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3 Prominent Social Media Influencers Discuss Brand Collaborations, Caption Rules, And More

  • IWB Post
  •  August 9, 2018

Before we could realise, the platform of social media that was built for connecting with friends became a huge part of our business world. Not only has it given the brands of all categories a space to connect with their audience but has created numerous jobs. 

One of those jobs is the role of a social media influencer. A title, that sounds just as fun and light as its creator, has got many layers to it. There are many in the pool swimming, but do we follow all of them? So, what does it take for an influencer to be the best at their game? A relatable content that can resonate with the target audience or just a picturesque layout?

Three prominent social media influencers of their respective fields, Karuna Ezara Parikh, Yasmin Karachiwala, and Kayaan Contractor, discussed the platform – in and out with Vogue India.

Karuna Ezara Parikh first realised the power of social media when she was tweeting live every day from the protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and second after the Paris attacks. “After the Paris attacks, I wrote the poem Pray for the World and it reached over 1,00,000 shares in 12 hours; in a matter of a week, it had reached around 12 million people around the planet. That was the moment I realised you can actually raise your voice and be heard through social media. It was quite incredible I had about 5,000 followers before I wrote that poem, and the next morning I had reached about 25,000 followers,” she shared.

Woke to this – created this using my poetry. It was a conscious decision to shift my poetry and writing to a separate page on Instagram – @ezarawrites – simply because I felt the scribbles were often lost here in the noise and colour of shoots and other aspects of my life. And I felt it unfair for the people who only wanted to read my poems, to be bombarded constantly by images of me in odd outfits and odder poses. If you’re one of them please feel free to unfollow this account and follow @ezarawrites instead. Or both, if you so wish. 🙏🏽❤️

1,753 Likes, 48 Comments – Karuna Ezara Parikh (@karunaezara) on Instagram: “Woke to this – created this using my poetry. It was a conscious decision to shift…”

On paid collaborations, Karuna said she takes them up surely but also makes sure that the brand’s motto resonates with hers. “There has to be something in that brand that resonates with me. I try and support brands that are ethical, fair trade, sustainable, organic…that definitely help someone other than themselves,” she said.

Karuna advises keeping your captions free of typos.My caption can be a single word, or it can be 10 paragraphs, as long as it is something that reflects the image. Though I do try and raise my voice there too,” she shared.

#TwistedTuesday Spine Stretch: Our spine runs down the midline of the trunk from the base of the skull to the coccyx (tailbone), playing an extremely important role in our body, as it supports the upper body’s weight; provides posture while allowing for movement & flexibility & protects the spinal cord. The spine, also known as the vertebral column or spinal column, consists of 26 bones separated with cartilage. ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ ♦️Cat & Cow Stretch: This stretch is used to mobilize the spine by flexing and extending it. It also stretches the front part of the torso. The lifestyle we have today, sitting in front of the laptop for hours or hunched over a mobile, leads to lower back stiffness, pressure on the neck and curved upper back. This stiffness comes from breakdown of the cartilage of the joints and discs, putting pressure on nerves causing weakness and pain. To avoid ALL of the above its very important to keep it supple and moving. ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ Tips: ♦Neutral spine: Make sure you start on all fours with a neutral spine, imagine a thread going through the top of your head to the tailbone & keep it lengthened. Always go through this position while transitioning from cat to cow. ♦Flexion: Create an equal curve by initiating the scoop of the abs and curling the pelvis in as the tailbone & top of the head start relaxing down towards the floor. Remember to form an equal curve of spine & do not hunch at the upper back. ♦Extension: Now start taking the tailbone & head away from each other through the neutral reaching towards the ceiling. Open your chest forward without collapsing the neck at the back and do not arch your lower back leading to a crunch. Again! Keep an equal extension between each bone of the spine. ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ #befitbecauseyoudeserveit #YasminsBodyImage #yasminfitnessmantra #BeFitwithYasminKarachiwala #Pilates #PilatesMasterInstructor #PilatesIndia #BalancedBody #FletcherPilates #CelebrityTrainer #fitnessgoals

2,550 Likes, 25 Comments – Yasmin Karachiwala (@yasminkarachiwala) on Instagram: “#TwistedTuesday Spine Stretch: Our spine runs down the midline of the trunk from the base of the…”

Celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin‘s Instagram page is followed by thousands, not only to see posts of her Bollywood clients but also to follow her workout tips. Yasmin’s rule of communication is to be honest with her audience and stay real.

