Asia is now leading the user base, emerging as the big kahuna of the social media world. The continent was often a part of brand debate on whether or not the investment on social spends would do justice to ROI. With 52.2% of the world’s population on Facebook and Twitter residing in Asia, there is certainly a dead end to this debate.

Indonesia has risen to be the most socially involved country in the continent, 96% of users are on Facebook and 84% on Twitter. Jakarta has infact been named the social media capital of the world. Leighton Cosseboom, Senior Editor, Tech in Asia says, “This can be attributed I think naturally, it’s just a really social culture, and people are always chatting.”

Alike Modi who led India’s social media elections, Indonesia’s was ran by Jokowi. Indonesia has infact jumped from 38 million Internet users in 2012 to 72 million users in 2015. That is a sharp 52% increase in 3 years.

Apart from Facebook and Twitter, other platforms are equally well accepted. Cosseboom says, “Instagram is growing wildly in popularity. Path has gained some traction in Indonesia over all of its other markets. However, Dave Morin just sold most of the company to Korea’s Daum Kakao. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Another very interesting insight is that 62% of the users [s] are mobile users. This could be attributed to the fact that Indonesia has the cheapest data plan. This means there is a huge potential for brands to enter Indonesia and tap the social-mobile ecosystem there. Cosseboom says, “While less than 30 percent of the 250 million population has broadband connection, everyone has at least one mobile phone, sometimes two.”

He added, “Just speculation, but it could also be the traffic in Jakarta. When you’re waiting for hours in the city with the world’s worst stop-go traffic, people don’t have anything else to do but chat with their friends and browse social media.

Mobile is no more a luxury gadget, it has become a part of the daily lives of Indonesians. There is a huge potential for mobile payment based services in this country. In the near future, I expect a colossal growth of m-commerce market, paving the way for social-mobile ecosystem to co-exist.

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In this social-mobile ecosystem, brands need to begin investing. Unfortunately brands are intimidated. Cosseboom says, “The Indonesian market is very complex, and in order to execute properly here you have to have boots on the ground. From a company perspective, social media brands are looking to acquire users in Indonesia, plain and simple. But actually, turning that desire into a winning strategy is another can of worms entirely.”

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OLX Indonesia, Yamaha Motor Indonesia and Blackberry are among the top pages on Facebook. An interesting takeaway is that the nature of social media (both on Facebook and Twitter) in Indonesia is very local. All these pages publish in English transcript but in Indonesian language, which is rather interesting. Even though pages like Starbucks Indonesia publish content in English, most of the comments and replies that follow are in local language.

Our neighboring countries share the passion for selfies. It is called the “Nassis-stick” because it’s all about oneself.

There is high potential in blogging and influencer marketing campaigns, leaving scope for brands to nurture these trends.

Among the many adored campaigns, LINE presented a video + message driven campaign, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta – “What’s with love?” in local language. Cosseboom claimed in his reported story, “The 2002 romantic drama stars local celebrities Dian Sastro, Nicholas Saputra, and Titi Kamal, three now-widely recognized actors in the archipelago. The film was important to Indonesia’s cinema scene, becoming widely-known as a movie that sparked the now-successful “teen” genre in Indonesia.”

Social media marketing might not have reached its full bloom potential in Indonesia. In our upcoming series on Indonesia, we will navigate social media crossroads for marketers finding it difficult to innovate.

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