Since its boom in the early 2000s, social media had the Philippines in a tight grip—the country has consistently been touted as the social media capital of the world. According to We Are Social, Filipinos spend an average of over 4 hours on apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
No wonder, then, that social media influencers in the Philippines wield plenty of power over their followers. These days, they’re comparable to celebrities in that their audience looks up to them, be it for their talent, intelligence, lifestyle, creativity, and more.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
Social media influencers curate a persona on online platforms and regularly post aspirational, entertaining, or educational content to keep their followers engaged. They’re typically regarded as experts in their specific niches, and because of this, they can substantially influence—hence the term—their followers’ purchasing habits.
What are the Different Types of Social Media Influencers?
You’ve got bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers, Facebook influencers, Twitch streamers, and more. Lifestyle influencers are probably the most popular of the bunch, followed by other niches such as food and beverage, finance, family, and sports.
Social media influencers can also be classified according to their follower count. Nano influencers have less than 10,000 followers, micro-influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers, macro-influencers with 100,000 to 1 million followers, and top stars with over a million followers.
Who are the Top Social Media Influencers in the Philippines?
Social media marketing platform Hopper’s latest list of highest-earning Instagram influencers around the world features three Filipinos, all from the lifestyle niche. Beauty blogger Michelle Dy, who ranks 269th on the list, reportedly charges US$4,000 (approximately ₱224,000) per post. TV personality Joyce Pring, who comes in at 289th, charges US$2,800 (approximately ₱157,000). Lastly, model Mikaela Martinez, 349th, charges US$1,000 (approximately ₱56,000).
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Social Media Influencer?
Who doesn’t want to become famous? Kidding aside, becoming a social media influencer can come in handy if you want to make money from your hobby.
Even the most financially savvy people know firsthand how difficult it can be to save money these days. Why not take the opportunity to earn extra income from home while pursuing something that gives you purpose and connects you with like-minded people?
The best part is that you won’t have to quit your job to become a social media influencer in the Philippines. You can explore it as a side hustle while still enjoying the stability of a full-time job.
How Do Social Media Influencers Make Money?
A study by Adweek in 2019 reports that 44.2% of respondents trust social media influencers’ recommendations. To tap into these users, brands look for relevant influencers to create sponsored content. Influencers then promote the brand's products or services to their followers for a fee.
Aside from sponsored content, influencers earn from affiliate links. Ever clicked on the links in a YouTuber’s description box or an Instagram influencer’s story? Influencers get a commission every time someone makes a purchase through the affiliate links they post.
Popular influencers also produce merchandise for loyal fans. Create a clothing line like vlogger Wil Dasovich’s Tsong and Tsonggo, or launch items related to your content like beauty YouTuber Anne Clutz’s makeup brushes.
Most social media platforms offer monetization tools as well. For example, YouTubers earn from channel memberships and ads on their videos; Instagram influencers from in-stream video ads and Instagram Badges; Facebook influencers from ads on videos and live streams, subscriptions, and Facebook Stars; and TikTok creators from Video Gifts and Tipping.
How Much Does a Social Media Influencer Earn in the Philippines?
For the most part, an influencer’s rate varies depending on their follower count and engagement rate, plus the scope of the brand’s campaign.
Top stars with millions of followers can rack up as much as or even more than ₱150,000 per post, macro influencers get ₱80,000, and micro-influencers get ₱40,000 or lower. Nano social media influencers in the Philippines earn only up to ₱5,000 per post—but that’s not bad at all if you’re new to the scene, or just influencing on the side anyway.
What Do You Need to Become a Social Media Influencer?
Excited by the idea of earning money on the side as an influencer? Just a caveat: you’d have to shell out money to become one, too.
Prepare to buy equipment such as a DSLR or vlogging camera, stabilizer, lenses, ring lights, a lighting kit, a microphone, a smartphone, and a laptop. If you want to learn more about the platforms you’ll use for earning extra income as an influencer, you can take social media classes. Depending on your niche, you’d also have to occasionally buy products or experiences to build your content around.
