How to maintain your brand as an influencer


She lost some lucrative endorsements because of her ill-considered Instagram post about the Israel-Palestine conflict that earned her huge flack. Sashi held a press conference to unpack her intentions on how she plans on making amends to the damage done to her brand. 

See her apology below:

It is with great humility that I step forward and not only accept, but again, sincerely and deeply apologise to all that I offended and hurt for my post in regard to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and my lack of understanding in my initial apology to the Muslim community. This should of been to the Palestinian people in the first instance, and broader society as a whole. I apologise unconditionally, but I would also like to this opportunity to explain what happened with regard to my recent Instagram posts. I posted a picture with a DJ recently in Ibiza and the post attracted commentary from another Instagram user because he had played in Israel. In what I believed was defense of him, I reached out to a friend to help articulate a response and offer a secondary point of view, as to be honest, I didn’t know much about the situation (although it sure must have looked otherwise). I stupidly copied and pasted the response verbatim in a feeble attempt to appear smart on social media without reading it comprehensibly (I know), thereby entering an issue of world importance, I had no real fundamental understanding of - my biggest mistake. There is no spin. This is the truth. I expressed his worldview as my own, and for that I will forever live with the consequences. I agree with the commentary that it not only highlighted my ignorance on the issue and the way it was handled, but also made me seem uncaring and indifferent to the suffering of any human on this planet. I in no way wish to make excuses or expect people to forgive me at this time. I messed up. I know that, and I take full accountability. All that I hope to achieve is  to convey that I am sincerely sorry, and in a way thank every one who called me out, as I have learnt from this. No matter what ones beliefs are, there is always room for empathy and compassion. The last couple of days have shown me that there is a larger education that I need to undertake on issues facing humanity. I have read the commentary and will further not only educate, but re-educate myself . Words will never be enough to express how truly sorry I am. It will be in my actions going forward that I do better.

A post shared by Shashi Naidoo (@shashinaidoo) on

Influencer Relations Manager Phindile Shabangu gives tips on how influencers can maintain a good reputation, while staying on the right side of the public and the law.

Create your own social media policy

If social media is your business, and a means of earning income, then you need to take every precaution to protect that income and your reputation. A good way to address this is to develop your own social media policy, just like companies do. Write down what you must steer clear of, such as religion or politics. Remind yourself of what you want to communicate and be associated with. Think of this policy as a personal bible, of sorts.  

Think, and recheck before posting 

This guideline might sound obvious, but if everyone really did follow it, then social media scandals would be non-existent! Read your post at least twice before you click on ‘tweet’ or ‘share’, especially if the post refers to one of the brands you want to promote. Check each post against your personal social media policy. It’s also a great idea to get final ‘signoff’ from a trusted friend on each of your posts.

A second eye not only helps you pick up careless errors, but also gives you an objective perspective on what you’ve written. Also, unless your primary purpose as an influencer is to continually court controversy, think twice before posting something that could be offensive, especially if it is in the heat of the moment. Social media is a breeding ground for kneejerk reactions and heightened emotions, making it the ideal platform for ruined reputations. 

Stay true to what you stand for 

The primary reason for influencer marketing being so popular is that, what influencers post, really resonates with their fans. Your followers may value your take on fashion trends, or love your tongue-in-cheek cooking videos, or relate to your posts on life as a 20-something in Cape Town. Remember, then, that authenticity is key. The content you post and share should reflect who you really are, so don’t support products or people that don’t resonate with you.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24