Global digital firms take SMEs online

Mobile photo-sharing app Instagram has offered to educate Indonesian SME players on how to use its service to the fullest extent.
Mobile photo-sharing app Instagram has offered to educate Indonesian SME players on how to use its service to the fullest extent. PHOTO: ST FILE

Some of the world's leading digital players are taking small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) online to help them do better business, and gain new customers:

Instagram to help Indonesian SMEs with ad campaigns

JAKARTA • Mobile photo- sharing app Instagram has offered to educate SME players on how to use its service to the fullest extent.

Some Indonesian SMEs have been able to create engaging ad campaigns and translate them into foot traffic for their retail stores, said Mr Paul Webster, Instagram's Asia-Pacific brand development head.

And this had potential to grow as fashion, travel and technology posts are the most liked in Indonesia.

"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 visit. Brands that plan around that fact tend to do well in their Instagram ad campaigns," Mr Webster said.

Instagram usage is reportedly seeing 100 per cent year-on-year growth in terms of daily usage in Indonesia, with Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali the cities with the most users.


New Google Thailand head to bring a million SMEs online

BANGKOK • Google Thailand's new head has set a business direction for this year - to bring a million SMEs online.

Mr Ben King, who was appointed country head in January, said that about 250,000-300,000 SMEs had begun doing business online.

The company offers Google My Business, a free and easy-to-use tool to help SMEs and other businesses, brands, artists and organisations manage their presence online, including listings on Google's Search and Maps functions.

SMEs contribute to about 40 per cent of Thailand's gross domestic product.

Thailand is one of 21 markets in the world where smartphone adoption is greater than personal computer adoption. About 31 per cent of Thai smartphone owners shop on their phones, which is remarkably higher than the United States at 10 per cent or Britain at 7 per cent.


Boomer App to help SMEs with digital marketing

JAKARTA • US-based mobile app Boomer Marketing is upbeat about the future success of its service in Indonesia, with nearly 450-500 Indonesian smartphone users signing up to its service every day after the company's launch in October, with most from the SME sector.

The app was designed to help SMEs across the globe, including in Indonesia, interact and net potential customers online. The service includes steps on how to build websites and provides simpler digital communication platforms between the business and the customer.

Boomer chief business officer Srini Valluripalli said Indonesia was the first country outside the US to enjoy the app. He said this was due to Indonesia owning the world's highest number of operating SMEs, numbering at around 52 million.

The company has now made the app available in Bahasa Indonesia.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2016, with the headline 'Global digital firms take SMEs online'. Print Edition | Subscribe