What does Your Personality have to do with Social Media?

Using your personality to define how to use social media

I am not one of the crowd who believes ALL small business owners have to be on ALL of the various social media channels.  One of the

Social Media

Social Media

reasons I don’t follow the ALL approach for social media is I learned some of the best marketing minds don’t.  Seth Godin for example refuses to Tweet.  When asked why he doesn’t tweet in an interview I heard several months ago, Seth explained he has found the tools that work for him.  He is happy to blog, post on his Facebook Page and continue to write his wonderful business books, but he does not tweet.  It isn’t that he finds anything wrong with Twitter, he just doesn’t do it.  He has his hands full with the social media he has selected and that’s all he’s willing to do.  Most of us don’t have the name recognition of Seth, but it is a good lesson.

Another reason I don’t follow the ALL approach is that the first step is to determine which social media  your current and prospective customers use.  If you are a sales rep selling to other businesses, chances are you can focus your energies on Linkedin and do very well.  If you’re a retailer of women clothing, you probably need to focus on reaching your audience through Facebook and possibly Twitter and ignore Linkedin.

Why go crazy trying to do it ALL, when you can select the best tools that work for your audience and that fit your personality.  This way, you’ll be taking some of the ‘work’ out of the chore.  You’ll be more inclined to remain committed to the act, be most effective in your communications efforts thereby generating a greater positive impact with your target audience.

To determine your personality traits and how they might further define your social media usage, here is a short little quiz I found on Dr. Laraine Kase’s site.  She uses her skill in psychology to help people better market themselves.  While this 5 question quiz doesn’t cover all personality traits, it does cover your think, feel and act tendencies.

Answer the Questions 1-5 where 1 = Not at All True for Me; 5 = Very True for Me

1. I tend to have a short attention span.

2. I tend to be a perfectionist and feel uncomfortable putting something out that isn’t of high quality (thought out, proofread several times, and so on).

3. I am a visual person and have a hard time connecting with someone or something when I don’t see a picture.

4. I am a contextual person and understand things best when I see a complete discussion (rather than putting the puzzle pieces together on my own).

5. I tend to go for depth over breadth, or quality over quantity.



Question 1:

Knowing your attention span is important in choosing what type of social media to focus on. If you scored 3 and above for this one and have a short attention span you may do best with a quick, rapid-fire type of social media such as Twitter. It may work best for you to fire off a tweet or update as you think of it rather than sit down to write extensive blog posts.

Question 2:

If you scored 3 and above for this one, social media may help you change some of your perfectionist ways because it would take way too long to do everything perfectly. That said, you may do best with adopting a quality over quantity approach. For example, dedicate 3 hours per week to writing a fabulous thought-provoking blog post that will have longevity and engage readers on your blog over time rather than trying to write 10 perfect tweets that will be gone in an instant.

Question 3:

If you scored 3 and above for this one, you may be more energized with the social media where you can include your own images and see images of those who respond. Knowing that others are similar to you, be sure to include high-quality images in your posts, including photos of yourself when possible. In general people tend respond better to either verbal over visual information. Some people are visual processors and some are more auditory. Think about how you and those in your audience best learn. If, for example, you do better when something is explained to you, you may be more verbal. If you do better when you read something or take notes, you may be more visual.

Question 4:

If you scored 3 and above for this one, you may do best to focus on specific discussions, such as those generated in LinkedIn or Facebook groups. Rather than having 1,000 followers from all different backgrounds, you will interact with people of specific similar backgrounds in a given context. You may choose to create your own groups or become an active participant in targeted groups and blogs.

Question 5:

If you scored 3 and above for this one, you may need to dump some of your social media components or at least put them on the back burner so you can really get involved in a few key areas. For example, focus on quality by writing stellar blog posts that others are driven to share. Or focus on interacting with a couple high-caliber LinkedIn or Facebook groups. Forget about the ego-driven numbers (how many Friends, Followers, or Fans) you have and focus on what you do best—putting out how quality information and connecting with key influencers.

Let us know how your personality traits will help define your social media usage moving forward in the comments section below.

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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