Siargao beach club snaps at ‘self-proclaimed influencers’ who only want things for free

March 29th, 2019

For so many years now, the term “influencer” has been widely used in the industry in reference to people who have a huge following on social media and has an effective audience reach—someone brands or businesses can tap if they want to promote their products and services online. Since one of the perks of being an influential person online is getting freebies or being invited to “cool” places and events, some who claim to be an influencer are appealing to businesses for partnership. While this may seem like any other business proposal for some, a beach club in Siargao snapped at “wannabe influencers” who have been contacting them with offers to “collaborate” in exchange for free food and accommodation.

In a Facebook post, White Banana Beach Club Siargao clapped back after “receiving many messages regarding collaborations with influencers, Instagram influencers.” The beach club was firm in stating that they have no interest in collaborating with “self-proclaimed influencers” and cheekily suggested for these people to “try another way to eat, drink, or sleep for free. Or try to actually work.”

Help out there.We are receiving many messages regarding collaborations with influencers, Instagram influencers.We…

Posted by White Banana Beach Club Siargao on Monday, March 25, 2019

We’ve reached out to White Banana Beach Club Siagao who shared that they have worked with a few influencers and that they support them but the requests they’re getting from other influencers who want “free nights, free drinks and food in specific days for more than one person” were becoming too much. “We have nothing, as stated, against bloggers or influencers. We have worked with some of them and we are glad we did. But you can [easily recognize] an influencer from [a] wannabe [who’s] trying to explore the place or just freeload. And we find it very disrespectful,” the beach club told InqPOP!.

“The dynamic is that you [influencers/freeloaders] come here, and you try to get stuff for free. And to appear cool, you go [to these “cool” places] and you post about it. In this way THEY are taking advantage of [these establishments].”

White Banana Beach Club Siargao, who has been receiving 9.4/10 ratings on most booking sites despite little online presence, clarified the intention of their now viral post.

Good day everyone. Our post went viral. But we want to clarify that we are not against INFLUENCERS.Just against…

Posted by White Banana Beach Club Siargao on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

People online shared the same sentiments against freeloading influencers. Even celebrity and host Bianca Gonzalez shared her two cents on the issue and said that being an influencer “should never be a licence to feel entitled to demand to be given free things.”

The word "influencer" is thrown a lot around these days. All of us, regardless of follower count, have influence with people around us, for sure. But it should never be a license to feel entitled to demand to be given free things.

— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) March 28, 2019

Simple lang.. pag binigyan ka ng free service or free product, magpasalamat. Pero hintayin na sila ang magbigay, 'wag ikaw ang mag-demand na bigyan ka. Kung gusto mo, bayaran please. Lumugar. #influencer

— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) March 28, 2019

By the way, this isn't shade. This is a reminder for all of us who might at times feel entitled to demand because of this new social media "influencer" culture.

— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) March 28, 2019

A certain Lance De Ocampo also triggered online discussions after claiming that “‘social media influencers’, ‘Instagram influencers’ have big contributions to boost Siargao’s tourism. Siargao will not be as appreciated as it is now if not of the so-called influencers’ breathtaking and well-curated Instagram photos.”

🤷🏼‍♀️ pic.twitter.com/O9UjzYqbZg

— Just Sagittarius Things (@scorsaguin) March 28, 2019

A business has every right to deny service to those that go against their principles. People who work here have bills to pay, families to feed, an island to maintain. You cannot advocate responsible traveling if your only concern is "to boost tourism through curated ig posts" pic.twitter.com/tNpAuGHY5r

— Kimono Girl Kir (@KIRiosityy) March 27, 2019

if they're so passionate about "boosting tourism" then why not plan out the trip and just shell out for it like a normal person so it'll be a more authentic exploration experience they "curated" themselves?? but i forgot….authenticity isn't in their vocabulary https://t.co/AtsCXxwK4I

— fiel (@lonerlust) March 28, 2019

People defended that Siargao has always been “loved and appreciated by locals and tourists even before the advent of the so-called influencers or freeloaders.” Siargao Island has long been well-known as the “surfing capital of the Philippines” and Cloud 9, one of the popular surfing waves in Siargao, was even featured in the United States-based Surfer magazine in March 1993 and was named as one of the “Ten Best Surf Trips of All Time” in 1995.

Lance de Ocampo WHO??? Gurl, Siargao has always been loved and appreciated by locals and tourists even before the advent of the so-called influencers / freeloaders. Siargao never needed your bs in the first place. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/IFVx7WcaV0

— 𝐌𝐢𝐬𝐬 𝐊𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐳𝐲 (@krizzy_kalerqui) March 28, 2019

These days, anyone with a huge number of followers on social media can call themselves an online “influencer.” Truth is, even if their huge fanbase on social media may have an impact in promoting products and services online, engagement rate trumps follower count. Brands care more about how responsive an influencer’s audience is to their content. Likes and shares don’t always translate to sales and return on investment for businesses. And online popularity shouldn’t be used as a card for anyone to get a free pass.


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