Social Media Best Practices For The Philippines 2021


The Hootsuite and WeareSocial report for 2020 was just recently released and there’s a lot of information to take in about how Social Media continues to grow and influence behaviors in the Philippines which social media agencies should keep track of. Here are some headliners:

In spite of the data being limited to headliners though, it can still feel a bit much and leave you wondering: which of these are actionable to me?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.  Here are some best practices to keep in mind when executing your Social Media Strategy for 2021.

Know Your Audience

2020 has put Filipinos online more than ever.  But because that’s where the attention is, you can bet that’s where all businesses and brands are putting their money.  Many businesses are wondering how they can stand out?  But that’s the wrong question.  The question businesses and brands should be asking is “Who are my competitors not talking to?”

Building well-defined personas, then crafting a message that those personas will respond to has never been more important.  If you created a product or a service that creates value, then the first thing you have to understand is “who” you create the greatest value for.  There is no such thing as a product made for everyone – so why should everyone be the target market?

Not all Social Channels are equal.  According to Facebook’s self-service reporting, almost 65% of ad targeting on Instagram is to women, and a mere 35% to men.  So if your target demographic are Filipinas, Instagram is more crowded in terms of brand messages and probably a more niched and targeted channel for men.

Is your product more of an impulse purchase?  Filipino women outperform men in terms of online purchases, with 11.5% of women making a purchase in 30 days compared to only 8.2% of men (based on World Bank Data for Financial Inclusion).  Can you carve out a niche here?

Based on data from WeareSocial & Hootsuite, the most targeted age demographic in the Philippines is the 18 to 24-year-old category.  This age demographic represents less than 18% of the total population in the country but represents almost 32% of all social media ad spending.  From another perspective, only 7.4% of Filipino women and 6.8% of Filipino men in the age category of 35 to 44 are targeted by brands. Personally, I find that puzzling because that’s the age where decision-making and spending power are highest and represent almost 16% of the population.  The women of that age range tend to be moms or the ladies of the house.  Men in that age category will be at the prime of their careers.  Could your brand carve out a niche in this category?

Chances are, your digital audience’s behavior has changed.  Think of the market as an American football game.  You don’t want to tackle the biggest, baddest person on the field.  You don’t want to be where the thick of the action is.  You want to tackle the most open areas in the market so you can gain ground slowly but surely.

Authentic Means Humanized

As a Digital Marketer, I can’t count the number of times I’ve rolled my eyes over what I call “emotionally sterile” and “inauthentic” content. You’ve seen what I mean.  It’s the boosted post showing a computer, or a skyline, or some other still life image.  There’s no pull on the heartstring, there’s nothing that appeals to your audience’s personal aspiration. There’s just the sterile virtue of your product.

I’m the first to acknowledge that the Philippines is a celebrity-driven market.  But there is a time to use a celebrity endorser, and a time not to.  Pinoys love celebrities, but they also know they don’t, on average, look like one.  This is why micro-influencers are more effective at driving audiences to action.  Because there’s authenticity there.  Celebrities are for hero messages – full stop.

In terms of humanizing authenticity, take the brands of Dove and Uber as examples.  They know who their audience is and what they look like.  So when they create marketing material, they humanize their product (or in Uber’s case, service) by placing people who look like your next-door neighbor.

While we’re on the topic of humanizing your content, what do we mean by that?  It’s simple, really.  Don’t show off your product.  Show a person having an experience with your product.  Don’t put up a billboard with an image of a car, show a 20-year-old getting into his first car.  Don’t show the exterior of your condo development, show a young family moving into theirs.  You get the picture.  We don’t emotionally relate to objects.  We relate to people – more specifically, people that we think look, sound, and live like us.

Use the “Lookalike”

It cannot be stressed enough.  Please collect your user data.  If you don’t have a website that can capture user data, you will be forever at the mercy of ad platforms, algorithms changes, or e-commerce partners.

Take the recent spat between Facebook and Apple over the iOS 14.5 update.  Without getting too technical, this isn’t a problem for you if you have captive user data.  If you have a collection of at least 100 users (at least name and e-mail or name and phone number), keeping in mind that 1000 is the recommended volume, you unlock Facebook’s ability to build what’s called a Lookalike audience.

It is precisely what it sounds like.  Facebook takes the user database you have and finds other users with similar behaviors, queries, interests or browsing habits as it makes them more likely to take a similar action as your existing captive audience.  It is such a gold mine.


I usually get asked, “Should we publish our videos on YouTube or Facebook?”  My answer has always been the same:  Is there a reason to not be on both?

Our attitude is the same with Remarketing – an ad distribution strategy where ads for a specific product or service follow users around in either the Google Display Network or in Facebook.  Remarketing is superbly cheap, and like videos, unless there’s a reason to only be on Google, or only on Facebook, why not both?


Facebook has made really great audience gains in 2020.  The Filipino audience is social.  Nay, VERY social – and rule #1 for marketing is you have to be where the audience is.

Get past the Boosting.  You’re doing it.  Your competitors are doing it.  Everyone’s doing it.  It doesn’t carve out a unique niche for your brand.

Learn some new tricks on Facebook such as audience optimization, and lookalike campaigns.  And don’t be afraid to experiment (A/B Test) with your humanized content.

If you need help getting started, talk to us!

Similar Posts