Social Media can be hard for introverts to navigate, not just because it requires you to interact and socialise with millions of people around the world, but as a public figure there also seems to be an unspoken rule that you're expected to share snapshots of your private life with people that you don't know.
For artists and creatives, social media is one the most effective ways to interact with your audience and promote your work, with the added benefit of not having to leave your house. So, how do you balance up the fact that there are several social media platforms out there that allow you to instantly connect with your audience by simply pressing ‘post’, but that are also designed with the intention that you will share an intimate part of yourself with millions of people.
You may not have the 'natural' drive or desire to post frequently, much more preferring to lurk in the technological shadows of the internet observing from the side-lines, as others post selfies, pictures of their cat, a painting of the sunset or a video from a wild night out.
First of all, it’s all about setting personal boundaries that in your mind you will agree not to cross. Setting boundaries on social media is essential to protecting your privacy, your relationships, and most importantly your mental health. The pressure to post regularly can be overwhelming, especially when you start to compare your social media output to the accounts that you interact with.
Start by assigning specific blocks of time within your week to manage your social media account(s), during which you will post content, respond to comments on your posts, and reply to direct messages. It's crucial that you feel happy about the amount of time that you are spending online; it could be anything from 1 hour per a day, to one day per a week.
Next, ask yourself what type of content you want to share with your followers. Do you feel comfortable sharing face to camera photos or videos? Would you be willing to do an Instagram Live session? How do you feel about releasing audio-visual clips featuring you voice? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself, so that you don't feel 'forced' to do anything that you don't want to do.
Don't see the boundaries that you have set as a limitation, rather see them as a framework serving as a guideline to protecting yourself and your values. As you go through life, you will experience its ebbs and flows. Even if you aren't an introvert, at times you may be feeling more vulnerable or anxious, and at others you may be more open to sharing different parts of yourself. Remember, it's okay to adjust your boundaries as and when you need to, what's important is that you feel comfortable with what you choose to share.
Planning your Content
If you want to limit the amount of time that you are spending on social media, why not try scheduling your social media posts?
Applications like Later allow you to plan and schedule your feed across all major social media platforms, removing the pressure for you to login to your account everyday and post. Simply, upload your content along with the caption and your content will post at the allocated time. Pushing yourself to sit down and be more intentional about the kind of content that you share with your audience will make it so much more impactful and engaging, and will reduce a lot of your stress around social media.
If you're somebody who doesn't check their account everyday, or who forgets to maintain regular contact with your followers, scheduling your content is a great way to ensure that you're staying on their radar.
Choosing Your Platform
As we've already established, social media platforms are excellent places to promote yourself as a creative and showcase your latest projects. But, with so much choice, how do you decide which one is best for you and your work?
Of course, platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have large usership counts, and therefore will give you the opportunity to connect with various demographics. Although, as these platforms are not specifically geared towards creatives and art-lovers, you may not be reaching your target audience. Now, this does not mean that you should abandon these platforms, but you may want to consider using alternative platforms alongside those to which you're already subscribed.
Here are some alternative social platforms that you may want to consider:
- The Dots
The benefit of using these platforms is that they focus heavily on content. Users of these platforms are typically more concerned with the art itself, so the pressure to post images and videos of yourself is significantly reduced.
Additionally, these platforms are also great for self-promotion and networking with other creatives. As a result, you may be more likely to find opportunities for collaborations and commissions, as these platforms can also serve as somewhat of a portfolio, giving brands actively looking for creatives to do freelance jobs a chance to see your work.
Being that you're already artists, it goes without saying that you plug into your creativity on a daily basis. Don't forget that you can also direct your creativity towards your social media account.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different aesthetics, layouts, formats and content- think outside the box! For example, if you're also talented with animation, why not create animations specifically for your social media account?
Don't worry too much about how many likes or comments that each post gets, focus on engagement. Look to see which posts receive the highest levels of interaction from your followers and go with it.
Make your personal feed your canvas!
Photo credit: Oladimeji Odunsi