Filipinos are all new media influencers

While print is undoubtedly one of the biggest media markets in the Philippines, along with radio broadcasting, social media has quickly climbed the ranks, leading to the Philippines being known as one of the most engaged and connected countries in the world.

It is therefore obvious that social media needs to be monitored and integrated into PR strategies for any local or international business. The ability to listen in to conversations, join the discussions and connect with consumers on the platforms they use the most is invaluable, and could increase the reach and lifespan of your marketing campaigns.

The influence of social media in the Philippines

This thought comes from the Philippines Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. Speaking at Media Congress 2015, led by the Media Specialists Association of the Philippines (MSAP), he expressed the belief that social media users are driving his departments campaigns.

"The media business has become the house." -DOT Sec. Ramon Jimenez Jr. pic.twitter.com/iEs8mR9KJH

— MSAP Media Congress (@MSAP2015) April 13, 2015

"Fundamentally, whether you are part of the pandemic known as the selfie, or Instagram, or tweets, you realise that we have entered a new era in media," he said on April 13, as reported by CNN Philippines.

Mr Jimenez used his department's "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign as an example of the power of social media. The Department of Tourism (DOT) originally had four versions of the slogan, but the public has taken the phrase and ensured the chosen adage above has since branched into at least 170,000 different iterations.

"Because we launched it on social media, because we left it to the crowd, the Filipino became the fan of his own country. And the biggest insight, therefore, in the new media is that the public is the source of the message," Mr Jimenez explained.

"With social media, the public decides when they will stop talking about something," he added.

The goal of the Media Congress

This year, the MSAP conference followed the theme of 'Confluence', which means "the coming together or gathering of two bodies at one point."

For many speakers, this focused on the adoption of digital platforms among Filipino media consumers. As Mr Jimenez explained, the use of social media is driving marketing campaigns and influencing the power of branded posts.

This is particularly prominent in the Philippines, with 44 million Filipino people having access to the internet in their home, according to Filipino media expert Tonyo Cruz, as published by the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2015. Of these connected individuals, 40 million are active users of social media.

The closing address at the Media Congress came from Stuart Jamieson, managing director at Nielsen Philippines. He spoke on knowing the Filipino consumer, and had some interesting insights, according to the tweets from the official event Twitter account:

Jamieson: Social media is still no. 1 in the Philippines with 97-percent, as online access continue to grow. #MSAP2015 #whatisconfluence

— MSAP Media Congress (@MSAP2015) April 14, 2015

As this shows, the Philippines is an important market for digital media strategies, and this needs to be part of your brand's considerations when addressing marketing in the region.

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