Western & English Today

Spring 2018

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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An Insider's Guide to T he golden pillar of business advice: People do business with people they know (and like). However, social media platforms have become the new coffee klatch and local chamber of commerce, where people look for recommendations from friends and get to know the businesses eager to serve them. Just like a networking event caused clammy hands and nervous nibbling at the hors d'oeuvres table of yesterday, constant status updates, sharing, and memes plague today's business owners. Mastering your social media game can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. You don't need to be a digital strategy genius, professional photographer, expert copy writer, or blogging dyna- mo. You just need to be consistent, thoughtful, and, most importantly, your authentic self. In the name of getting actionable, here are a few quick ways you can get the most out of Instagram, one of the top-performing social media platforms. Truth be told, some of the broader points can benefit your efforts on many social media fronts. When it comes to any given social media plat- form, the first you thing you have to do is show up to the party. You just have to accept that, as a business owner, it's necessary to dedicate a little time and attention to cultivating your social me- dia presence because, regardless of your objections and frustrations with Instagram or other platforms, your customer is there. In doing so, you must also accept the algo- rithm (how it filters posts into a user's feed). You have zero control over any social media platform's algorithm, so just take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let it go. ere's no point in allowing it to become a major point of stress or turn you away from using social media as a tool to help build your business. e Instagram algorithm takes into account things like engagement, relevancy, timing, direct shares, and relationships. You may not fully understand how it works (it's compli cated!), and you don't need to. e thing to remember is that the main objective of the algorithm is to put the best content in front of the most people possible. e goal of any given social media platform is to keep the attention and interaction of its users for as long as possible. And really, that's good for everyone. e longer a platform remains relevant and useful to the public, the better. It provides another way for you to connect with your consumers. e key to success on social media is as old as the concept of networking itself: show up, have some- thing of value to offer, and be a delightful conver- sationalist. Here are few easy tips for "working the room" like a pro on Instagram. As the social media guru behind The Cowgirl Diaries, Thea Larsen lays out some simple rules and steps for upping your Insta-game. 10 Western & English Today SPRING 2018

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