New Guidelines for Indian Social Media - How to be Transparent/Honest?

I hope you read my previous article talking about New Guidelines for Indian Social Media Influencers, Bloggers and YouTubers. The article clearly states to be "Real to our Audience." But the question arises how can be real and what all measures one can take. So, this article is totally based on my personal learning, experience and way I am true to my audience. So, read on further to know How to Be True to our Audiences?

New Guidelines for Indian Social Media

1. Understand your Skills/Knowledge and Focus on That! 

It is essential for an influencer, a blogger and a youtuber to create a page or channel related to their own skills or knowledge. If you love making recipes and know about ingredients well then focus on food as your niche, avoid going for beauty, makeup or travel pages or channel. (Yes, you can post about them if you like anything but it should be occasionally and not regularlly).

Why? When you are public over social media then it is your duty to provide right information to the audience that follows you. If you have knowledge about a topic or niche then you would be able to explain, answer queries and talk about it easily. If you are not well aware of the topic then it would be little difficult for you to clear queries. The consumers are smart enough now (thanks to Google as it has ample of information which is just a click away), so if you state any wrong or misleading fact then the consumers would know that you are not real!

Tip : For Lifestyle Niche, yes I know that it contains numerous topics under this category. Try to focus on 1-2 niche that is the pillar or strength of your skills and knowledge (It should cover 60-70% of your whole content). Rest you can talk about your lifestyle.

2. Be True to your Username

This is quite essential and is ignored or overlooked sometimes. If you are having a username as 'BudgetBeautyForAll' then you have to post about beauty products that are budget-friendly. But does this mean that you cannot post about expensive beauty products? No! You can surely post about them but it should be 20-30% of your monthly content. For example: If you are doing 25 posts in a month then 5-6 posts can be of high-end beauty products and the rest 19-20 posts should be of budget-friendly beauty products.

Why? If you stick to your usernames then it helps the audience to stick to your page. For the above stated example, you would have majority of followers/subscribers who want to know about budget friendly beauty products. So, if you stop posting about it and start talking about only high-end products then the content would be irrelevant to your folowers/subscribers. They would either say that you are not real or unfollow you or they might post negative comments/feedbacks.

New Guidelines for Indian Social Media

Tip : Try to have a universal username like mine is AmritKaur_Amy, so this represents that I would be talking about me (which includes everything) but when you see my page (top 9-10 posts) then you would easily make out that I post more about beauty, so it forms an image in the mind of the audience that this a beauty page, so I can follow to gather information about Beauty.

3. Know the Difference (Very Important Point)

Few (or may I say many) of us don't exactly know the nature of our content! This could be misleading as well, how?

a. Influencer : On social media, we see many people who just post over Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so they are known as INFLUENCERS. Why? Because they are influencing their audiences through their content.

b. Bloggers : If you have your own website or blog, where you write detailed content over there (be it anything - stories, reviews, etc.) then you are known as BLOGGER. Additionally, a blogger can have a social media page or channel, but if their main platform of content is a blog or website then they are a blogger! Please don't call your social media page or channel as a Blog! It isn't a blog, its a social media influencing page. There is nothing like Instagram Blog or Facebook Blog, etc.

c. YouTubers : If you have a YouTube channel then you are known as a YOUTUBER. Having a youtube channel and being active on it (posting every month) is necessary. You can surely have social media pages to promote your YouTube videos and reach out to more audience. But you will be a YouTuber because your main platform for content is YouTube.

d. Digital Creator and Content Creator : I am sure you would have seen this term over Instagram! Who is a Digital Creator? A person who creates content over digital platforms only is known as a Digital Creator. But this definition is often mistake and large percentage of people use it over social media. If you post only collaborations over your social media pages then you cannot be a digital creator because you are not posting own content. You are just posting collaborations, so you are influencing people not creating own content. Same applies with Content Creator! If you are posting 70-90% of own content (that you create yourself) then you are a Content Creator!

