HT Brunch Cover Story: Ananya Panday’s 60 rules of social media
On a rainy Mumbai morning, 20-year-old Ananya Panday walks into the Bandra restaurant where we plan to shoot with her, head down over her phone. She’s enthusiastic about the story we’re doing, but admits she’s nervous. “Fifty rules of social media!?” she exclaims. “Fifty?”
Ananya may be one film old, but the social media debate on nepotism has not spared her at all. She was bullied online recently when a girl who claimed to be her schoolmate said she had lied about her admission into the University of California. This led to screenshots of conversations, and personal mud-slinging about her relationship with Shah Rukh Khan’s family. Ananya didn’t stay quiet. She put up an Instagram post with pictures of her admission forms, rubbishing all allegations.
“People who troll are people who need love the most. They namelessly, facelessly bully people because they’ve probably never been loved. So it’s even more important to show these people the amount of love you’re capable of,” says Ananya.
She may be listing the rules of social media, but she has a disclaimer: Do whatever you want to with your feed, no matter how silly you may think it is. “People take social media too seriously. It should be something that is fun, something that inspires you, not stresses you out,” she shrugs.
Oh, and those 50 rules? Ananya gave us 60!
Rulebook of Facebook
1. Keep your status updates short.
2. Use moods like ‘feeling emotional’, ‘reading…’ etc.
When writing a bio…
3. Be witty to grab attention. My Insta bio is “serial chiller!”
4. If using a language other than English, make sure the C Translate works!
Gram with the fam
5. For family pictures, throwbacks always work.
6. Recreate some poses from your throwback pictures with your family and do a ‘then and now’. It’s cute!
The selfie trick
7. Keep the camera at an upper angle, looking down at you.
8. Snapchat is better for pictures than the normal camera. The normal camera flips the image and looks bad.
How to screenshot
9. If your screenshot is a conversation with another person, make sure they’re comfortable with you sharing it.
10. Crop out the unnecessary background (your battery bar, your Tinder notification!)
11. There is no such thing as too many memes.
12. Keep the jokes firmly on you.
13. Keep other people’s sensitivities in mind.
14. Don’t worry about over sharing. Post as many stories as you like.
15. Don’t take a screenshot to repost a story you’ve been tagged in, instead choose ‘add to story’. That way, your followers see whose story you’re reposting.
16. To overwrite an already saved Insta story, use the Strong font. Write what you have to, and carefully place it over what you want to conceal.
17. Caption Clearer erases the text from any previously posted picture, and allows you to add a new text to the picture.
18. Be careful when posting your location, especially if your account is public. Kylie Jenner tags the location two hours after she has left it.
The fad of likes
19. Turn your notifications off if you’re obsessive about likes.
Filter, no filter
20. Unfiltered photos always get more attention. Filters are easy to discern.
21. If, like me, you worry about oversharing, post something only once every two or three days.
22. If I have a few pictures of myself in the same outfit or at the same event, I put three of them up in a row. It looks nice, and clean.
23. Bright colours on your Instagram look great, but a muted colour palette is easier to maintain.
24. That said, breaking your palette with a post that may not fit how you usually post is okay. It’s your feed!
The comment pool
25. Turn your comments off once in a while. Julia Roberts does it as well.
26.A comment (a nice one!) is always better than just a like.
27.Be constructive when you are critical in a comment. Tell me I have to work on my dancing and I’ll do something about it, but if you say my legs look like toothpicks, I can’t change that.
28. There are a lot of ways to filter out trolls. I’ve started a campaign called So Positive to make people aware of the many ways to block trolls.
29. Validate your facts when you read. Nothing on social media is the gospel truth.
The perfect stylesheet: How to write on your stories
30. If you’ve nothing nice to say on social media, don’t say anything at all.
31. If you want your text to stand out, use a background on your text and the Strong font.
32. If you want to tag someone but don’t want the tag to be visible, reduce the font to the smallest size and put it in a less-exposed corner of the story.
The power of emoticons
33. Sometimes, emoticons can be enough. Instead of writing, ‘love,’ just put five hearts!
34. Punctuate a long caption with emoticons. It makes it easy to read.
The caption-writing guide
35. If the picture is super serious or dark, write a caption that will lighten the mood or is totally opposite to what the picture says.
36. When using quotes by celebrities, try to avoid the super cliché ones. Find ones that might surprise your followers.
37. I can have a conversation using only GIFs! Type exactly what you want, get exactly what you want, say exactly what you want!
How to take the perfect boomerang
38. Start your action two seconds before the person presses the boomerang button.
39. Keep your action going for a few seconds after the boomerang has ended.
40. Mix two actions instead of doing one thing twice. For example, smile and wink. Or wink and wave. It looks more complete.
The dos and don’ts of videos
41. Use the ‘show preview’ option when you’re posting an IGTV video so that it shows up on your feed as well and more people have access to it.
42. Don’t break your video into 10 seconds and then swipe to another 10 seconds. Just upload an IGTV video that’s whole.
43. The more interesting your video cover is, the more are the chances of people watching it.
44. The placement of the camera is the most important. Place the camera at an angle where it is undisturbed.
45. A makeover or journeys on the road are the kind of timelapses that work best.
How to filter bad vibes
46. Don’t follow anyone you feel like you need to keep up with.
47. Follow people who inspire you. It’s important to keep your home feed filled with sunshine.
48. Turning off your notifications is underrated!
Trolls - it is not about you
49. If someone spills venom, you give love. So if they write ‘you look like crap’, reply with ‘love you too.’
50. Trolls want reactions. Don’t become a bully because they’re bullying you!
If you’re an influencer…
51. If you’re collaborating with a brand, tag it on the picture as well as the caption.
52. Separate the brand tag from your caption by shift entering, or putting in three dots.
53. Don’t promote things you don’t stand by.
54. Unless you have tried a product or an experience yourself, avoid recommending it. If not, that paid partnership option is the safest. Use it.
If you’re a brand…
55. Switch your strategies between the ambassadors you use.
56. Use real-life examples of people using your brand, in action, actually using it. Real- life people, not just celebrities.
57. Show consumer experiences and reviews. It’s easy for people to see what’s curated and what’s authentic!
If you’re a celebrity with the paps!
59. Smile at the paps! Interact with them, because people are constantly taking videos. Just make sure you’re not saying anything wrong.
And for the paps…
60. Interact with the celebrities. People like seeing celebs in action, candid.
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From HT Brunch, August 4, 2019
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