The Emirati woman behind the Instagram account @7ram_alshamsi is what you call in today's social media world a “thought leader”.

Thought leaders are people who care about their niche, industry and community and are fiercely passionate enough to invest considerable time and money into becoming experts. They either work in the industry or have real knowledge which they have built up over time. Their social media content is based on what they know and understand; they make it a point to generate quality and authentic content specifically for the purpose of educating others about something they’re passionate about - in @7ram_alshamsi case its motherhood.

When I first met Ma’alia Al Shamsi two years ago she had 2 toddlers and her knowledge of motherhood and baby products was second to none. I knew that she had spent time researching products and that she had separated the products she uses and believes into the ones which she felt she had been brainwashed into buying as a new parent.

As a mother of 3 young children myself, I had gained knowledge of certain products, especially with the brands I had been educated on while managing the PR & Marketing for online family store babysouk.com; for example, I had been trained in the importance of swaddling a new born’s and how it can help reduce SIDS especially using the international brand Aden & Anais.

Similarly, Ma’alia researched and educated herself on many brands, she personally tried and tested and then via social media shared her knowledge to the masses.

Over the course of being socially active, she also educated herself on how to use social media, how to connect and interact with her followers, which in turn has shown that she not only educates them but listens to what they want.

The concept of “thought leadership” is completely different than “influencing” because a lot of influencers out there are willing to partner with brands to increase their followers and profile while ‘thought leaders’ share actual expertise and knowledge.

Ma’alia works closely with supporting brands in order to monitor the ROI - this is tracked efficiently because her followers use a dedicated code when purchasing. Clients who have worked with her know immediately if Ma’alia has posted about their brand as sales start to show within minutes of the post going live.

We spoke to a couple of brands she has worked with:

“I have worked with Ma’alia on collaborations with Youmah.com. The results were phenomenal. Working with Ma’alia is not just an influencer / brand relationship but instead, a rich experience knowing she puts her followers as her main priority and conducts thorough research on every subject that saves other moms precious time that otherwise would be wasted going through the learning process. A very genuine, straightforward, intelligent Emirati mother that’s making a positive change in her arena of expertise" - Founder of Youmah.