In this Q&A, the social media strategist from Wego weighs in on how the travel search engine decides which new and emerging social networks to engage online communities.
Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular social networks in Indonesia but if you’re a social marketer with limited resources, would you choose Instagram or Pinterest to engage your community in the competitive travel industry?
Achmad Alkatiri, Wego’s senior community strategist and social product manager, tells ClickZ why the Singapore-based travel search engine prefers Pinterest to Instagram for Indonesia, including a glimpse into the social behavioral habits of Indonesians.
Excerpts of the Q&A below:
ClickZ: What social networks is Wego on and why?
Achmad Alkatiri: We always choose platforms based on market trends, such as the giant social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. We also have a presence on Pinterest since it’s growing in Indonesia, especially for people that want to find inspiration about holiday or travel destinations. Instagram is a great platform, but technically, it isn’t ready for brands yet.
CZ: How do people in Indonesia use social media?
AA: Indonesians use social media daily as a tool for sharing, collaborating, and communicating, which reflects the old tradition of community ties within the country. Seventy-seven percent of Internet users in Indonesia agree that the Internet helps them connect closely with people that are important to them, mostly using social media. Many of the cheap feature phones sold in Indonesia come with Facebook pre-installed and for many Indonesians, that’s their first online experience. They’re unaware of the online world beyond Facebook. In addition to Facebook, Jakarta was named the number one Twitter City in the world (Source: Semiocast 2012) and second most active Twitter country in a PeerReach study recently.
Indonesians are very keen to leverage everything in the realms of social media, including e-commerce. The ease at which people can now reach out to their friends or family on Facebook and/or Twitter for advice, tips, and make comparisons before any buying decisions has a huge impact on e-commerce platforms. This is why brands need to be proactive because social media is where their potential customers are.
CZ: How should brands engage social media users in Indonesia?
AA: I hope more brands realize that:
1. They need to create a community, not an audience. Creating a community means there are two-way communication. Indonesians are looking for conversation and relationship with their favorite brands, rather than one-way communication.
2. Brands should never take a hard sales approach on social media. It should be used to connect, engage, and build relationships with potential customers. Social media could be used as a tool to improve existing media channels and increase direct site visits, improve click-through rates on search engine marketing, advertising, and increased search optimization visits. Measuring sales through social media in isolation really undervalues the social channel.
Achmad Alkatiri, senior community strategist for Wego.com, will speak on social media strategy at SES Jakarta on March 19.
Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Connect with her @adalinelau or Google+.
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