“What I post for my audience to try at home, I make sure that it’s very doable [and] comes with minimal risk because there is a lot of responsibility when you’re communicating with an audience you don’t know. I want to make sure that the message I put out there is authentic and easy to follow,” shared Yasmin.

She tries to post something almost every day, but at the same time doesn’t post too many things on the same day or too close to each other. “You have let people absorb it before you post something else,” she explained.

On taking feedback from the comments, she said, “I definitely look at the comments. If it’s irrelevant feedback then I just let it pass; if it’s negative feedback I let it slide. But if it’s feedback of value, of people asking you for specifics, I most definitely try to give that.”

#TherabandThursday: Today’s exercises: 1. Squat and Overhead Press – 3 sets × 15 2. Squat and Lateral Flye – 3 sets × 12 3. Squat and Star – 3 sets × 8 each side Purpose: ♦️Overhead Press works on your shoulder muscles like anterior, medial and posterior deltoids, biceps and triceps brachii. ♦️Lateral Flye works on anterior and medial deltoids. It also engages the trapezius, triceps and the latissimus dorsi as stabilizer muscles. ♦️Star with the leg lifts adds a challenge to the balance, and works the entire lateral side of your body. This one requires a great deal of strength, stabilization and balance. ❤Adding a squat to the above movements just makes this a whole body workout. Do not forget to squeeze your glutes and press your hips forward to lift up (see #FormisFoundation #squat) Some tips: 🔽 Here engaging the front and back line of the body is the key. So make sure core is engaged and you maintain the length from head to toe. 🔽 Keep shoulders rolled back, ribs in and in line with the hips. 🔽 Dont let the theraband pull you down on the way back, have the control as you go down without losing the core activation. 🔽 As you do the star, think the cross opposition of head to the leg lifted, without collapsing at your torso, to find that balance. ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡️⚡️⚡️ #befitbecauseyoudeserveit #yasminfitnessmantra #YasminsBodyImage #CelebrityTrainer #fitnessgoals #BeFitwithYasminKarachiwala #Pilates #PilatesMasterInstructor #CelebrityTrainer #fitnessgoals #PilatesIndia #SculptandShape #PilatesFestivalIndia

4,387 Likes, 59 Comments – Yasmin Karachiwala (@yasminkarachiwala) on Instagram: “#TherabandThursday: Today’s exercises: 1. Squat and Overhead Press – 3 sets × 15 2. Squat and…”

Before taking up a project, Yasmin and her team jot down a list of pros and cons. “I have a really good team who manage my projects for me. Whenever an inquiry comes in, I pass it on to them, we discuss it, we take into consideration the pros and cons of whether we should be doing a project, whether it’s good for our image, whether it’s going help people and only then do we make the decision of going ahead with it or not,” she stated.

Her advice for people wanting to be a part of the influencing community: To be an influencer is a lot of social responsibility and only if you’re ready to take on that responsibility, should you be there doing it. You shouldn’t only be posting amazing things on social media so [that] everyone thinks your life is a bed of roses, because the reality is, it is not. Of course, that doesn’t mean people need to put the gory details of their lives, but they need to be real on social media. If you’re an influencer, I think it comes with a responsibility of being honest, of putting good stories out there, of being positive and being able to help people by being a good role model.

Pining for Arles.😢❤️ #takemeback #guccicruise19 #guccidaily #arles #alyscamps #guccigirl #shapeshiftinouttatown #kayaancontractor #shapeshifterin (Also, Bryan, you’re in my hair @bryanboycom hiieeee! 👋 😂)

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For the editorial queen, Kayaan Shiraz Contractor, Instagram at first was just a platform that had something to do with filters. “No, it wasn’t always my plan. Honestly, when Instagram started, I thought it was something to do with using different filters on your phone and saving them in your picture gallery. That’s all I thought Instagram was.”