4. Disclosing Collaboration

After my previous blog, many wanted to know how can we declare collaborations. Always declare the nature of the content (if collaboration or ad) in the starting 2 lines. Here I am sharing few ways that I follow and are recommended to follow:

Barter Collaborations : When you receives goods or services from a brand in return of a post then it is a barter collaboration. So, how to disclose it:

a. Hey everyone, few weeks back ABC Brand sent their products to try and review. I am using them since then and here is my experience with them.

b. Thank you, ABC Brand for gifting these products.

New Guidelines for Indian Social Media

c. #gifted #bartercollaboration #collaboration

d. You all suggested me to try this restaurant, so I got approached by their PR and visited it over the weekend.

e. I am excited to try ABC Services, they gifted me coupons recently.

With above mentioned statements, your audience would clearly know that its a collaboration.

Paid Collaborations : When you receive paid collaborations then there are different forms of it. Let's talk about all those forms one by one:

Paid Collaboration for honest experience/review

a. #paidcollaboration #realreview #realexperience #honestreview #honestexperience #sponsoredpost

b. ABC Brand gifted their products last month and I am using them since 5 weeks. Here's my personal experience with them.......

.......Thank you, ABC Brand for sponsoring this post and giving me enough time to try the product and share honest review.

New Guidelines for Indian Social Media

c. I enjoyed working and creating art with ABC Art Supplies! Thank you, ABC for sponsoring this post.

Paid Collaboration without honest review (Majorily, when brand asks to post with 2-7 days after receiving the products or services)

a. #paidcollaboration #AD #recommendations

b. ABC Brand sent their products/services few days back and here, I am recommending the ones which I liked using......

..... This is sponsored by ABC Brand

c. I came across ABC Brand and while talking about their spices, they offered me a collaboration to try them, so here I am recommending their best sellers......

..... #AD

For this category, it will always be treated as advertisement or recommendations or showcasing new launches, it cannot be an honest review within 2-7 days of usage (except for few goods like food items and services, which might have instant results)

Advertisements/Campaigns/Repost (This is when the brand gives you a theme, content or information to post on their behalf on your social media pages)

a. #AD #Campaign #NewLaunches #Gifted

b. Here's the latest campaign of ABC Brand. They have sponsored this post to inform you all about the new launches. I am excited to try them, are you?

c. #FeaturingABCBrand #AD

Try avoiding identical campaigns because it might not give your content or page an identity. For example, if a brand gives their own graphic or video to repost, it would give recognition to the brand and not your page. So, if you wish to take such campaigns then take them mindfully.

5. Reminder in Between

While posting content or trying products or services for couple of weeks or times, we forget posting about them in between. The audience don't know whether we are using the products/services or not, so it is essential to show them from time to time as a reminder. If forms a bond with your audience and they see that you are trying the products/services. It would be better if you could have before and after image.

For example: If you are starting with creating a recipe in a different way then show how it is created or looks normally (BEFORE) and then show the way you add a twist to it and show final content (AFTER). This will show a clear difference to your audience and they would be inspired or influenced by this.

6. Use Relevant Hashtags

These days social agencies can easily track posts through hashtags, so it is essential to use hashtags smartly. Here are some tips:

a. Use hashtags that are relevant to your content or post.

b. Use not more than 8-15 hashtags because not all hashtags would give you reach, so try to be specific as possible.

New Guidelines for Indian Social Media

c. Avoid using hashtags that have negative or controversial words.

d. Keep 1-2 hashtags that act as your identity over social media platforms like mine is #amritkaur_amy and #amritkauramy

e. Use hashtags in ascending order (lower number of posts to higher). Want to know why? Comment below, I would plan a dedicated article on hashtags.

f. Avoid banned hashtags, hashtags that have discrimination on any grounds or might be hurtful to others.

g. Ask your audience to follow your hashtags and stay updated about your posts.

7. Avoid Bashing Others/Brands

Few months back, this was a trend to bash brands for their mistakes or formulas or packaging or incomplete ingredients list. Avoid doing such posts or videos if you don't have any proofs for it. If you are posting the content then first try to speak to the brand for the answers on it and then post your views in front of the public with proofs. Posting without complete knowledge and proof might bring you in bad light or it is possible that audience would unfollow you. Same applies to the content creators or influencers. Don't bash or degrade them just because others are doing! Try to convey your message or feedback first and then take it ahead if you feel that the person is doing wrong.

