Social media can be our best friend. Regardless of your favorite social media platform, social media gives you the space to surround yourself with the people, ideas, beliefs, values, products, and adventures that appeal to you. Even more? Social media is a space where we have, historically, have been able to write to showcase who we are, comment on other posts, and have a voice – without actually speaking or having to look anyone in the eye.
This is where the phrase “keyboard” warrior stems from. But, when we begin to use social media as a selling, too – we are finding that our once unhindered ‘voice’ on social media feeds our anxieties when it comes to speaking out. Let’s talk a bit about social media use, anxiety, and some steps you can take to overcome fear.
A Bit More About Social Media Communication Strategies
The premise of social media, at one point, was ‘social.’ Early designers worked to create platforms where people could connect without having to be in the same space. The idea was if more people engaged online, they would build broader, deeper, and more robust relationships. However, time has told us that the opposite is occurring. We know now, the more time we spend online, the fewer real-life relationships we have, and often, the less meaningful those relationships are.
What we see now on social media is that when people are online, we like to talk. We want to be heard. When it comes to our profile, page, and posts, we like to control the interaction. And for the most part, social media platforms make that available. We can filter, block, hide, or delete comments and content we do not like. When it comes to public threads, we become fearless and assertive and push our views on to other people. And when it feels like we are getting nowhere, we walk away. Or block. Or delete. Regardless. We talk when we can control it. And shut down communication when it doesn’t go our way. This control pattern can create anxiety when you begin to put yourself out there in ways that you cannot fully control.
Why Our Anxiety Rises on Social Media
Anxiety rises on social media when we begin to put ourselves out there. We know how people interact online. We see the mean comments, haters, and trolls. We may try not to be like them. However, when we post content, create video content, or go LIVE, you are opening yourself up to negativity. That is a trigger for anxiety.
Let’s think beyond this.
As users of social media, we are used to using the platform to talk however we want. We don’t take the time to listen to what people are saying because we are so busy typing away at our responses. Social media has trained us to talk – and not to listen. And if you remember, to be an excellent leader, coach, or entrepreneur, taking the time to listen to your audience is going to get you ahead.
If you start to post, Livestream, or comment in ways that may not reflect your brand, you could lose clients before realizing what you have to sell. Our anxiety triggers because we know we have to use social media from a space of responsibility our personal platform may not require of us. For many of us, we unconsciously decide not to show up if we can’t control the situation.
How Can We Overcome Our Anxiety When We Begin to Speak?
First, remember, when we do not try something new, anxiety grows. If we live in the space of unknowing, we only can build on what we “think” will happen, not actually what will happen. And if we come to the table with anxiety, anxiety will grow.
Second, remember social media is social. If you are only showing up to talk about yourself and what you can contribute – people might be turned off. You need to talk about what other people are bringing to the table as well. You must engage in the social part of the platform for you to show up on social media. That requires you to comment, engage in conversations, and reach out to other people. Just like in building relationships with people at a face-to-face networking event, you need to connect with the person online. Remember, we like to do business with people we like, and people who like us. The way to get people interested in what we bring to the table is by showing interest in who they are and what they bring to the table.
This action of proactive engagement will make social media less scary. You will find allies. You will find a connection. And soon, you will see when you post, go LIVE or have a new promotion, people are interested in working with you. No longer is there silence when you post, which feeds out anxieties that we are doing something wrong, you will see interest, engagement, and growth.
Reach out for More Help with The Wordwell Group
If you are finding major blocks and obstacles in growing your business online, schedule an appointment with the Wordwell Group. We can help you understand what you are doing online and provide strategies to elevate engagement. We will also work with you through specific processes to overcome your speaking anxiety, so you have the confidence, and the skill set, to show up online confidently and build your business. To learn more, schedule your appointment online or by calling or texting 925-726-9375.