Are the influencers really influencing us?

From a mere excitement of showing the world one’s fave products, gastronomic delights or places and beauty services, the job of a promoter on the social media, often called an internet savvy or blogger, has evolved into a well-received, highly demanded and respected, trusted and lucrative profession.
As the consumeristic society is becoming heavily dependent on social media endorsers to boost their turnover, more and more youngsters, predominantly women, are entering this world of web of quick fame and bucks, but mind it, trust plays the lead.
“My strength is the trust of my followers has on me. They will like and follow whatever I do if they trust my opinion, my taste, me as a person and that’s how I believe I influence them”, says Salwa Awan, an avid blogger and influencer since 2013.
Today, as the revolution of the fondly called ‘Influencers’ on the social media is hitting the global arena, the international brands have already assigned the beauties on the Omani networld with the largest followers to represent them.
“I certainly believe they make a strong impact, their reviews, opinion and feedback do play an important role. For instance, I love natural products (chemical free and animal cruelty free), but that alone won’t motivate my followers to buy the products or try them even. My reviews or feedback on its used, benefits and effects help them make a decision”, says Priya Pawani, who has signed big contracts with the government arms as well and whose movie was selected to be the best among some 24 short films at the Muscat International Film Festival recently.
Today, from garments to watches to perfumes, and star hotels to IT shops to beauty salons, the role of an influencer has become wide and they shoulder the biggest onus of keeping the trust of their ‘fans’ unshaken and intact.
Number of their followers vary from some hundreds to a whopping 100,000. They spend 90 percent of their time on their handsets scrolling, answering, advocating and the like for their brands while striking a perfect balance on their family lives.
“I spend several hours online every day, especially on social media. It’s a fine line balancing work and I’m single expatriate with no kids, but being online is useful for me to give updates to my family abroad”, Nicole Brewer, another avid influencer who has a strong fan-following.
For Adela Eileen, aka ‘Food Fanatic Oman’, spending some 2 hours every day doing researches and learning, usually in the mornings with kids been away, serves a lot in keeping updated on the latest happenings and it helps her support local business related to food and restaurants including food products and kitchen appliances .
“My motto is to keep it simple and real with a lot of positivity and productivity which keeps my audiences engaged. While enjoying some time out for what you love doing, the responsibility is too huge and you are demanded to give the best”, said Adela.
These influencers who dedicate their 100 per cent of time online, believe social media is the most powerful tool to tell the world about the products that you have in offer and the future holds brighter for them.
Antara Bose, a tall, captivating smiling presence at the events as well as Instagram and snapchat, traditional advertising can have a harmonious marriage with the social media endorsing and that will stay for some time. I understand that I have influenced some when I get feedback and good comments from my followers and them showing appreciation of what I’m trying to deliver.”
Is it a women-only industry? Do the charming guys too have a future among the gorgeous women online?
Khalid al Rahma, a youth icon of fashion brands believes if it is something that feeds your passion, it definitely is no matter what gender you are. The concept of using influencers is really catching up in this market and I think it’s still not too late to start.
“The word ‘influencer’ is pretty self-explanatory and their biggest strength lies in the quality of their reach not because you are a female or male and not just the number of people they can reach out to, but the number of people who would be willing to try a brand because an ‘influencer’ recommends it. An influencer promotes action, not just awareness”, said Khalid.
Sherifa al Busaidi, an Omani name in the fashion modelling arena and a passionate blogger, it is a lucrative industry with lot of opportunities for freshers as well.
“It can absolutely be a lucrative job; but there are no fast and hard rules. Receiving complimentary products is a big benefit of the job. Additionally, an influencer has the ability to charge an advertising fee of anywhere from a few hundred Rials up to a couple of thousand depending on the type of marketing and advertising that will be done for the company or product in question”, she said.
Pooja Saxena, who endorses multi-sectoral products which vary from automotive to lifestyle to fine dining feels that an increase in the number of newer faces on social media endorsing brands is a sign that the influencers really influence and this is the future mantra both in terms of advertising and in choosing a job of one’s choice.
“If anyone is serious about this career you must be very serious in your job and not take it as hobby. Influencing on social media is now more a serious business where you have to put in lot of efforts to be seen on the net. Quality always pays. It always takes time to be popular and be chosen to influence a product. One must be focused and deliver quality content. It’s no more a hobby it’s a full-time job if you want to excel in this field”, said Pooja.