Finding the right South African influencers for your brand can be quite a challenge – it’s such a big market! To make it easier for you, we have compiled a list of the most popular Instagram and TikTok influencers from South Africa – together with guidelines on how to find them!
Influencer marketing trends in South Africa
The influencer marketing industry in South Africa is growing – especially on video content (TikTok videos, Instagram reels) and micro-influencers. When it comes to industries, fashion and beauty are one of the biggest ones – and surprisingly, there is rapid growth in the telecom industry.¹
As in all the markets with well-developed influencer culture, consumers are becoming more aware of non-authentic paid collaborations on social media. As Nicola Cooper said: consumers are demanding authenticity and honesty.² Therefore, we can probably soon see brands and influencer marketing agencies focusing on creating long-term influencer strategies, and building strong influencer relationships, instead of doing one-off collaborations.
The biggest South African influencers on Instagram
The biggest South African influencer on Instagram is Boitumelo Thulo (@boity) with 5,8M followers. She is an entrepreneur (also listed in “30 under 30” by Forbes), television personality, musician, actress, model, and social media creator. She doesn’t have a personal blog – but she has an amazing Instagram feed, full of lifestyle content and daily inspiration.
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Top Instagram influencers in South Africa
1. Boity Thulo (@boity) with 5,8M followers
2. Refiloe Phoolo (@casspernyovest) with 5,7M followers
3. Natasha Thahane (@natasha_thahane) with 5,2M followers
4. Minnie (@minniedlamini) with 4,8M followers
5. Bonang Matheba (@bonang_m) with 4,8M followers
6. Amanda du-Pont (@amandadupont) with 4,8M followers
7. Zinhle Jiyane (@djzinhle) with 4,7M followers
8. Binna Waal (@nasty_csa) with 3,9M followers
9. Thando Thabooty Thabethe (@thando_thabethe) with 3,7M followers
10. Pearl Modiadie (@pearlmodiadie) with 3,5M followers
Using Promoty’s influencer search tool to find SA-based Instagram creators
Top 10 South African TikTok influencers
1. Wian (@wian) with 16,4M followers
2. Princess Sachiko (@sachi_hime96) with 14,3M followers
3. Dean Schneider (@deanschneider.official) with 9,9M followers
4. Shandor Larenty (@shandorlarenty) with 9,4M followers
5. Bryan Kazaka (@bryankazaka) with 8,8M followers
6. Ryan Lombard (@ryanhdlombard) with 8,8M followers
7. John-Mar van Wyk (@johnmarcvanwyk3) with 8M followers
8. Crystal Greeff-Katsini (@crystal.g.katsini) with 7,1M followers
9. William Last KRM (@williamlast_krm) with 6,5M followers
10. Ksrl Kugelmann (@karl_kugelmann) with 5,8M followers
The most-followed SA influencer on TikTok is @wian
In general, there are two ways to find influencers on social media: searching for influencers manually or using an influencer search tool. Here are some tips for both!
1. Searching on Google and YouTube
One of the most straightforward ways to find influencers is searching on Google – you’ve probably already tried that! You can search for keywords like South African blogger, South African influencer, or South African YouTuber.
If you’re looking for niche influencers, type in keywords related to your industry or niche. For example, if you were looking for South African Beauty influencers, you would find this video as the keyword is located exactly in the headline!
2. Searching on Instagram
There are three ways for finding influencers on Instagram: relevant hashtags, locations, or similar profiles. Let’s go through all of them briefly!
▸ By relevant hashtags
You can find potential influencers using hashtags: make sure to check relevant hashtags like #southafricaninfluencer and #southafricanblogger, and hashtags containing cities – such as #capetownblogger. If you’re looking for niche influencers, try hashtags like #southafricanfashionblogger.
▸ By location 📍
When influencers post on Instagram, most also add the location to get a higher reach. That’s why it’s wise to search for different places in South Africa: you can start with bigger cities like Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Soweto, move on with bars, cafeterias, restaurants, and other places that influencers might go to.
▸ Similar profiles
When you’ve found an Instagram influencer that you’d like to work with, you can check profiles that are similar to theirs: click on the little 🔽 button next to the “Message” button on their profile when on mobile or the little arrow button next to “Follow” when on desktop. This way, you will see a list of similar influencers you might want to work with!
Similar Instagram users to @boity
3. Searching on TikTok
When it comes to manually finding influencers on TikTok, the search process is the same: you can search by hashtags, keywords, and phrases.
When you’re on the phone, you can also set filters for the search. If you’re looking for influencers, select “Users” in the top menu – and use the filters to see profiles with over 10,000 or 100,000 followers. You can also set the profile type to “verified” to see celebrities and international companies. In the desktop version, the filtering options are limited.
4. Using influencer search tools
Searching social media influencers manually is extremely time-consuming: when we started Promoty, it took us over 40 hours to find the first 100 Instagram influencers for our campaign! Thus, we recommend using influencer search tools to save time and get more relevant search results.
Promoty is one of them: our Influencer Discovery makes finding Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube influencers a lot faster and easier. We have a global influencer database that you can filter by influencers’ location, audience location, age and gender; interests, brand affinity, and other criteria.
For example, if you were searching for SA TikTok influencers, it would look like this:
Using Promoty’s influencer search tool to find South African influencers on TikTok
If you’re searching for South Africa-based influencers, you can set the influencer’s location to South Africa (or Cape Town or any other city). If you’re searching for bloggers with a South African audience, you can filter our global database by the influencer’s audience.
Additionally, you can narrow your search by the influencer’s followers, age, interests, and other criteria. For example, if you’re looking for makeup tutorials, men’s style, party themes, or free printables, write that in the Keyword in bio filter. If your brand’s target audience is 25-34 yo women, set the Audience filters accordingly. That helps you to find exactly the right influencers 🤍
For every Instagram and TikTok influencer, you can also see their engagement rate, average likes, audience demographics (age, location, gender), brand affinity, most-used hashtags, followers’ credibility, previous sponsored posts, followers’ growth over time, similar profiles, and much more.
Here’s what the Instagram account report looks like! 👇🏼
@boity’s Instagram report on Promoty’s influencer analytics tool
To sum it up: the best ways to find SA influencers
To sum it up: South Africa is an amazing country with rich pop culture and outstanding social media creators. You can try searching for influencers manually – but using influencer search tools will probably you will save hundreds of hours of work 🙌🏼 Create a free account to try it out!