Indonesia’s tech savvy President

Indonesian President SBY's Facebook page
Indonesian President SBY’s Facebook page

Better late than never. Seems that’s a fitting phrase for Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – known as “SBY.” Almost at the end of his term, Mr. President just started using social media accounts. Last April, the President launched his official Twitter handle: @SBYudhoyono.

Through this account, the President responded to a variety of things, from the matter of fuel prices to condolences to religious tolerance. SBY’s original tweet was marked with *SBY*, while the rest were posted by his dedicated social media team.

In a short time, SBY’s twitter account acquired over 2.6 million followers. However, the number of the President’s followers is still far behind the country’s pop singer Agnes Monica (@agnezmo) who has more than 8 million followers, as well as former local soccer captain Bambang Pamungkas (@bepe20) who has 4.3 million followers.

The President’s Twitter account launch is a bit special as it was held in Cipanas Palace. A number of social media celebrities were invited, including Bhishma, local boy band Smash personnel, young musician Kevin Aprilio along with his father, Indonesian prominent musician Addie MS.

Done with Twitter, Mr. Yudhoyono has decided to join Facebook, YouTube and Google Hangout, and had a launch party at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Friday, after a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. According to SBY, the objective of having active social networking accounts is to be closer to the people. “Let closer our relationship,” he added.

President Yudhoyono with his son
President Yudhoyono with his son

Prior joining social media world, since 2005, a year after being elected as Indonesia President, he’s also tried to communicate with people directly – through communication tools available at that time; he opened the SMS channel 9949 and PO Box 9949.

Through the last two outlets, he’s recorded a total of 3.5 million and 115,000 messages in his SMS inbox. Every two weeks, the President received a report all complaints through SMS and PO Box 9949.

And Facebook and Google accounts would be another social media move for him before accomplishing his term next year. Although it’s a bit too late to launch it, but it’s still better late than never, he might think.

[Photo credit: Detik]


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