Kayaan, who initially became famous from a co-founded blog, doesn’t like to be called a blogger or influencer. “Even ‘content creator’ has become this overused term or ‘creative director,’” she added. So, she now prefers to call herself an ‘image-maker’. “I looked it up and found out, “Oh, image-maker is a word!” So that’s what I say,” she said.

Lipstick for Lunch? Our latest editorial is IN PRINT!!!! Aaahhh!!! @ellementsmagazine thanks for carrying our story forward, can’t wait to see the copy! Photostory: @victoriakrundysheva Beauty: @shamitag Hair: @jrmellocastro Wearing: @kartikeyaindia #shapeshifterineditorial #spoilsoftheday #letthemeatcake #kartikeyaindia #kayaancontractor #shapeshifterin

3,170 Likes, 39 Comments – Kayaan Shiraz Contractor (@kayaancontractor) on Instagram: “Lipstick for Lunch? Our latest editorial is IN PRINT!!!! Aaahhh!!! @ellementsmagazine thanks for…”

She likes to tell a story from her posts. But shifting her audience from OOTDs posts, which were highly in demand, to content-driven posts was a gradual process. In fact, for the same reason, she has a very niche audience.

“I do most of my shoots in a very editorial fashion, if that’s what I can call it. People like to come and look at my images and I have a very niche following—I don’t have too many people following me,” she said.

She added, “I’m very detail-oriented as well. I find a corner, I try to take a shot there. I don’t know how to say this… [if] it’s something that I feel is lovely, I just put it up. I just do whatever I want with it to be very honest. There’s no formula. It’s the entire composition of the picture that should be aesthetically pleasing, and if it’s okay for me, I figure it’s good for everybody else. I have to like it first though because I’m putting it up.”

Brand promotions are not something Kayaan is really fond of. “I don’t mean to be a non-team player of sorts, but I don’t like to do it. Like “thank you for your gifts, but I didn’t ask for them”. I’m opening bubble wrap the whole day, and it’s not something that I want to do. It’s a waste of my time. The environment gets damaged, and I’m just throwing away heaps and heaps of plastic every day. I mean, how much stationery can I keep? Everybody sends me stationery,” she shared.

On the hate-blinded platform, it is difficult but Kayaan tries to ignore it as much as she can. “I put on like a hard shell [now]. I used to feel really bad before, but I’ve learned that these people don’t know you, they don’t owe you anything. That’s the one main thing that I’ve learned—how to move past a certain situation because I’ve had a lot of incidents where people have just bailed on me on the day of the shoot, and I got really upset,” she said.

Another thing that she has learned from social media is to budget really well. “So all the shoots that I do, I write down the costs so when a brand comes to me and says, ‘I want X’, I can tell them exactly how much it is priced at. I’ve learned how to do recces too, [and] let me tell you, nobody in this field of social media influencers does recces; I take pride in that,” she added.

None, The Visor.🕹 Digital Getdown with Dior, this eve! @dior @mariagraziachiuri Photostory/Graphics: Rohan Hande @rohande Fashion: Akshay Tyagi @thetyagiakshay Hair: Justine Rae Mellocastro @jrmellocastro Beauty: Eshwar Log @eshwarlog #shapeshifterineditorial #dior #dirovisor #diorss18 #digitalgetdown #kayaancontractor #shapeshifterin

1,449 Likes, 39 Comments – Kayaan Shiraz Contractor (@kayaancontractor) on Instagram: “None, The Visor.🕹 Digital Getdown with Dior, this eve! @dior @mariagraziachiuri…”

Her future plan? “I want to actually grow this business into a full-blown production house for shoots and fashion, where I conceptualise for you, where I do exactly what I’m doing right now for myself… I just want to do it for brands. I mean, I’m not going to be in front of the camera all my life,” shared Kayaan.

Lastly, her advice for budding influencers is, “First of all just know yourself, evaluate yourself, know your values and your worth… then the sky is the limit. Don’t be in an Instagram vs reality situation. Be true to yourself, develop your style if you’re a younger person, experiment… go crazy. With anything that you do creatively, you have to have your own voice, your own style, and to develop that you have to know yourself and be honest out in the open. That’s the advice I would give.”

H/T: Vogue India

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