The Influential Brigade: Halima Al Abdul Salam

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Keeping in mind that the world is in the digital age, we have gathered a list of influential social media pros, who are becoming beacons in their own right. Halima Al Abdul Salam stands as one of our women influencers.
Read the full interview below.

What inspired you to pursue Social Media?

“The first social media platform I used was Facebook in October 2007. Back then, I was just like any other user, sharing random day- to-day life moments, then I explored other platforms, such as Twitter and YouTube and finally found my way to Instagram in October 2012, which was the beginning of a surprising journey.

“At first, I treated Instagram like a normal journal, marking my daily activities and my whereabouts. As days passed by and more people became interested in what I shared, my follower base started to increase. Comments and likes started pouring in and that formed the start of a turning point in my social media path. This inspired me to pursue it further by creating a personal image and self-branding and I became Oman’s first Instagram Blogger, sharing personal reviews on products and services along with sharing general information about lifestyle and other social issues.”

How have your Social Media feeds evolved overtime? Any speci􏰀ic turning points?

“I would say I have been consistent in what I share on my page from day one. My feeds can be categorised through the hashtags I have created: #halima_dineout, #halima_movies, #halima_travel, #halima_ recommends and #halima_tips. What has evolved, however, is the way I present them, the quality of posts in terms of design or amount of information shared, from being just a photo/video with a single word or line description into a more useful detailed description. Also, this led me to join and contribute in two local FM stations along with a chance to be a columnist in a local newspaper and a lifestyle magazine.”

How do you decide which brands to partner with, and how do you ensure that your followers are receptive to sponsored content?

“I would do brand promotions for free in the beginning as I was
new and 􏰁inding my way into the world of social media marketing.

“However, once my follower base grew I became selective and accepted only what I felt I could relate to or something I believe in or could use myself. I do not do any free promotions unless it is for a good cause. I’ve worked hard to reach where I’m today and I believe I am worth every penny I am paid. I have occasionally turned down paid content because it clashed with my beliefs.

“All my reviews are based on my personal experience and to me credibility is very important as is being true to my followers.”

Is there a central message or theme that you hope people take from your Social Media content?

“The message I would like to send to people is that everything is possible. If you have a dream, believe in yourself and shut out all negativity.

“I’ve always dreamt of working in the media. It began as a random activity and despite all challenges I made my dream come true.

“I resigned from my full-time, well-paid job to become a self-employed entrepreneur who founded Socialize, a social media company and the 􏰁irst In􏰁luencers Management company in Oman.

“Talking about my content, it is more about entertainment because I love to see people enjoying their time with loved ones and friends, doing things and eating at places that I have recommended through my social media platform.”

What emerging marketing trends do you feel will shape the digital world in the next few years.

“I would say it is unpredictable. The digital world is rapidly evolving and no one can completely predict what the next trend might be. We can all speculate, but only time will tell.

“Few years ago, we never know that social media would be even a Major in universities or becoming a social media in􏰁luencer would be a paid profession. We will have to wait and watch and only the smart ones, who adapt faster, will lead.”

What’s the most challenging part of working in Social Media? And what advice would you give to those interested in building a following online?

“There are a lot of expectations from us as public 􏰁igures and in􏰁luencers. Moreover, most followers seem to think they have the right to interfere in our beliefs or personal life or invade our privacy and not to mention the negative comments we sometimes get that de􏰁initely is upsetting.

“My advice would be that do not join social media just for the fame. Be someone with morals and ethics and have a purpose. Social media, in the end, is just a virtual world. Don’t forget there is a real beautiful world out there. Care about the quality of your followers and not the quality. Build a character for yourself and do not become just a copy of someone else.”