Instagram grasps for brand advertisers in Thai market

Ms Chawadee says Instagram has become a big part of people's lives.

Instagram, a photo and video sharing social network service owned by Facebook Inc, is making an aggressive push to attract advertisers.

The move aims to leverage business opportunity in Thailand.

"Indonesia and Thailand are the two fasting growing markets in the region in terms of user base for Instagram," said Chawadee Wongphyat, SMB country lead for Facebook Thailand.

"The way people communicate is changing. By putting cameras on phones, images are emerging as a new form of language. We are using images to talk to each other, to communicate what we're doing, what we're thinking and to tell stories. Instagram has become such a big part of people's lives -- helping them connect with people, passions and even products," she said.

While users can get inspiration from Instagram, brands can create engagement and communicate with their fans, turning them into customers, said Ms Chawadee.

She said advertisers or product owners can use several features to promote brands on Instagram such as posts, Instagram stories, sharing casual videos or Instagram TV.

There are an estimated 1 billion Instagram users globally, with half active daily and one-third of views related to businesses. Some 25 million businesses are on Instagram globally, said Ms Chawadee.

Wisesight, a Bangkok-based social media analytics firm, said there are 13 million Instagram users in Thailand, of which 5.1 million are in Bangkok, 590,000 in Chon Buri and 480,000 in Chiang Mai. Thais are most active on Instagram from 7-9pm, with the majority of users teenagers.

Social commerce has strong momentum in Thailand, with Instagram a platform where beauty and fashion content is experienced first-hand in Thailand.

The top three content categories Thais search on Instagram are personal goods, fashion and beauty. The fashion community has embraced Instagram, said Ms Chawadee.

Globally, over 150 million users have conversations on beauty and fashion business every month.

In 2018 Thailand's beauty market grew 7.3% year-on-year, with a total value of 191.8 billion baht, reported Euromonitor International.

Skincare remained the biggest beauty category contribute to the growth of industry. The fashion market had a total value of 16.7 billion baht according to Statista, an online e-commerce research firm.

Fashion and beauty in Thailand are some of the biggest markets in Asean and digital platforms such as Instagram have played important role in stimulating them.

Ms Chawadee suggested brands create "business profile" accounts and use insights from analytics to learn about performance, engagement trends and customer profiles.

Advertising expenditure through digital platforms in Thailand is on the rise, with a total spending of nearly 20 billion baht anticipated this year, a 16% increase from 2018, according to the Digital Advertising Association of Thailand.

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