Guest Post: Aaron Syed Jaffery (@aaronjaffery) is Managing Partner of global digital sport consultancy NineteenEightyFour. In this final part of the series, he takes a look at one of the most social media mad countries in the world.
Traditionally, Japan and China have been seen as the powerhouses of the Asian economy. That paradigm is shifting, and Indonesia is set to become the new engine room of Asia.
Indonesia has a 240million strong population covering 17,500 islands, making it the fourth most populous country in the world. And even though only 22% of the nation has internet access at home, it’s already Facebook’s third largest market, and Jakarta was named the world’s number one Twitter city.
Indonesian Facebook users total 49million, and it has the highest proportion of internet users on Twitter than in any other country at 29million. And if that still hasn’t sold Indonesia’s social media market to you, last year an Indonesian film #republictwitter reflected the nations love affair with social media, with one of the characters having said “the people’s voice is Twitter’s voice”.
Advertising on social media in Indonesia tells a very different story to that of the West. The nation came relatively late to the social media party, and as such ad heavy posts are the norm, and Indonesian users are more receptive of overt promotion.
“Buzzer” is a term used in Indonesia for a Twitter user with more than 2,000 followers who is paid to tweet promotional messages. A buzzer doesn’t have a celebrity status to endorse a product, they are simply a regular person with a large social media following.
This method of promotion has let Twitter to take off in Indonesia, enabled by Indonesian users welcoming corporate advertising. However, Twitter’s new promoted ads feature looks to shake up the buzzer world. Using promoted ads, brands can now take specific control over who they target and when, and also have the added bonus of only paying per interaction. And so, whilst a buzzer may add an endorsement aspect to their promotions, it looks like the service of more amateur buzzers can no longer compete.
Local trumps global
Having said this, Indonesian social media users shouldn’t be misunderstood as corporate robots. The most favoured brands on social media have a strong local flavour, exemplified by traditional clothing company ‘Batik Indonesia’ ranking as the number one brand on Facebook. Another of the top brands on Facebook Yamaha, tailors its content to the local Indonesian market by running a ‘fan of the week’ campaign, and posting news related to Indonesian pop culture, such as football and film updates.
On Twitter, health and beauty adviser “BlogDokter” tops Indonesia’s most followed brands, and “detikHealth” another site for health and beauty news, appears in the top five pages. Indonesia’s growing middle class has created a huge market for personal care brands, with the beauty industry generating $1.5bn in sales during 2011.
And just like the other emerging markets featured in this TIMBI series, mobile phone operators and manufacturers have a strong presence in the top social media pages, reflecting the rapidly expanding mobile market. For Indonesia, it is Blackberry, Samsung and XL Axiata who lead the mobile social media pack.
Also, another interesting finding is found in “Beasiswa Indonesia”, a Twitter page used to broadcast news relating to academic scholarships, which is ranked the second most followed Indonesian brand on Twitter.
Indonesia’s overall top Twitter and Facebook pages are unsurprisingly filled with mainstream Indonesian entertainment.
Gaming is a great aspect of Facebook’s app platform, one that brands could intelligently leverage to increase their presence in Indonesia. Online game Texas HoldEm Poker, possesses one of the top spots on Facebook, thanks to Indonesia’s growing online gaming market. The industry is held in such high esteem that Rovio Entertainment chose to launch the infamous “Angry Birds” game in Jakarta.
The global phenomenon that is Harry Potter also features in the top five pages on Facebook, despite the final film “Deathly Hallows” having never been officially released there.
And, Pop singers Agnes Muljoto and Sherina Munaf prove the favourite Indonesian artists on Twitter.
Also a little differently, charismatic motivational speaker, Mario Teguh appears in the top Facebook pages. And an astrology page, Ramalan Indonesia ranks second most followed page on Twitter.
Of the emerging markets studied, Indonesia and Mexico are the only markets to have entirely international top Facebook sport pages. Cristiano Ronaldo has featured in every nation’s top sports pages, and for the last time he is declared as Indonesia’s reigning sports Facebook champion. Indonesian sports fans seem to love Spanish football, with Manchester United being the only non-Spanish existence in the top five sports pages.
However, Twitter reveals the popularity of local sports. Indonesian footballers Bambang Pamungkas, Irfan Bachdim and the national Indonesian football team prove popular. Irfan Bachdim had a particularly successful twitter campaign with drinks brand Pocari Sweat, whereby a lot of his fans retweeted his promotional tweets, giving Pocari Sweat global coverage.
Kartik Murali and Sean GP represent Indonesian cricket and motorsport. And surprisingly, Badminton, by far Indonesia’s most successful sport, doesn’t feature in the top pages.
But, as in Turkey, the social profile of the nation’s sports stars are not strong enough for them to break into the overall top social media pages.
What it’s all about
All in all, Indonesia’s social media is very ad heavy, with users preferring locally branded campaigns. The top brand pages reflect Indonesia’s growing, gaming, beauty and mobile industries. And, football, particularly Spanish, proves popular with Indonesia’s social media sports fans.