Sri Widowati
    Category: Inspiring Women By : Shintya Felicitas Read : 339 Date : Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 21:16:35

    Ahmad Zamroni For Forbes Indonesia

    Sri Widowati, 51, has a big job as the country director in Indonesia of Facebook. She must manage not only Facebook but also its local operations of Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. The stakes are high for Wido, as she is known. Indonesia is Facebook’s fourth market, according to We Are Social research, and also one of the fastest growing worldwide, according to Facebook data. Facebook in Indonesia has 115 milion active users, and Facebook is one of the most-visited sites by Indonesians. For Instagram, Indonesia is its third largest market in the world (and largest in Asia) with 45 million active users. Indonesia is also the world’s biggest producer of Instastory.

    The social media giant has previously faced feedback that it undervalued the country because, despite being a major user base for the site, had no country director here (it was previously managed from a regional base). The relationship improved significantly when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited Indonesia for the first time in 2014 and opened an office here. Indonesian President Joko Widodo returned the favor by visiting Facebook’s offices in Silicon Valley in 2016. In the same year, Wido was also appointed, becoming the first Indonesian in the job.

    Therefore, she is now in hot seat to handle one of Facebook’s most important markets—what she does here could potentially add or subtract billions from Facebook’s current market capitalization over $500 billion. Yet interestingly the person chosen for this critical assignment doesn’t have a tech background. Instead, she’s an expert in FMCG, with nearly two decades of experience at companies such as Unilever and L’Oreal. “FMCG, especially marketing, is all about the consumer; it’s all about people. And when you think about Facebook, it’s also about people. My experience in FMCG gave me insights into the Indonesian market and the constraint for companies to pivot into digital,” she says.

    One big area of growth is Facebook’s use for advertising and marketing. Wido wants to especially target small and micro enterprises to use Facebook’s platform to become more competitive. Based on Facebook data, she says, now two out of three businesses on Facebook are using its advertising tools and have increased their sales by 80% since using the platform. Meanwhile, 67% of small businesses on Facebook are employing more people because of their growth, thanks to the platform. Facebook’s machine learning can also adjust advertising based on user preferences and history. “We can create the right moment and the right ad that is the most relevant to the user. As a consumer, you feel serendipity when Facebook serves exactly what you need even before you think about it,” explains Wido.

    Another big issue she is trying to address is the use of Facebook for inappropriate content and also fake news. Indonesia has seen social media being used for hate speech, cyber-bullying, terrorist recruitment and fake news. Facebook tries to address the issue by creating community standards to categorize contents. “We have the responsibility to make sure that the experience of the user in the platform is not just pleasant, but also safe. People should have the ability to express their opinion, but they have to do it without offending others or creating negative tension on the platform,” Wido explains.

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