Top 5 Digital Marketing Platforms in Indonesia

Every year, new technologies come out, existing technologies get smarter and prospects get savvier and more bombarded with marketing.

This will continue to happen every year at a faster pace. That said, the goal of marketing — and digital marketing, in particular — has always been the same: getting and keeping your audience’s attention. The only changes that will continue occurring are where the attention goes, and that’s what you need to be leveraging.

But where exactly do Indonesian buyers go online? According to Hootsuite’s We Are Social Report for 2018, the most active social media platforms in Indonesia are YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and LINE.

We’ll take a look at how businesses are using each social network to reach out to customers.

1. YouTube

According to a 2017 survey commissioned by market research firm Jakpat, 54 percent of Indonesians use YouTube to watch tutorial video content.

These findings are consistent with Google’s research, which found that in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia, being on YouTube has become a social activity that involves shared interests, such as watching makeup tutorials. Google calls these people who spend more than 10 hours a week on the platform “YouTube Enthusiasts”.

Among local brands, Tokopedia has the largest audience on YouTube, with over 415 million views as of this writing. The company uses YouTube to publish online classes alongside TV commercials and feature stories about notable ecommerce sellers, among others.

Why does this matter? Those same “YouTube Enthusiasts” are also frequent and high ecommerce spenders. If you’re an online retailer, how-to videos about featured products could be the tool that turns a YouTube Enthusiast into a customer.

2. WhatsApp

After the instant messaging service released its official WhatsApp Business app in January last year, we can expect to see more local businesses using the platform to communicate with customers. In addition, with integration into Facebook and Instagram, social media users can easily send inquiries to companies through WhatsApp, allowing marketers to build a list of high-potential leads.

For now, however, the mobile app is available only on Android and in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States, geared towards helping smaller businesses in establishing an official presence on the WhatsApp social network. Still, Indonesian companies are already reaping its rewards. In just a year, we’ve seen brands take advantage of this service, with brand using WhatsApp Business to engage customers and respond to their queries more efficiently, generating inbound traffic to its ecommerce site.

The company did this by using the WhatsApp Business API to engage Indonesian customers at three stages in the customer’s journey Generate awareness by announcing new products and promotions, Make personalized recommendations to customers based on the products they viewed, and Send notifications (e.g. order confirmation, shipping updates) to customers after they place an order. This proves that WhatsApp isn’t just an instant messaging service; when used effectively, it can be a lead generation as well as a customer acquisition and retention tool.

3. Facebook

With more than 130 million active users in 2018, Facebook penetration in Indonesia is growing rapidly, up by 23 percent from the previous year. Brands in the FMCG and ecommerce industries take the lion’s share of Facebook engagement.

Of the platforms on this list, Facebook is unique for seeing the most frequent daily use among Indonesians. The platform also serves as a social marketplace and launchpad for buyers in the country, 40 percent of whom use Facebook to look for product information and recommendations.

The latter is especially important, as 31 percent of Indonesian Facebook users make a purchase decision based on recommendations. These reviews generate even more discussions as consumers use Facebook to share about their shopping experience and purchase.

Insights from Social Bakers reveal that ecommerce brands use Facebook to engage millions of social media followers, keeping them abreast of new products, promotions, and other announcements. If you’re an online retailer, it would be in your best interest to be active on Facebook, engage users, and encourage reviews.

4. Instagram

Instagram is huge in Indonesia. In fact, it’s the fourth leading country in terms of monthly active users (behind the United States, India, and Brazil).

Insights from parent company Facebook also prove Instagram’s influence on shopping behavior, particularly during the holidays, with 86 percent of holiday consumers in Indonesia using the app for shopping ideas.

Instagram Stories has also taken off in the Indonesian market. Among those surveyed in the country, 62 percent use Stories to browse content, while only 38 percent use the regular Instagram feed.

The reason? Indonesians are drawn to Instagram Stories’ authentic and ephemeral nature, which lets them be “real” in their communications with friends and family.


Japanese instant messaging app LINE launched LINE Today, a dedicated news platform for the Indonesian market.

In a country where 90 million people actively use the service – placing it next to Taiwan and Thailand as the app’s top three overseas markets – the move was part of LINE’s strategic effort to cultivate brand loyalty and diversify its services.

As the messaging app sets its sights on becoming Indonesia’s number one smart portal, the company is looking to monetize channels like its Line Business Contact service. Currently, local companies such as Go-Jek and Sale Stock are using the service to communicate with LINE users and offer features such as real-time monitoring of motorbike taxi drivers (for Go-Jek) and AR changing rooms (for Sale Stock).

Businesses looking to enter the Indonesian market need to consider LINE’s popularity and growing engagement rates, and look at ways to integrate the messaging app into their lead generation, customer relationship management, and customer retention strategies. They can also tap into LINE Today as a channel for promoting sponsored content through different online publications.