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Business trends

Way to Southeast Asian shoppers' hearts? Through their feeds

Advertisers team with social media stars in hopes of reaching their large followings

A screenshot of Melissa Koh's Instagram post showing her enjoying a trip to northern Japan.

TOKYO -- Partnering with social media superstars is a new favorite tactic of advertisers in Southeast Asia, lending products the poster's cache and a chance to be seen by their multitude of followers.

"Look, there's magic all around," wrote Melissa Koh, one social media "influencer," of a February day spent in snowy Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, in an Instagram post. Her account on the photo-sharing service has attracted more than 220,000 followers, each tracking Koh's travels and fashion choices, and eager for suggestions on where to go or what to buy.

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