Indonesian SMEs and Social Networking

Indonesia is home to 55 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which have been proven to become the backbone of the Indonesian economy during many crises. Unfortunately, most business players find it difficult in doing promotion and advertisement due to ample of constraint and therefore they are unable to penetrate wider market.

In the meantime,  electronic trade or e-trade has been growing significantly thanks to 88.1 million Indonesian population  becoming active users of  the Internet as of December 2014. Some of the Internet users have also been active users of social networks.

Japan's largest social network, LINE, through its arm in Indonesia, LINE Indonesia, claims to have 30 million active users, while Korean free messaging Kakao Talk and Chinese social app WeChat have 16 million and 17 million active users in Indonesia, respectively.

As part of efforts to help SMEs to reach out their potential customers, some social apps providers have released some services dedicated to SMEs.

LINE, for instance, has launched this February LINE@, a platform featuring 29 business categories, such as retail, media, entertainment, community, conventional businesses. At present, 40 percent LINE@ users came from retail sector, leaving the remaining 30 percent from restaurants and 30 other percent from communities.

Meanwhile, WeChat also introduced official account service which enables brand owners to interact with their customers and would be customers using the platform to promote their new services or products.

Unfortunately, one of technical impediments that hamper the users as well as the SMEs to benefit fully from the apps is limited memory storage in the gadgets available. Many users are unable to install as many as apps they want.

Source: Kompas Daily Image Credit: cio.com.au