JAKARTA: Indonesia is one of the most social media-connected countries in the world and Instagram is seeking to encourage SMEs there to make greater use of the platform.

Speaking at an event reported by the Jakarta Post, Paul Webster, Asia Pacific brand development head, explained that the brand wanted to educate small and medium-sized enterprises on how they can stay relevant to their customers and provide relevant advertising solutions.

"There's a big fashion and art culture in Indonesia, and [Indonesians] also love to travel: sharing posts of places they have been to or want to go," he noted. "Brands that plan around that fact tend to do well in their Instagram ad campaigns."

He added that he had seen some engaging campaigns from smaller Indonesian companies that had successfully translated into web conversion and store footfall.

And measuring goals is vital in a country where users tend to have high expectations of what appears on their social media feeds, especially from businesses.

"I think people and brands are learning all the time," said Webster. "We don't want people to think that the creative benchmark is too high, but we do want to see what brands can achieve in the next level, and we are able to help them with that."

From FMCG giant Unilever to footwear start-up Brodo, businesses are finding social media platforms an important way of reaching Indonesian consumers.

Writing for Warc, Kunal Sinha, Associate Fellow at the Asian Consumer Insight Institute, observed that, for the country's entrepreneurs, social networks were an inexpensive platform to build their brands and do business.

Brodo, for example, had wanted to use its Facebook Page only to increase brand awareness, but it found that, even though it distributed and sold most of its products offline, it had a higher return on investment from website sales.

The decision to use its Facebook Page as a tool to drive online purchases – posting high-quality photos of latest products with links to the company's website – resulted in 85% of store visitors coming through the platform.

As a result it achieved its sales goal of selling 2000 pairs of shoes every month – with 90% of those coming through Facebook.

Data sourced from Jakarta Post; additional content by Warc staff