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② Social Media Penetration in Indonesia [Research]

12.November.2020

Welcome to article 2/2 focused on social media penetration in Indonesia. This article highlights the importance for brands to understand how Indonesians use and rely on social media platforms. In addition, we’ll also explore the popular Indonesian social platforms. In a market where there are lots of local players, it’s important to remind yourselves to take a step back and remember what is core to the success of your campaign – your audience and what makes them tick. A brand will only succeed with a strong understanding of the market and its audiences.

To elevate our knowledge and conduct better campaigns for our clients, Digital Business Lab decided to partner with Dr. Crystal Abidin (PhD in Anthropology & Sociology, and Media Studies) and conduct deep research in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Dr. Crystal Abidin specializes in influencer cultures, online visibility, and social media pop culture, especially in the Asia Pacific region.

For this series about Indonesia, we will dig deeper into a country that is known for its beautiful beaches, islands, and temples. A place that offers some of the most flavorful food full of spices, and the 4th most populated country in the world. It has a rich history and culture, and Indonesia has increasingly become more open, creative and is at the forefront of emerging practices of online commerce.

Social Media User Penetration in Indonesia

  • The internet penetration rate is over 88%, and YouTube (88%) was the most used social network, followed by WhatsApp (84%), Facebook (82%), Instagram (79%), and Twitter (56%). Newer platforms like Pinterest (34%), Snapchat (28%), and TikTok (25%) are also registering significant penetration rates (Müller 2020).

💡  Takeaway: The Indonesian social media landscape is unique and brands should take note of how to leverage different platforms when running campaigns. For example, platforms like YouTube and Facebook will be useful to achieve a high reach, whilst platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest are still growing in the market. 

Full Digital 2020 Report for Indonesia

Indonesia Social Media Platform Use

  •  In the early 2010s, Indonesia was dubbed the “Twitter Nation” for being “the most Twitter-addicted nation” (Comscore 2010, Sidner 2010).

💡  Takeaway: With Indonesia being the most Twitter-addicted nation, marketers should be aware of the influence this platform can have on various brand messages. In short, even though it may not have the highest social media user penetration, Twitter will continue to grow in Indonesia. 

Rexona utilized this popular social media platform and was able to reach a total of 720,000 people and had an average engagement rate of 5.2% within a short time period.

  • Despite the popularity of Twitter, Facebook was most used for social media activism and social movements, with users reporting that they “joined causes” after seeing Facebook friends post announcements on their walls (Lim 2013).

💡  Takeaway:  Understanding how  social media platforms are utilized in Indonesia is important when evaluating the success of a campaign. Social movements often contain sensitive and specific information that is only useful if posted on relevant channels. Facebook can be leveraged in this instance if and when brands have an important social message to convey. 

  • Mobile devices have replaced desktop computers for e-commerce, however, laptops are still important. Most Indonesians will own four to six devices depending on their online consumption habits and payment preferences (Boellstorff 2013).

💡  Takeaway: It is important for marketers to understand the formats of ads that they set up on various social media platforms – i.e. making their ad campaigns easily readable on mobile devices is important to the target audience in Indonesia. 

Full Digital 2020 Report for Indonesia

  • For many internet users in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Facebook is equated with the internet (Massola 2018). 11% of Indonesians surveyed who indicated that they were Facebook users also indicated that they “did not use the internet”, as there was little to no awareness of internet ecologies and literacies outside of the social media platform, which is used for the default for most online activity (Mirani 2015).

💡  Takeaway: It’s important to understand how the Indonesian population use and rely on social media platforms. Indonesians use social platforms such as Facebook to find products/ services and information. This is different to Western countries where search engines such as Google are popular. This shows that brands should not rely too heavily on paid campaigns on search engines e.g. Google, but should look to invest more heavily in paid campaigns on social platforms.

  • Mobile payments are a fixture in Indonesian society, having emerged with the confluence of trends including smartphones use, social network site use, and purchasing and selling online (Boellstorff 2013).

💡  Takeaway:  Indonesians commonly use mobile phones more than other devices. Marketing campaigns that engage in mobile marketing techniques such as email and message marketing will be successful in this market. 

Full Digital 2020 Report for Indonesia

Explore article 1 of this series:

Explore our other Market Research in Asia:

Interested to learn more about Indonesia?
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