MOF employs social media influencers to promote Budget 2018

Tracy, Josephine T., Chelsea Teng, Royce Lee IG

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has paid more than fifty social media “influencers” to generate interest in the Budget and to obtain feedback. This endeavor was done in order to reach the younger generation of Singaporeans. The compensation each influencer has been paid remains undisclosed.

Since December, more than thirty Instagram posts have been put up by numerous young people who have a strong social media following. In these posts, influencers have asked their followers to check out the Budget website to keep themselves informed.

Influencers are also encouraging followers to provide feedback on the Budget with government feedback unit Reach and at specific locations or via “listening posts” all throughout the month of January, before Budget 2018, which is scheduled for February 19 this year.

The posts, which are labeled as sponsored by Instagram, has the potential to reach thousands of followers that these social media influencers attract. Their Budget-related posts have presented how the Budget affects their daily lives or they feature photos of them at the listening posts.

The MOF campaign hopes to reach 225,000 Instagram users. A spokeswoman for the MOF has said that it is using “a mix of communications channels and platforms” for awareness and feedback, since many from the younger generation get their information on the internet. However, they have not explained how they’ll keep track of the results of the campaign.

This is the second year in a row that the MOF has employed social media influencers to promote the Budget, but this year they have scaled it up, partnering with StarNgage – a marketing company with whom they joined forces earlier this year on posts concerning the GST U-Save rebates.

Terrence Ngu, StarNgage Community Officer, explained that the fifty social media influencers on the MOF Budget campaign will be sharing a post about the Budget on Instagram, and include links to the campaign on their profiles.

According to StarNgage’s website, a person who has at least 1,000 followers is considered to be a preferred influencer. Mr. Ngu has said that the campaign’s success will be measured on how much awareness about the Budget was raised, based on how many followers influencers have, as well as the comments and likes on their posts.

Thus far, while the posts have been liked in the hundreds, comments have been few, at usually less than twenty, making it uncertain whether awareness is being raised or not.

These influencers, all of whom are young and attractive, have not disclosed how much they were paid either. They are positive that they are reaching young Singaporeans with their posts about the Budget, especially since, as Shanel Lim, says “nowadays not everyone reads the newspapers or watches the news on TV or online.” Ms. Lim, 26, has more than 11,000 followers and is a stay-at-home mom.

Another influencer, Royce Lee, is also 26 and an emcee for events. He has more than 10,000 followers and is confident that, based on feedback from his friends, they’ve seen his post on Budget 2018.

The head of of the communications program at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, Dr. Brian Lee, agrees that the campaign is an effective tool for raising awareness among young people, but cautioned that social media has its limitations when it comes to changing behavior or attitudes.

While the social media influencers followers have been enthusiastic about their posts, other netizens are not keen on the MOF’s Budget 2018 campaign, casting doubt on the effectiveness of the influencers’ reach:

Some netizens said they did not know any of the influencers at all:

Still others took issue with the fact that public funds were used fund such a campaign:


    • there is something wrong with society when everyone aspires to do nothing much but get rich. i always think we should peddle the products that we believe in. do the “influencers” believe in budget 2018? Singapore has become a society of rent-seekers. Everybody only wants to collect money while shaking legs. We have learnt alot from international banksters.

  1. Ask them, most of the jobs available are low paying jobs. Cost of living is high. Yet they want to increase gst. How to buy their extensive ( supposed to be subsidised) house and pay until retirement, save money for medisave and keep enough for retirement ? Still yet to factor cost of bringing up kids. This govt is selling koyo.

  2. Singaporeans are not idiots! How to influence truly made in Singapore citizens? They post “Fake News!” prescribed by their employers!
    Will Pritam Singh please check on them and bring this matter to the “Fake News Comittee ”
    Water increase 30%, electricity increase, Chung Hwa Hospital increase the TCM herbs from $5 a packet a day, to $10 a packet a day!
    Where is our Swiss standard of living without universal basic income for the unemployed born in Singapore citizens???
    Today, I saw a Chinese senior citizen lying on the floor in front of the shop near Jalan Berseh food centre, many senior citizens have no shelter, yet our ministers pass the whip to increase GST, water bill, medical bill and making the poor becoming homeless, sleeping on roadside!!!
    ❤Where is their conscience???
    Although retirement age raise to 67 but human resource personnel will not shortlist candidate above 55 years old!!! Those unemployed senior citizens will eventually become homeless!!!
    On General Elections Day, Singaporeans must ask ourselves : Is Singapore truly our home when many oldies are homeless???