8. Few Content Recommendations/Changes

Over last few months, I have been posting less because I am reframing my social media platforms, hence here are few recommendations that I have thought of (which you can also take as an inspiration and use for your own content):

a. Show your real side of personal life to some extent that would relate to your audience.

b. In place of one product reviews, try focusing on skincare routines or informing your audience how to use 2-3 products together or focus on one ingredient content or one theme content.

c. Post content that is trending in your own way.

d. Show some behind the scenes.

e. Post some motivation or personal experience that changed you or inspired you.

d. Post some random stuff that you like (Trust me, it get more views and interaction).

New Guidelines for Indian Social Media

e. Talk about your struggles, it might motivate someone else.

f. After every 4-5 posts, add some content that is different from your regular content. This refreshes the audience that follows you and helps to gather new followers related to this topic.

g. Try to be honest with your audience, keep sharing what you do through stories, short videos, pictures, etc. Trust me real and connecting content get more impressions and reach.

I hope that above mentioned points are helpful to you all. If you still have any queries or questions then can ask me in the comments below. I would be happy to answer them. Also, share this article further so that more creators from our field get to know about this and can benefit from this.

New Guidelines for Indian Social Media

If you have any topic recommendations related to social media platforms then can email me at amritkaur.am@yahoo or DM on Instagram. I would try to cover them in coming articles.

Thank you!

Amrit Kaur (Amy)

Lifestyle Blogger, Delhi

"The information shared is my understanding after reading various articles over Internet. I have mentioned the source of information in the article above."

Copyright Notice: ©️ Amrit Kaur (Amy). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. All the images represented here are the copyright of the site's owner, Amrit Kaur or by different social media accounts, reference mentioned on the images itself. They are further edited in Adobe Photoshop or/and Canva.

18 Comments

  1. I really liked your well drafted and well reserved post. Social Media seems over whelming and with changing rules, it gets challenging. Thanks to your post and clearly explaining everything.

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  2. These are some noteworthy tips u have mentioned to keep it real in the world of influencer marketing.

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  3. This is such informative article. I always love in-depth research on any topic. Thanks for sharing. Let me bookmark it for future reference.

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  4. This ia truly a bible for anyone creating content for the virtual world. And please do a post om hashtags as well. That's another area that needs clarity. Kudos for promoting honesty!

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  5. Thanks dear for sharing the guidelines here. I read completely and love the you explained so neatly everything.

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  6. A very helpful post with excellent practical tips. Suggestions and ideas that each of us can learn from and apply

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  7. Amrit, this post is surely a guideline for all to understand the Instagram better, would surely look forward for your Hashtag related post and also would know about the caption length and how emojis plays role in the content.

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  8. First of all am so happy with the headlines and your this force is going to help lots and lots of influencers and bloggers and content creators across to know the difference in how to put these guidelines into the picture

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  9. I'm always amazed at how you come up with quality and relevant content consistently. I'm definitely going to incorporate your helpful pointers while working on my social media content.

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  10. Thanks for such an informative and detailed post. There are so many things which I wasn't aware about and reading your post is really helpful. Social media is not easy to handle these post can act as a guide.

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  11. Your blog is very well drafted and I think everyone should read it. I really get annoyed wen social media influencers call themselves bloggers when they write nothing and just do promotions. Which is like killing the purpose and the main meaning of blogging. Also being true to your genre and name is very important to create your nieche.

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  12. I like how you have explained it with various examples and I follow the fact of keeping it real. With the changing scenarios, keeping it genuine and finding your own niche is the key.

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  13. This is a very valuable and important information for Influencers to keep in mind. Great post.

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  14. Social media is one of the best communication used to share information, engage with our audiences and create a sense of community. I really liked your well drafted post.

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  15. Quite and insightful blog post. Yes it is important to know the difference between Bloggers, influencers, youtubers and digital content creators.

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  16. These are insightful tips and as a responsible content creator we should adhere to them.

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  17. Amazing post Amrit, this is really informative. I will keep all this in mind and will improve my content.

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  18. Really loved your well researched content on the new guidelines ready for implementation. Being real is something we all need to adopt

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