Transparency in Social Media? Say What?!

Let me take a moment to introduce Amanda Farr, the newest leader within the NYC Fair Trade Coalition. She has graciously taken up the large task of helping us, a group composed of over 30 business members and 50 fair trade advocates, deliver a clear and concise message to our community through our social media platforms. The services she offers is wide and varied under the title of Virtual Assistant and her portfolio is developing quickly. Check out her rates at the bottom of the article and DO reach out at

xoxo Andrea Reyes, Chair

Let’s talk transparency in social media. I spent a lot of time feeling let down and deflated by social media, be it on my personal page or for the business I was working for after the algorithm changed. I would often think, “I’m building an audience, but why is my interaction level remaining static? Why can’t these profiles generate amplified business even with so many followers?” This was a struggle that I was not alone in. So I did some deep diving and uncovered some sinful truths about how to play the social media game AND MAKE IT WORK FOR ME instead of the other way around, without sacrificing sincerity or brand identity. Wanna know how I did it?

Everyone wants followers, and likes, and views. Everyone wants profits and attention. But when it comes to being a sustainable business the topic of social media strategies can seem contrived and inorganic. “But without these inauthentic tactics is that everyone else uses, how will I gain followers? How will I grow my business?” Well I’ll tell you (a few ways) how to make that happen while maintaining and strengthening brand identity and integrity, all resulting in increased profits, recognition, and best of all, complete openness and transparency with your audience (yay!). So stop feeling drained, desperate, and depleted by the ‘gram! I got you.

Social media is a science, with all the algorithms and metrics, and you need to treat social media operations as such. Make a plan, get on it, and dedicate a small (maybe 1 hour) a week to making your plan dynamite. Ask yourself: who am on Instagram? Am I building a community, teaching, selling, inspiring, or bringing awareness? Each of these presences need to tailor their approaches differently (because they all do different things). You don’t have to change who you are just to be successful on Instagram and social media. Above all, you want to be insightful, thoughtful, and intentional.

First off-- avoid these tempting, but anti-climatic, missteps:

Don’t chase traffic just for the sake of it. You can build a successful business without monumental social media followings!

Don’t post #trending content that had nada to do with your business goals.

Don’t pine for more followers just to look more popular.

Don’t edit your post within the first 24 hours. Instagram will think you’re trying to erase and then add more hashtags to appear in more places— don’t do this! They will make it harder for your posts to be seen)

Always close out of the app after posting or when not expressly interacting in the community. If you just leave the app open but aren’t on it, Instagram will label you “not interactive” and demote your visibility.

Now to the good stuff— Building your epic social strategy.

Part 1: What product are you selling/ promoting this month? Pick one thing to focus on and circle back to it throughout the month (not everyday, but a few times a week).

Part 2: Understand what your audience needs to know in order to believe that your product is a good fit— build trust by informing, helping to solve a problem, entertaining, and building relationships. This is all about transparency with your viewers and being open (showing behinds the scenes, Q+A’s, vulnerable/personal posts, funny + personality revealing posts). Insta should be a magazine (building stories), versus a catalogue (that just presents a product). I.e. don’t stop at just explaining the features, highlight the benefits!

Part 3: Learn how to best interact with your audience. Pick target keywords that align with your page to put in your bio. Make yourself discoverable ("buy" up that searchable real estate!). Also make sure that you’re treating your followers like your closest friends, don’t act like a creepy care salesman! Use your voice, develop a teaser intro (to spark interest), and then give a more detailed story. Last but not least ensure you have a solid call to action. This is a no-fail formula to really touch-base with your audience and make sure they get to know who you are.

Taking the time to sit down and pencil all of these different types of posts into a monthly social media calendar will help you plan your feed and make life a wholeeee lot easier.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re reading this and thinking, “I don’t have time to plan all this out!” well then I strongly advocate hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA). A VA will be able to sort, plan and schedule your social media calendar for you so all you need to do is post when the time comes. From a business perspective, they are super affordable, usually rates around $40/hr, and you often only need them 1 or 2 hours a week. So if you can pencil an hour into your schedule to plan, or can spend the $40 a week, you will be able to regain control over your social media struggles.

For those of who want VA assistance, feel free to email me at, and I can get you on that path to social media freedom!

#AmandaFarr #Transparency #fairtrade #socialmedia #NYCFTC #NYCFairTradeCoalition #NYCFT #AndreaReyes

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