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It's all about transparency, say social media influencers

Social media influencers admitted on Sunday their success and survival depends on them remaining transparent with their audience.

Speaking at ITP Media Group’s ‘Influencer Marketing Summit’, the first event of its kind in the UAE, Joelle Mardinian, who has more than 5 million followers on social media, said she remains honest with her audience at all times otherwise it’s a “recipe for disaster”.

“I don’t hide anything and share everything with my audience. I even post controversial things as I believe it is best that I put them out than it comes out from some media outlet,” she said.

Salma Awwad, designer Sawwad Fashion founder, said remaining honest is vital for an influencer, urging influencers to tell the truth in their posts. Similarly, Dino Wilkinson, technology, media and telecoms partner, Norton Rose Fulbright advocated influencers to remain honest and respect followers.

On the issue of brands driving influencers to follow their marketing guidelines, Mardinian said it is difficult to market brands that give influencers rigid guidelines.

“I do ask brands to give me flexibility so I can promote the brand in my own way. I know my audience and the best way to reach them. It works only if they give flexibility to a social influencer and not rigid guidelines,” she added.

Alanoud Badr, Lady Fozaza founder, said the brand and influencer relationship is like a marriage where the two parties have to work together for a unified goal.

In response to a question on “who influences the social media influencers”, Omar
Al Busaidy, a motivational speaker and youth coach, said he is influenced by “unsung heroes”.

“There are a lot of people who come here [in the UAE] and achieve a lot. Look at the people who are not at the forefront. You talk to them, you learn from them and then you get influenced by them.”

ITP Live, the new digital division of ITP Media Group, announced last week it has already signed 26 personalities as part of its influencer client portfolio.

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