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Be a trust worthy Social Media Influencer

Social Media Influencer

Social Media Influencer

Social media is a very powerful means of freedom of speech and expression, as it has been a voice for many voiceless people. Majority of the regular social media users treat their social media accounts as purely a social vent, casually updating statuses and posting photos online with a little expectation of how friends and family feel about your social vent.

This may not be case with Influencers their online content posted on social media channel is seen either as being primarily about self-promotion or about giving back something to the subscriber. To be successful in the long-term influencers need to be the one who informs the community with useful information.

Social Media Influencers are on constant look for getting more followers / subscribers and its irrespective to the type of content they are producing, they should be trustworthy, reliable and relatable to the followers / subscribers.

Getting more followers / subscribers :

  • Good Brand – Great content and spending money on flashy ads is not enough. You should be authentic and trustworthy. You should present meaningful content and meaningful conversation.
  • Engagement – Engaging with subscribers / followers will not only increase your presence also develop real-time relationships with your audience, so don’t forget to reply to all comments. You can have standard templates to reply just in case your audience is large.
  • Tone and Tenure – Write from subscribers’ perspective and make them the hero on your channel. Sensationalism attracts attention, but make sure you avoid stop the artificial drama from happening on your channel.
  • Promote – However big you are don’t feel shy in asking people to follow your follow your channels, you must promote your channel on all you on your social platforms at the end of your blog that you post. Paid promotion on the respective social media channels is preferred rather than buying (Bot or Ghost) subscribers.
  • Competitors – Always watch your competitors, who they are, where they are, what they’re doing, what they used to do, how well they’re doing. By actively subscribing and following you can identify gaps in your approach and form a strategy that can build your subscriber base.
  • Qualitative Content over Quantity Content – Just because you post on every day don’t post something randomly, which will not grow your audience. Be sure every post is connected to your goal or objective
  • Trolls – It is usually done by an individual with the intention to create conflicts and controversies to generate provocative debates. You cannot make subscriber / follower one happy and that’s their entire point in trolling on you, so just ignore trolls.
  • Select Right Channels – Just because all social channels are monetising content, don’t go and be and present on all channels. Facebook is for news and entertainment, Twitter – Sharing blog posts or promoting website content, Instagram – Highly visual, its best suited for strong visual brands, LinkedIn – Sharing industry related articles and professional content.
  • Negative Comments – Always show some empathy and compassion and be genuine in your responses and its help you to build long-term healthy relationships of your social media presence.
  • Automation – You can schedule posts weeks in advance, but sometimes you may get disconnected as most the automation tools does not have the ability of tagging on the third-party tools.
  • Hashtags – Do proper research on the hashtags or else it might cause an embarrassment and it might have a potential to damage your reputation.

Managing Influencers Risks :

There are few risks for Influencers rising due to the use of social media tools and technologies, where there is a potential/possibility of losing something of value (i.e., information, reputation, or goodwill). To Manage the risk by following these steps

(1) Identify the Risk (2) Assessing the Risk (3) Mitigating the Risk

Few Lines on Algorithms :

Think of it as a recipe of an Indian curry, an algorithm tells the computer what to do in order to generate a certain outcome. It is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives.

Algorithms observe (a) What they watch (b) What they don’t watch (c) How long they watch (d) Where they watch (e) When they watch (f) Likes and Dislikes (g) Shares (h) Not interested (In the feedback) (h) Participation in Pre and Post Watch Surveys Etc

  • Evolution of Algorithms – They started measuring with “Clicks and Likes”, then was measured by “Watch Time” and now it is measured by “Satisfaction”
  • Factors Influencing Algorithms – Personalisation (Watch Content), Performance (Appeal, Engagement & Satisfaction) and External Factors (Topic Interest, Competition & Seasonality)
  • Click through Rate – How relevant is the content
  • Average View Duration – How long you keep viewers on a single post (video).
  • Views per viewer – How long do you keep viewers on your channel

Endorsement Know-How’s! for For Celebrities, Influencers & Virtual Influencers on Social Media Platforms :

Individuals/groups who have access to an audience and the power to affect their audiences’ purchasing decisions or opinions about a product, service, brand or experience, because of the influencer’s/celebrity’s authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.

