SukaSucre Creatives creative director and musician Imran Ajmain tells about the responsibilities of being an influencer.
1. HOW HAS OUR LIFESTYLE CHANGED AFTER THE SOCIAL MEDIA BOOM?
For one, it has changed the way society eats. We try out dishes and eateries if we get attracted by how they are portrayed on social media. In short, if it’s pretty or generating a lot of hype, we want to be part of it. Most of us today are easily excited at places labelled Insta-worthy. Some restaurants tailor-make food to how they want it to be seen on Instagram.
2. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE ‘INSTAGRAMABLE’ LIFESTYLE?
I don’t have any issues with people who want to look good on social media but I do mind when they go overboard and live for validation.Every conscious effort is decided based on statistics at the expense of reality. Not everyone is an influencer but some conduct their activities without filters.
3. IF YOU ARE IN THE PUBLIC EYE, ARE YOU EXCUSED?
No. However, some artistes and influencers can’t escape from utilising social networking platforms for monetary gain. It is practically a legitimate moneymaking practice in this day and age as they leverage on their fans’ support.
One needs to provide a service (purpose) that enriches followers — be it tutorials on beauty, music, fitness, culinary etc — to be viewed with minimal disapproval.
4. DEFINE THE TERM ‘INFLUENCER’ WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF SOCIAL MEDIA.
To be a digital role model, you have to create awareness about the things you find interesting — be it business or to motivate.
With followers, come responsibilities. If you are not influencing your audience in a positive manner, then you are just another pretty individual online who takes good photos. Instead of posting stuff mindlessly, tell a story.
5. WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE YOU MOSTLY ACTIVE ON?
I find Twitter engaging — I prefer it compared to other platforms. I’m an early adopter of the social networking service, having started my career when it was first introduced. Malaysian Twitter’s major accounts (Tweet Famous) advocate mental health issues. It is an admirable campaign to champion, one that inspires other users to apply their Twitter (or social media in general) use for a good cause.
Twitter highlights collective behaviour. Indonesians use the micro-blogging platform as an alternative to short and instant messaging. Hence, the title “Republic of Twitter”. Meanwhile, Malaysians are more prone to post news and monologues-open diaries — with a good deal of banter.
6. NAME ONE ADVANTAGE OF GOING MOBILE.
Everyone is aware of the wonders of Photoshop and Spark but not everyone can fully master them.
Adobe has come up with lite apps of its desktop editing software(s) for mobile usage. Previously we used to rely on professional to do the edits.
7. NAME ONE DIGITAL HABIT THAT YOU ARE GUILTY OF.
Brand monitoring — I do use the search function to Google my own name. Some people may make fun of it but I get to connect with fans. I make a point to reply even if they expect it. I remember being taken by surprise when a couple named their son after me based on a song they liked 10 years ago. Initially I thought it was a joke but it turned out it wasn’t — I sent a babycare pack to the family.