Southeast Asia is the fastest growing region for Internet, digital, social media and mobile activity. There are more than 340 million Internet users in the region, which is experiencing double-digit growth in most segments and most countries of the region.

With such potential and growth expected in the region, should your business have a social media presence? If so, which platforms are best to engage your audience.

We’ve broken this into two parts, and in part 1, we will focus on Facebook and Instagram, to highlight the relevance of the platform, as well as share how brands can use the platforms.

Social Media option 1: Facebook

social media: facebook

Most brands have a Facebook account by default. It’s not a mistake or a misguided effort, Facebook reaches more people than other platforms. There are over 106 million Facebook users in Indonesia alone, with more expected to join the social network in the coming years. Our growing use of mobile devices and low cost of smartphones has spurred growth in the last few years. Other notable markets in the region include The Philippines (60 million) with Vietnam and Thailand tied at 46 million.

But, the question often missed out on, is whether this is the most effective way to engage your customers or generate leads?

We’ll put you out of your misery. Yes, it is. For most brands at least.

Brands have to decide what their goal is for the platform and work towards that. Most B2B brands use Facebook as a branding and education tool, around topics or industries relevant to their customers. So rather than talking about their brand and products too much, they create topics around their industry, which affects their customers or end-users.

Consumer brands have a more diverse use of Facebook as a branding tool or even lead generation if it comes to downloading their app or signing up for a low-cost online service. It is an affordable access point to millions of people. Their ability to utilise every aspect of your Facebook presence, from the call-to-action button on your page, to the messenger chatbot has enabled brands to maximise their dollar on the platform.

It depends on whether or not you’re willing to invest time, effort, and budget on the platform.

Case study note: 60% of our views on Tech Collective come from Facebook through targeted ads. We keep our cost low by identifying our core audience and focusing all our budget on reaching them with minimal waste. 

Social Media option 2: Instagram

social media: instagram

Instagram has blown up in Southeast Asia. Global numbers have exceeded 700 million, and Southeast Asia is at the forefront of that growth. In fact, Indonesia is now the largest market for Instagram in the Asia Pacific region.

Where it has really made an impact is how brands spend their advertising dollars. From ads on your feed to sponsored posts, Instagram has taken over the millennial-focused advertising market, because people don’t really know who millennials really are anymore. Look at the recent government campaign in Singapore to explain the upcoming budget to everyone below the age of 30.

At Tech Collective, our team has experience helping brands develop their social strategy. However, in the B2B industry, there is limited success partly due to the audience on the platform, and mostly due to poor execution by most brands. For consumer brands though, Instagram is a no-brainer and should be a tool to engage, excite and convert your audience into brand advocates. Focus on quality and the audience will come.

These brands are killing it on Instagram, and within a few seconds, you can why.

A common tip to improve your Instagram is to focus on quality over quantity. Regardless of how you hashtag or promote your page, engagement depends on the quality of the images that you share and the relevance to your audience.

We’ll continue with an analysis of Twitter and YouTube in another post.

For more articles about the region’s startup and tech news, visit Voices or Tech for Business.