Standing tall with 200k followers Palak Sindhwani is the latest addition to the popular television show “Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma”. While being a star on screen influencer and celebrity, Palak has managed to truly handle being a star on Instagram. Her engagement rate is 19.61%*, which is quite impressive with the number of following she has. On average her posts get 343 comments and 40,909 likes*. Statistics like these are extremely impressive, even for a television celebrity.
We got a chance to dive in deep and question her regarding her social media presence. We asked her about her process of managing to maintain a deep connection with her audience along with a schedule as crazy as hers.
Let us get into it.
What’s been your digital journey with social media?
Well, I started using Instagram and Facebook two-three years back, I wouldn’t post daily but I would make an effort to post consistently. After I got the show I suddenly had an influx of people and fans on my social media, so I became more active on such platforms for them. It is difficult to meet each fan in person but with my social media presence, specifically Instagram, I try to interact with them as much as I can. I have also recently joined TikTok after being convinced by my friends and my brother to connect with them further.
That seems to be great advice given by them but you have recently garnered 200k followers on Instagram, how did you get there and what do you do to grow that following?
It went from 1000 people following me on a private account, to suddenly 200k people following me. It’s been a wonderful journey. I remember as a child, I used to be really fascinated with celebrities, how they all get attention and fame. I used to stay up to date about a lot of them. I would read their interviews, watch them on tv, and keep yapping to my mother that I would love to be on the other side of fame. She used to laugh at me and leave the conversation hanging. Even I never believed a small-town girl would make it big someday, but here I am, and I know this is just the beginning, I have a long way to go.
Honestly, getting followers wasn’t a task for me, maintaining them is. It takes daily effort and daily interaction with them. I don’t mind it though. It is a lot of fun for me.
With a busy shoot schedule, how do you manage to remain active on social media? Do you actually handle your own Instagram? If so, what applications do you use?
Oh yes, I actually handle all my social media platforms on my own. Well, I try to be as active as I can. Whenever I start my day or I’m on my way to the set, I connect with my audience by posting a boomerang or a picture, wishing them good morning, or good day etc.
Apart from this, I try to
I also review products that I use and share clips of my life that they’ve helped me create.
My favourite apps for photo editing are VSCO and BeautyPlus. I use the Preview app for scheduling my posts, for video editing I use IMovie and my favourite social media platform is Instagram for sure.
How much does social media help you to have a direct connection with your audience?
I would say it’s the only medium where I can easily connect with people who appreciate and love my work. They encourage you to do better, some of them criticise your work too, but at the end of the day, that is encouragement too. It keeps me moving. Instagram has made it so easy with Instagram live, stories, Instagram poll, question stickers, to get the audience involved, seek their advice and opinions on matters.
Most actors get stuck in a role and the public only views them through a certain lens. This can help the actor’s long term
I try to post a side of me which is not out there in the show. Content such as pictures from my family outing, my family member’s birthdays, or me enjoying in a cafe. I try to keep it more personal so they get an idea or insight into my life. I have also posted a couple of makeup looks, weekend looks, enjoying nature, doing Zumba or yoga. These things have always been me, even before the show and in return, my audience enjoys sharing such moments of their own with me. Now I’m planning to post my dance videos as well, so stay tuned for that!
What do you look for in your social media influencer brand deals?
Good brands and good products are my priorities because I don’t want to promote any products that aren’t up to the mark. I am responsible for the things that I share. Secondly, it should be relatable to my personality. Certain products don’t fit my audience so I politely decline them. Saving their time and mine.
What are your thoughts on Instagram taking off likes?
I think it’s a good decision because, with this, people can focus on what they are posting – their content. Rather than being obsessed with how many likes they got on each post. It can be discouraging for newcomers to not get enough likes and there can be subtle bias on how others may perceive your content due to the number of likes. This stops that.
What digital influencer trends are you excited for in 2020?
Well, I am personally excited about the shift in people’s perception of online influencers and content creators. Brands are now understanding the power of influencer marketing and are steadily increasing budgets. It still needs to be picked up in India but we can see a global trend.
We can even see TikTok emerging and several other platforms growing with it. It is always interesting to see the changing scene of the digital marketing world.
What’s the hardest thing you face as an influencer?
To make the content suitable for everyone and to satisfy the brand at the same time.
What advice would you give to new and upcoming influencers to build a connection with their audience?
I would say just be yourself on social media, show who you are and try to not copy anyone else. You can take inspiration from people, jump on trends but try adding a certain element of yourself to it. Your audience wants to see what unique offering you have for them, no matter how small they are. Secondly, try to interact and be active, if you make a promise stick to it.
What kind of content works for your audience?
I would say, normal regular photos of me sitting in a cafe or at my home chilling because as I mentioned earlier they are interested to get insights about my life, first thing that I do when I get up, what I have for lunch, the last thing I do before I go to bed, they prefer content that has my personality in it. Apart from this, BTS from my shoots, a dancing video with my brother or showing my styling gets a lot of response from my audience.
What are your responsibilities as an influencer and as an actor on social media?
Not to mislead or misguide my audience, because some of them (people) really look up to me and expect me to get involved in their life in some way or the other, not to take their love and appreciation for granted, to not be mean to anyone, make them feel special as they make me feel special by supporting me is what I want to do.
Those are some heavy shoulders, as an influencer what according to you, makes you stand out from everyone else?
My originality, I put myself out there as I am, without any filter, sometimes I put pictures without makeup, Sitting in my pyjamas because that’s how I am when I’m not shooting, I’ll put a picture of the dinner cooked by my mother, nothing fancy but authentic. These things along with the efforts I put in terms of the quality of the pictures I share, things I experiment with and reviews that I do are what set me apart.
Truly, we agree. Thank you Palak Sindhwani for your time and insightful answers. We know for sure our audience has a lot to learn from this. If you aren’t already, log on to Instagram and follow @PalakSidhwani now!
*As of the date of publishing this article.