Keeping in mind that the world is in the digital age, we have gathered a list of 15 influential social media pros, who are becoming beacons in their own right. Rumaitha Al Busaidi stands as one of our 15 women influencers.
Read the full interview below.
What inspired you to become a social media influencer?
“I am not sure if I ever planned on being one, it just sort of happened and with my radio career booming, it eventually just picked up and set off when I headed to Antarctica. After that I realised that many people were inspired and were looking to follow my footsteps in a way or another, be it professionally as a media personality or personally through my travel adventures.”
How have your social media feeds evolved over time? Any specific turning points?
“Absolutely! My social media presence started off way before the conventional tools and apps we know today. It began back in social Omani forums like English Sabla and OmanServ, which was fun and I still hold memories and lasting friendships from that chapter of my life.
“But then it evolved when I went abroad for studies with my blog; documenting my personal life stories and struggles of being an Omani woman studying abroad and the culture shock of coming back to Oman after many years.
“Fast forward years later and we had the conventional tools we know today; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and it has made me confident to post pictures of myself especially as I was going through a significant weight loss journey which not many people knew about. A major turning point for me would definitely be my South Pole adventure and Kilimanjaro climb. People kept on asking for more pictures on these adventures and ever since I have focused more on my travels and drool-worthy destinations I have been to around the world.”
How do you decide which brands to partner with, and how do you ensure that your followers are receptive to sponsored content?
“It really depends on whether the brand speaks to me or not and if I would opt to use the brand in my day to day life. I am quite picky when it comes to that. I want the experience, which is my personal experience, I portray to my followers to be real, authentic and not adverts-driven for the sake of making money, which honestly was never my priority when I started sharing on social media. So, I am careful when I pick who I partner with, and when I decide to do so it is because this brand is quite special and something that really says this is Rumaitha right here.”
Is there a central message or theme that you hope people take away from your social media content?
“I hope more Omani girls and women get inspired to travel to places they think they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. I want to send across the message that just because you are Arab, Muslim and most probably wearing the hijab, it is by no means a constraint for you to discover the world, seek adventure, and find yourself in the process.
“Travel has done a lot or me and I am who I am today because of those experiences of learning new cultures and making new friends along the way.”
What emerging marketing trends in social media industry do you feel will shape the next few years?
“I think with social media and influencer marketing still exploding, most branded content will come from consumers. Brands are increasingly being driven by the ideas of and interactions with their consumers, which make them contributors. But it’s not just about being a casual buyer. It’s about a sense of truly belonging to the brand’s community and playing an active role in shaping its future.
“VR is now real and with this powerful storytelling platform I feel more brands will be embracing these experiences to market their products like cars or a travel experience. I feel I would embrace this in a heartbeat. It makes it easier to communicate to my followers how it feels to bungee jump for instance or climb a mountain.
“For Oman in specific, I would say we will have more creative agencies than before working on connecting brands to people in the arts and culture world to enhance the brand experience and as well utilise influencer marketing.”
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?
“It takes a lot of hard work; social media is perpetual and never remains fixed. I mean sure it is easy nowadays to start a page, buy followers and all but it’s not how you want to get started or ever want to continue building a following.
“Be authentic and patient while curating your content and build your base organically. Research before you start and understand how to target your audience, creating good content and most of all, be innovative and creative.”