Not everyone online likes social networking

Some people don’t like social activity. Strange as it may seem – we are social creatures at heart – some individuals shun all forms of social activity. It’s not because they are hermits or strange, but because their personality makes them avoid any kind of intimacy. They don’t mind taking part in social activities – as long as they are not too social…!

Some people don't want to join in. Your business needs to include them as well

Some people don’t want to join in. Your business needs to include them as well

If you run an online business you cannot have escaped the trend for the increasing use of social media, social networking and a host of other social tools, including Twitter, for instance. But such things could well be shunned by a proportion of your customers and potential customers because they are, as psychologists call them “anxious avoidant” types. New research shows that such people who have avoidant personality types tend to avoid social situations where they have choice.

If you put such people into a social situation, by dictating who they should socialise with, they tend to get on with it, the study reveals. But the avoidant personality doesn’t like to choose a social situation for themselves – especially if that social situation includes some kind of feedback to that individual.

For online businesses who focus their attention on social networking as a way of engaging with customers, this research has important implications. It means, for instance, that by giving people the choice to network with your company via Twitter or Facebook you are losing out on connecting with those individuals who don’t want to “dive in” and socialise with others who are also interested in your business. These individuals will avoid such connections – and that means if your business is focused on social networking or social media you will miss out on those socially avoidant types of people.

Importantly, this new research showed that it is the feedback that people receive that’s central to the issue. The avoidant personalities do not want feedback; they are happy to take part in groups if they have to, as long as nobody gives them any feedback. That, of course, is simply not possible with Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and so on. Feedback – interaction of all kinds – is central to these social networks.

So, what does this all mean for your business? It suggests that you should not focus all your efforts on social networking, in spite of what the gurus tell us. Yes, it is important. And yes, social networking should be a central part of your business strategy these days. But you should not do this to the detriment of those people who avoid social engagement. You still need what might be called “traditional” ways  of engaging with those people – flat, static, non social web pages for instance. Old ways of communicating still have a part to play in your business. They are things you should not avoid yourself.

Like this article?

Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on email
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

Internet Psychology

Is your brain back to front?

British businesses will spend this weekend on tenterhooks as they wait for Monday’s announcement from the Government about the ending of lockdowns. For the past couple of weeks, the mutterings from 10 Downing Street suggest

Read More »
Internet Psychology

Can you do boring tasks?

Last week, not far from the M25 in Buckinghamshire, the biggest-ever boring machine in the UK started its slow churn through the Chiltern hills to dig a tunnel for the HS2 rail system. It will

Read More »
Fence painting
Online Business

When did you last paint your garden fence?

If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.

Read More »