The Utilization of Instagram as a Marketing Strategy for SME in Indonesia (A Case Study on @khimar.yumnaa)

Review Article

Austin J Bus Adm Manage. 2023; 7(2): 1060.

The Utilization of Instagram as a Marketing Strategy for SME in Indonesia (A Case Study on @khimar.yumnaa)

Putri AA; Kywe ChK; Temiralieva M; Jabrayilzade T; Tick A*

Keleti Károly Faculty of Business and Management, Óbuda University, Hungary

*Corresponding author: Tick A Keleti Károly Faculty of Business and Management, Óbuda University, 17 Tavaszmező str., Budapest, Hungary. Tel: 1084; +36 1 666 5261 Email: [email protected]

Received: July 14, 2023 Accepted: August 09, 2023 Published: August 16, 2023


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are becoming more popular in Indonesia, especially after the pandemic. The government also encourages people to establish their own businesses as it has a good impact on the nation’s economy. @khimar.yumnaa, is one of the Indonesian SMEs established in 2017. Unlike other SMEs which usually failed 1-2 years after it was first established, @khimar.yumnaa is able to sustain their business for more than 5 years. Instagram is now becoming one of the most popular tools for SME marketing, and @khimar.yumnaa is also utilizing Instagram as its main marketing platform. Therefore, this research aims to describe the marketing strategy of @khimar.yumnaa and its effectiveness towards their business by doing an analysis on the Instagram features by @khimar.yumnaa. This research is implementing a qualitative study by doing four semi-structured interviews that were conducted with the owner and also 3 customers of @khimar.yumnaa. The outcomes show that optimally using the Instagram features, building interaction with customers, and having good content planning are the main drivers for the success of @khimar.yumnaa Instagram marketing strategy.

Keywords: SME; Instagram; Marketing strategy; Social media marketing


The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector in Indonesia currently has a major and crucial contribution towards the nation's economic growth. According to the latest press release published by the Coordinating Ministry For Economic Affairs of The Republic of Indonesia, as of 2022, the SME sector contributes up to 60.5% towards the national GDP, and it also has a contribution of 96.9% towards the total national employment absorption [1].

Based on this fact, SMEs are believed to be able to not only reduce the unemployment rate but also to strengthen Indonesia’s economy in the present time and also in the future. That is why right now, the government of Indonesia is showing and providing full support to SME owners through empowerment programs such as training. SMEs have also recently become very popular in Indonesia, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic hit and many workers were getting laid off from their companies. In the midst of this precarious situation, they had to find a solution to be able to continue their lives, therefore during the Covid-19 period many SMEs had sprung up, especially among the younger generation. Based on the most recent data, currently, there are around 9 million SMEs in Indonesia as of 2022 [2].

Despite the fact that currently the SME sector is growing rapidly and has a major contribution towards the nation’s economy, it does not cover up the fact that the SME sector is also facing several challenges. The main problems include lack of knowledge in managing financial activities and also a lack of knowledge in marketing, which unfortunately leads most of the SMEs in Indonesia to go bankrupt within only less than 2 years of operating [3].

In this competitive era, not only do business owners need to have a good product, but they also need to have a good marketing strategy to keep growing and due to the digitalization, at present a lot of SMEs in Indonesia are using digital media such as social media platforms to market their products. This is supported by the fact that the internet and the technology in this digital era has grown rapidly, and many people are starting to spend more time online [4]. Therefore, it would be more financially efficient for a business to market their product through online platforms. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms nowadays. It exists as an embodiment of technological advances. Its use has developed from being just a platform for virtual social networking through photo and video sharing, into a marketing platform as well [5]. Through Instagram, SME owners are able to share photos and videos through their accounts, and are able to interact with customers through some other features provided by Instagram, such as direct message and Instagram stories. In other words, Instagram is one of the best solutions for marketing, especially for small businesses.