That said, be careful not to overdo it and land in debt. Take heed from aspiring Instagram influencer Lissette Calveiro, who in 2016 found herself about ₱500,000 deep in debt after splurging on clothes and travel. Create a budget and stick to it, as you would with your regular expenses.
How to Become a Social Media Influencer in the Philippines
In theory, anyone with a social media account can become an influencer—but it’s definitely harder than it looks. If you’re interested in how to become a social media influencer in the Philippines, read on for a primer.
1. Pin Down Your Niche
Determine what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about. You’ll be making content about it on the regular, so make sure you’re knowledgeable about the topic. Your enthusiasm will shine through and make it easier for you to attract followers.
If you love beauty, film makeup tutorials and skincare reviews. If you’re a financial advisor who wants to share their professional know-how, create easy-to-understand content on insurance and investments. Or are you a foodie? Make plenty of content out of new recipes and food crawls.
2. Choose Your Platform
Consider your target audience as well. If you’re a gamer, for instance, you’ll find your potential audience on popular streaming sites such as Twitch. For aspiring vloggers or gurus, YouTube is your best bet. Those who love taking OOTDs can thrive as Instagram influencers and find fellow fashion lovers on the platform. Or if your content targets an older demographic, consider becoming a Facebook influencer.
If you’re up for a bit of extra work, you can also cross-post content to different platforms.
3. Study Your Chosen Platform
Sorry, you can’t just post content and call it a day! Read up on the nitty-gritty of optimizing your social media page and utilizing algorithm-friendly keywords and tags. This works wonders in helping you find new followers and viewers.
4. Be Consistent
If there’s one thing successful social media influencers in the Philippines have in common, it’s consistency. Build momentum for your page by posting regularly. No one wants to follow an account with sporadic monthly posts, after all, especially if you’re just starting.
To increase your account’s visibility, engage with others as well. Reply to your followers, comment on other influencers’ content, and tag brands in your posts. Try to stay in the loop and participate in any content trends too.
5. Don't be Afraid to Reach Out to Brands First
You don’t have to wait forever for your favorite brands to notice you—you can make the first move! As mentioned above, start by proactively tagging them on social media posts featuring their products and explaining what you love about the brand. You can also browse LinkedIn to look for their PR or marketing contacts. If you can find an e-mail address, send your pitch directly.
Don’t forget to attach a media kit. Include your follower and engagement data, portfolio of previous collaborations if any, and of course, your social media handle and other contact info.
6. Be Patient
Followers and exciting brand deals won’t immediately come knocking right after you’ve started your social media influencer journey. You have to establish your personal brand first, and that can take a while.
To do so, you have to find your own unique specialty in your niche, inject some of your personality into your posts, experiment with new kinds of creative content, and build your network with other influencers as well.
7. Stay Authentic
It can be tempting to take shortcuts when fake followers are right within your wallet’s reach. But be warned: brands can now determine if followers and engagement are bought. Besides, wouldn’t it feel more fulfilling to build your social media empire from the ground up?
These days, social media follower counts come with not just prestige and clout but also the potential to earn money. Prepare to tough it out, because becoming a social media influencer in the Philippines isn’t all about the OOTDs or dance challenges—it takes a lot of grit and determination. Are you up for the challenge?
-  Digital 2022 Global Overview Report (We Are Social, 2022)
-  Influencer marketing shifts gear to home-based verticals, product marketing and Twitter (Campaign Asia, 2021)
-  Richest Instagram influencers: 3 Filipinas among them (Yahoo! News, 2022)
-  Can We Trust Social Media Influencers? (Forbes, 2019)
-  How Much Money Instagram Influencers Make (Business Insider, 2022)
-  P150K per post: Why the BIR wants influencers to pay up (Inquirer, 2021)
-  How Much Do Influencers Charge? (Blogapalooza, 2020)
-  This Woman Ended Up With a P500K Debt Trying to Become an IG Influencer (Female Network, 2018)
-  Social media influencer guide (Adobe Express, 2022)
-  How influencers reach out to brands to get paid collaborations (Business Insider, 2022)