Opinion: Social Media is for extroverts!

exinI might be stating the obvious, but here goes! Social Media is for extroverts! For those of you who are not entirely sure on the difference between extroverts and introverts- here are the definitions:


  • invaginate: fold inwards; “some organs can invaginate”
  • turn inside; “He introverted his feelings”
  • (psychology) a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become    preoccupied with their own thoughts


  • (psychology) a person concerned more with practical realities than with inner thoughts and feelings
  • being concerned with the social and physical environment
  • One who is outgoing; sociable or concerned with outer affairs

Again! I might be Captain Obvious with this post! However I have seen an increasing effort to fit a square peg into a round hole. It starts with businesses leaning on marketing folks to lead the SM charge. Many times Marketing people know how to market a product traditionally, but within Social Media there is a need to almost be the face of the franchise. Frankly- this will take an introvert out of his or her comfort zone. You don’t have to be outward facing to be a solid Marketing professional. However, as Social technologies become more prevalent in daily Marketing tasks- being vocal and jumping into conversation has become the norm.

I have also seen the hiring of Community Managers be a bit of a testy proposition! Candidates with the resume for the job come in and refuse to be the ring leader of a webinar or join Twitter. Yikes! My suggestion is to find a bubbly extrovert that is technologically inclined. I’m not saying don’t hire introverts- but hire them for positions that fit their skill sets and comfort zones. This falls in a bucket for Skill Management. Maybe a post for another day!

One final note. In my personal life I have seen extroverts gravitate and adopt SM with ease. While the introverts look at it almost as a job- something they have to do and really could do without! This is not a introvert bash, but more of an observation to help with resource allocation and definition. In fact, here is a quote to give credit where credit is due:

Introverts make up about 60% of the gifted population but only about 25-40% of the general population.

Some delicious food for thought leading into the long weekend! Eat and travel well friends…..introverts and extroverts alike!
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5 responses to “Opinion: Social Media is for extroverts!

  • Scott Simpson

    I think generalizing using the term introvert/extrovert is at best a disservice to us introverts. That’s like hiring based just on personality tests, which is bound to get you into trouble.

    I agree that social networking is effectively a sales/marketing function that requires you to be outward focused, and extroverted people have more of a natural tendency to do this.

    What matters is that people who succefully use social networking have to be focused and proactive on social interactions and communications. There are may CEOs, Marketing and Sales people who are naturally introverted.

    Actually, using the web for business social networking might be opposite to what you’re suggesting. Removing the face to face element in a communication allows people to communicate in ways they otherwise might not in person, allowing for a whole different set of dynamics.

    Food for thought…

  • derekshowerman

    Scott, thanks for the thoughtful response. Well said and agreed. I did feel a little bit like I was generalizing and it could be taken as a fault to the introverts. I however felt like I should call a spade a spade and share my personal observations.

    I also disagree that removing the face to face element in communication is a way to be the man behind the curtain. The fact of the matter is…the face of the franchise needs to be comfortable communicating online as well as face to face. I am calling the kettle black. I hate public speaking. But in my experience the person who can do both equally has the most success. Again, thank you for the observations and feedback. Agreeing to disagree is a beautiful thing.

  • Rashmi Atlekar

    Hi Derek,

    Interesting write-up. To add my thought to this. One critical difference between the two is that of proactiveness. An extrovert initiates the dialogue and this proactiveness on his part could be due to several reasons e.g. he is confident about himself, he is comfortable to share his thoughts, he can express himself lucidly etc. A similar analysis needs to be done for an introvert. If the reasons for being an introvert in real life are due to lack of confidence to face people,shyness, embarrassment about a personal appearance etc. Then the digital medium gives this individual ample scope to overcome these issues. In such a scenario somebody who appears to be an introvert could actually be great at using social media and could have chances of being quite successful in this space. Besides, I think another factor that leads to an individuals success in the virtual world is the ability to articulate thoughts (in words) such that it plays to the gallery. One could be an extrovert, but if that individual lacks the ability to convey his thoughts through the written word there is a higher probability of failure in this space.In my opinion the game of communication is totally different for the digital medium. Having said that yes one could come across extroverts who easily take to SM, because they are inherently the tribe that feel comfortable trying their hands at new things, most even like to express themselves and this medium gives them the liberty to do that w/o any barriers…Whereas introverts maybe the cautious ones who choose to go slow and take time to adopt to new environments.

  • Jane fisher

    I agree with Scott. I don’t think it is as clear cut as you suggest. I am not a fan of public speaking but I would not consider myself an introvert either. Nor am I a natural sales person.

    I find SM to be a much easier way to communicate than face to face or even by phone. In fact I would go as far as to say SM has made me far more likely to interact with others face to face than I would have previously. I believe anyone can be successful at SM if they want to.

  • derekshowerman

    Rashmi & Jane,

    Great points! I think this post is leading to a whole new avenue…does Social Media actually help introverts communicate in an environment that is more in line with their tendencies?

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