Even though Instagram has many advantages and many features that can be used for marketing purposes, using it without implementing a good strategy will be useless. It is important for a business to understand a good marketing strategy in order for them to be able to fully optimize the use of Instagram platform and also the features that they offer. Even though many SMEs are now starting to use Instagram as part of their marketing strategy, which is good because they are following the market trend and using a financially-efficient method to market their product, many still really need to learn on how to do it properly to be able to succeed and avoid failure in the first year.

The current situation that has been mentioned above has raised urgency in a study on how to do a proper marketing strategy on Instagram for SMEs in Indonesia. Based on this, the researchers decided to do a study on one of the SMEs in Indonesia that has successfully sustained their business for more than 2 years and is using the Instagram platform as their main marketing strategy. @khimar.yumnaa is an online-based Indonesian SME that has been established since 2017. They sell various types of hijab for Muslim women ranging from the age of 20 up to 55. Unlike most other SMEs in Indonesia that usually use both social media platforms like Instagram and also e-commerce platforms to market their product, @khimar.yumnaa only uses Instagram since they were first established. Currently, they have more than 22,000 followers on Instagram. The owner of @khimar.yumnaa started the business in 2017 with an initial capital of only around 600,000 IDR (45 EUR). Now, they are successfully obtaining revenue of more than 40,000,000 IDR (2,500 EUR) per month. Ever since they first operated, the only marketing platform used is Instagram.

Doing a study on a successful SME will surely help other SME owners in Indonesia to learn how to market their product properly through Instagram, especially those who also sell similar products which then will lead them into having a successful business. By doing this research, the effective marketing strategies through Instagram can be identified and it is hoped that there will be more successful SMEs in the future. The more successful the SMEs, the greater the impact on the Indonesian economy, which is going to be beneficial for the whole nation. The outcome of this research will be able to provide solutions to the problems and challenges that the SMEs in Indonesia are currently facing, especially in the scope of marketing, due to the fact that this research will focus on the basis of how @khimar.yumnaa implement a marketing strategy through Instagram to market their product effectively. Based on the background above, this research aims to describe the marketing strategy of @khimar.yumnaa and its effectiveness towards their business by doing an analysis on the usage of Instagram features by @khimar.yumnaa. The paper is structed as a theoretical background will be provided, as well as the method used and the data obtained along with the result analysis, and lastly it will be closed with a conclusion based on the analysis of the result.

Literature Review

Many studies have been conducted to determine how social media platforms like Instagram may be used to help small online businesses and improve business performance. Due to its low cost and minimal technical requirements, social media is the most widely used digital platform and has become a trend. Businesses utilize social media not just as a tool for marketing, but also to gather data on the market, competitors and customers in order to increase productivity and innovation. Social media is particularly beneficial for businesses in promoting their goods, reducing marketing expenses, strengthening consumer relationships, gaining market share, and accessing information for product development [6]. The research of Shah et al. [7] states that companies are increasingly shifting their business to social media platforms like Instagram, which allow users to engage with each other. Companies are making effective use of this capability to market their brands and promote their products in a cost-effective way [7].

Furthermore, several studies have been done to examine how Instagram contributes to social network marketing. Social media is a medium of internet communication that enables people to interact without being constrained by time or geography. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms and one of the most used applications among social media users. Instagram can be used as one of the tactics in MSMEs marketing which can benefit small businesses since it can increase sales, and expand marketing [8]. According to Alfaruq [9], Instagram is an important marketing tool that enables effective corporate communication. Businesses can engage with their customers on Instagram by posting photos and videos to share information, and receiving comments and like to get customer feedback [10].

Another study has been conducted by Akbar [11] to discover the factors that influence the usage of Instagram and its impact on the financial and non-financial performance of Malaysian SMEs. The results from this study show that cost-effectiveness, innovative behavior, and interaction all have a good impact on Instagram use for business. The findings also revealed that using Instagram for business has a significant beneficial impact on the financial and non-financial performance of SMEs [11].

Following all of the studies on finding the impact of social media on a business, it can be concluded that social media is very useful to enhance business performance, especially for SMEs. Social media has a lot of features that can be be utilized for marketing purposes in a cost-effective way. Despite the fact how useful the platform can be to a business, if the businesses don’t have adequate knowledge on how to fully utilize it then it won’t be effective.

