Buy yourself a guitar and start jamming! Make some random phone calls to telemarketers and break aways that inhibition. Who knows, you might even meet a mate along the way. In fact, it might be your destiny to meet somebody this way! You can do it. Just go out there and do it. Go now, close this book and act, see you tomorrow.