Social Media in Indonesia: Unlocking Indonesia’s Potential

Indonesia has firmly established its status as one of the world’s most active social media nations. The country is ranked globally as the fourth-largest market for Facebook and the fifth largest for Twitter, while the capital Jakarta is the second largest Facebook city in the world.

However, a study led by global law firm Baker & McKenzie suggests companies in Southeast Asia remain nervous about social media. Fewer that 20% of the 68 companies surveyed in the region have an interactive media strategy, and less than 5% have a “coherent internal and social networking programme”.

Why is this? The report suggests a number of factors such as an uncertain regulatory environment, lack of common laws across jurisdictions, and concerns around data protection, data sovereignty and intellectual property rights.

What this means is that while the potential is there, strategies to cash in are still at a nascent stage. For a country such as Indonesia, where the craze for social media is ever growing, knowing how to navigate the complex world of social media effectively and manage the risks can give companies a competitive edge, while sticking with the old method simply means they will be left behind.

It is estimated that 95.7% of Indonesian netizens use social media. But many of these are users with the tendency to post irrelevant comments or biased comparisons. As such, companies in Indonesia have a lower level of trust when it comes to engaging online, fearing a possible threat to their reputation.

Creating an online following in Indonesia rests on how engaging the communication exchanges are between a brand and its consumers. Indonesian netizens demand two-way communications – a conversation that can make them feel heard and understood. By developing an engagement strategy, companies are encouraging reliability and trust among their followers. As a result, if and when a social media crisis occurs, they are already in a strong position to manage the crisis effectively.

While regulatory concerns are undoubtedly important, learning how to implement and manage a social media communication exchange should be a key priority for any company contemplating a social media presence in the country, and will give them a firm advantage over their competitors.