While extensive research has been conducted to discover how effective a social media platform can be towards a business using a quantitative methodology by spreading questionnaires to both practitioners, which are the SMEs and also the customers, not much research has been conducted to deeply understands and discover how a successful SMEs utilizing the Instagram features as their main marketing strategy. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to do an analysis on the usage of Instagram features by one of the successful SMEs in Indonesia.


This research aims to describe the marketing strategy of @khimar.yumna through Instagram and also to describe its effectiveness, therefore both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used in this research because it is required to perceive the interview with the owner and employee of the business more deeply in order to understand how the company is utilizing Instagram for product marketing effectively and successfully. The researchers will also do an observation on @khimar.yumnaa Instagram page to gain sufficient data for the research.

The sampling method used in this research is purposive sampling with non-probability technique. Primary data collection will be conducted in the forms of semi-structured interview with the owner and also 3 customers of @khimar.yumna who agreed to participate in the study. They will be interviewed separately, the interviews will be audio-recorded and notes will be taken during the interviews. Two types of semi-structured interview questionnaires will be developed. The first version is for the owner and the second one is for the customers. All of the interviews will be conducted virtually through google meeting due to the different location between the researchers who are currently residing in Hungary, and the interviewees who are residing in Indonesia. This method is used in purpose to save both time and costs.

To stay in ethical conduct, the researchers will provide a digital consent form for all of the interviewees that later they will sign and send back to us after the interviews are done. All participants’ identities will be kept anonymous.

The research analysis method used to analyze the interview results is a source triangulation method, where the researchers will compare answers from different sources to enhance the results’ validity.

This research paper hopes to give additional references specifically in the scope of marketing communication and also as supporting data for the upcoming research in the same field, especially about the use of Instagram as social media for SMEs marketing strategy. The researchers hope that the result of this research will increase the knowledge of the reader in the world of marketing communication, especially about social media marketing.


From the results of the data collection which was done through online interviews with the owner and also 3 customers of @khimar.yumnaa, the results will be divided into 3 different parts. On the first part, the researchers will analyze the information about how @khimar.yumnaa optimally utilized the instagram features to market their product effectively, the second part will be about the interaction and also engagement that @khimar.yumnaa do on a daily basis with their customers, and lastly is the content planning process of @khimar.yumnaa. The details of each finding will be described as follows.

Utilization of Instagram Features

Based on the interviews, the owner of @khimar.yumnaa stated that they are optimally utilizing all of the features available on Instagram platform for marketing purposes. The features include direct message, story, highlight, post and its caption, reel, biodata to put necessary information on the profile surface and also Instagram paid advertising which is known as ‘sponsored content’. Optimally utilizing these features is one of the key successes of @khimar.yumnaa marketing strategy. Of all the Instagram features used by @khimar.yumnaa, it is found that the Instagram paid advertising is the most effective feature to attract new customers. It is due to the fact that upon using this feature, the followers increased rapidly in a constant. During the interview, the owner stated that ‘After I paid for the Instagram sponsored feature, usually @khimar.yumnaa will gain around 100-150 new followers on the same day. So I would say this feature is very effective to attract new followers and expand the market.’

It is also supported by the fact that 2 out of the 3 customers of @khimar.yumnaa that were interviewed stated that they found the platform through a sponsored content feature on their personal Instagram account, while the other 1 found the platform through electronic word-of-mouth. The Instagram paid advertising is a paid feature offered by Instagram, where Instagram as an application helps to automatically suggest the business account through Instagram of the potential target market suitable for the business.

The data retrieved from Instagram analytics of @khimar.yumnaa shows that the platform has approximately 50 new followers every day, which is quite a significant number for a small business that only uses Instagram as their marketing platform. This shows that @khimar.yumnaa has good followers growth. Figure 1 below shows the comparison of the numbers of @khimar.yumnaa Instagram followers from 21st of May 2023 to 26th of May 2023.