A couple of weeks ago, I received a mail from a group of students from The Singapore Management University about their interest to interview me on social media in Indonesia. Later I found out that they are working on a project to build a wiki-site about “Digital Media in Asia”; and their focus is “Social Media in Indonesia”. To find out more, I interviewed these four brilliant students (Pan Hui Yan, Lam Cai Yu, Trixia Yong, and Mavis Chan) about their project:
1. First of all, tell the readers of SearchCowboys about yourself. Who are you, what do you do and can you describe the project that you are working on? We are a group of final year students majoring in Corporate Communications in Singapore Management University. Currently, we are taking a module named "Digital Media in Asia", learning about digital media strategies and the communication challenges in digital media across Asian countries.
This project is a final project for this module. There are two parts to this project.
First, we have to build a Wiki page on the Digital Media Landscape of an Asian country of choice. For our group, we chose Indonesia because we were surprised to learn that it has the largest Facebook population in the whole of Asia -- this was not an intuitive finding for us. Hence, we thought it would be interesting and rewarding to study Indonesia's digital media landscape.
Second, we have to build a campaign around this wiki to draw readers. We created a video and we plan to start a conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #IndoSocial. We will also be sending out some press releases to bloggers (such as yourself) who are passionate about digital media and hopefully they will help us spread the word :)
2. Can you describe the situation of social media in Indonesia? Where does Indonesia stand compared to other countries in South East Asia? Are there any interesting facts that you found about social media and online marketing in Indonesia? From our research and interviews with other social media experts, it seems that Indonesia has a passionate online community. And with its high and soaring mobile penetration, there is a possibility that its activeness on social media platforms is driven by high mobile usage (e.g. Blackberry). One thing we found interesting is that most Indonesians access the Internet not at home, but at Internet Cafes. This is very different from some Asian countries like Singapore and Japan, which have an established wireless and broadband network. This goes to show Indonesian's passion for the Internet -- they had to find a way to access it and not just lay back and make do with the poor broadband networks at home.
Some of the most exciting statistics include: - 2nd largest FB nation in the world -- more than the total population of Canada - 4th largest Twitter nation -- almost the population of Singapore - Mobile penetration will hit 97.8% by end of 2011
3. What kind of tools do you use to help you do this research? Are there any specific social media or search engines that you used to help you get the data (maybe Indonesian social media or search engines?) ? Honestly we still used Google mostly. We are also following RSS feeds from tech blogs like Mashable, TechCrunch and DailySocial (Indonesian Tech Blog). Some of our information came from our interviews with social media experts. We accessed analyst reports done by research companies like Business Monitor International and TNS. The slideshare report by local company Saling Silang was particularly interesting due to its depth of analysis - http://www.slideshare.net/salingsilang/indonesia-social-media-landscape-saling-silang-report
4. What is the best tip that you can give to Europeans if they are interested in promoting their businesses online in Indonesia? We are not exactly in the working world yet so it is hard for us to give advice to businesses. In our humble opinion, mobile advertising is definitely on the rise, but businesses might need to give it some time, as Indonesians are not very willing to pay for services such as apps etc. But it is definite that many of them are on smartphones, and this number is rising. Also, with the fervent rise of social media entrepreneurship in Indonesia, it might be a good idea for foreign business to tie up with local start-ups, as they might know the market better but lack the necessary resources.