In contradiction to the thoughts and beliefs of one my esteemed colleagues, Instagram is not “a load of bollocks”. In Thailand, Instagram and Social Media are King, Queen and President.
Instagram currently has 600 million users worldwide and 51% of these users access the app daily. Out of all the social media channels, Instagram achieves by the far the greatest engagement per follower, at 50 interactions per post per 1,000 followers compared with Facebook’s 6. The importance of Instagram was most clearly shown when Facebook bought it in 2012 for 1 Billion US Dollars and it is seen as one of the smartest acquisitions ever in consumer tech.
See also: Tops Tips for Selling Stuff on Instagram
Here are some numbers: Thailand has a population of 67 million, there are 99 million mobile phones, 42 million people use Facebook and 7.8 million use Instagram. These social media figures are constantly on the increase and their influence on brands, influencers and consumers is growing at an even faster rate.
Nowadays, some of the most popular Thai celebrities are born from being “net idols” and they hold a great amount of sway on brands and consumers, charging a minimum of 10,000 Baht per Instagram post (these are the minor minor net idols). The 2 most popular Thai celebrities on Instagram, Aum Patcharapa – 7.8 million followers (@aum_patcharapa) and Araya Alberta Hargate or Chompoo – 7.1 million followers (@chomismaterialgirl) often charge around 500,000 Baht per post.
With the ease of setting up an Instagram shop and using it in tandem with LINE, the number of Thais showing their entrepreneurial spirit is incredible. Many have become highly profitable businesses such as Daily Squad (@dailysquad) and Look Book (@lookbooklookbook), who have even moved from online to high-street shops.
From all of this, we can see the importance of Instagram, especially in Thailand for branding, marketing and revenue purposes. Instagram has an impact on who you like, what you like, what you buy, and how you see brands. There has never been a time where Instagram has mattered more in the lives of Thai people.
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