You may have heard that recently the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram is no longer a photo sharing platform but a video platform. This statement has sent certain segments of Instagram into a tailspin because many people are not comfortable creating the sort of video content which Instagram and Tiktok seem to favor.
Especially many introvert business owners and creatives may be left wondering what this means for them.
What The Switch to Video It Means
It is a sad truth that Instagram does not show all of your followers all of your content. So if Instagram says it’s emphasizing video, that means they will prioritize showing video content to followers over photos or carousels.
If you are a recreational user of instagram, it probably doesn’t matter to you if everyone sees your content. But if you are using Instagram as a marketing tool for your business it matters because the fewer people who see your post, the less impact your business or service has on them.
Why This Could Be a Challenge for Introverts
This change to video may make introverts feel like the rug was pulled out from underneath them.
When it began, Instagram was a place to curate beautiful photos to and share thoughtful captions, which was perfect for introverts. An introvert could express themselves in a safe way to a safe audience and they received the kind of feedback that was comfortable for them to receive.
But the new focus on video it requires different set of skills.
Introversion is Not the Problem
I’ve seen a lot of Reels and Stories lately that start off with a supportive tone but then the tone changes to “but you have to show up” or “you have to force yourself outside of your comfort zone.”
That is not true. Being an introvert is not a liability it’s not a problem that needs to be fixed, or something that needs to be overcome. An introvert is brings value to any community— online or not— by being introspective, thoughtful, and supportive.
Different Comfort Levels
It’s important to note that different introverts may have different levels of comfort with video.
Some may feel comfortable only off camera. Another may feel comfortable being in photos, but not on videos. Others may feel comfortable being on video but not talking or having their voice on video but not their face.
How Introvert Business Owners Can Use Video
So how can an introvert business owner navigate this change?
There is nothing wrong with continuing to post images. Yes, Instagram will be value video content over images but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still post photos or carousels. Make sure to use effective, well-researched hashtags to give your posts the best chance of being discovered. And look for ways to engage with your audience such as notifying them in Stories that you have a new post on your grid and let them know what value they will get for going to see that post.
Show up on video in a way that is comfortable for you. Dip your toe into the video creation waters but in a way that is comfortable for your particular brand of introversion. These range from not showing your face at all to showing your face once in a while to fully talking to camera about things that you are especially passionate about. Here are some ideas:
Make a slideshow of photos with music. I created this Unboring Stock Photography Reel in Canva with each image being a .5 second slide. (Notice that I did show up for a second at the beginning. I felt that showing my face was important to set the tone.)
Take a screen recording of your design process or create a tutorial.
Film a time lapse of process packing orders, painting, etc. Because it’s sped up, you will only be on video for a fleeting moment. Or you can set up a camera to only film your hands at work.
And once in a while when you’re feeling up to it if you want to show up with your face on camera you can do that too.
No exhibitionist dancing in front of the camera required!
Diversify Your Marketing
As we’ve learned, social media channels can disappear, become less effective, or make changes which make them less comfortable places for you. So if you haven’t already, take this opportunity to diversify your social media marketing energy to other platforms. Pinterest is especially effective marketing tool for small businesses and creatives so don’t neglect it.
Instagram’s change of focus from photo to video will require a pivot from all business owners and this may be a challenge for introverts but it’s not an insurmountable one. By being creative and maintaining focus on helping your followers, you can feel comfortable incorporating video content into your social media marketing plan.