Who should disclose?

  • Celebrities – Famous personalities, including but not limited to entertainment or sports industry who have the power to affect the decisions or opinions of their audience.
  • Influencers – Creators who advertise products and services with a strong influence on the purchasing decisions or opinions of their audience.
  • Virtual Influencers. – Fictional computer generated ‘people’ or avatars who have realistic characteristics, features and personalities of humans, and behave in a similar manner as influencers.

When to Disclose?

  • When there is a material connection between an advertiser and celebrity/influencer that may affect the weight or credibility of the representation made by the celebrity/influencer.

Material Connection :

  • Material connection could include but is not limited to benefits and incentives, such as Monetary or other compensation, Free products with or without any conditions attached, including those received unsolicited, discounts, gifts, Contest and sweepstakes entries, Trips or hotel stays, Media barters, Coverage and awards orAny family, personal or employment relationship.

How to Disclose?

  • Should be hard to miss – Disclosures should be placed in the endorsement message in such a manner that they are clear, prominent and extremely hard to miss. Disclosures should not be mixed with a group of hashtags or links.
  • Endorsement in a Picture – Disclosures should be superimposed over the image enough for viewers to notice.
  • Endorsement in a Video – Disclosures should be placed in the video and not just in the description. Disclosures should be made in both audio and video format.
  • Endorsement in a Live Stream – Disclosures should be displayed continuously and prominently during the entire stream

Way to Disclose?

  • Simple and Clear – Simple and clear language should be used. On limited space platforms like Twitter, terms such as ‘XYZAmbassador’ (where XYZ is a brand) are also acceptable.
  • Terms Allowed – ‘advertisement’ or ‘ad’ ‘sponsored’ ‘paid promotion’ or ‘paid’
  • Language – Disclosures and endorsements should be in the same language.
  • Platform Tool – Separate disclosures shall be made apart from platform disclosure tools.

Due Diligence :

  • Celebrities/influencers are advised always to review and satisfy themselves that the advertiser is in a position to substantiate the claims made in the advertisement. It is also recommended that the product and service must have been actually used or experienced by the endorser.

Engaging Celebrities or Influencers for endorsement by an eCommerce Entity :

  • A prominent eCommerce entity reached out to celebrities and influencers to engage them to promote their products where the eCommerce entity asked them to wear clothes of certain brands and make content for online platforms.
  • The celebrities and influencers posted content online and most of them didn’t disclose their material connection with the eCommerce entity and it appeared as if the celebrities and influencers were promoting those brands without any bias.
  • In case celebrities and influencers don’t disclose their material connection, their opinion may be inferred as biased and/or misleading. However, if celebrities and influencers disclosed their material connection, the consumers will be able to make an informed decision

Non Compliance :

Failure to disclose any material connection or non compliance of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 and Rules made thereunder would make such violators liable for strict action under the law

Tips for social media influencers :

  • Stalking – (a) Do not publish your phone number or address on your social media as it could harvested and processed for commercial use. (b) Check the access privileges given to Apps. (c) Search through connected apps and followers and delete unwanted ones.
  • Privacy – Do all the required privacy settings. (a) Set your GPS, Bluetooth, Set passwords and PINs on your phone. (b) Download only from trusted providers. (c) Consent should be treated the same way for all offline and online Interactions
  • Photo / Video – (a) To keep your personal life safe, it important, no personal stories, no expression of opinions, no swimsuits etc, as you could be trolled. (b) Use watermarks on all your posts.
  • Set Boundaries – You should be mindful of the privacy of yours and others. (a) Never indulge in personal stories that could embarrass you in future (b) Do not post that make someone hurt their feelings. (c) Avoid racist, political and religious comments.
  • Protecting Your Data – (a) Use paid tools that blocks malware and trackers. (b) Use 2FA to protects passwords, email and payments.