Consumers in Germany Resist Brand Social Content, but Are Persuadable - eMarketer

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Consumers in Germany Resist Brand Social Content, but Are Persuadable

Social media affects purchase decisions in the country

March 14, 2013

Internet users in Germany are somewhat skeptical of brand social media content. That, at least, is one conclusion to be drawn from a November 2012 study by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor in which 48% of internet users in Germany said they were very unlikely to check brand social network pages. The figure placed Germany near the top of the list of countries in Europe where consumers have little interest in brands’ social pages.

Internet Users in the EU-5 Who Regularly Check Brands' Social Network Pages, by Country, Nov 2012 (% of respondents)

But just because consumers in Germany aren’t particularly interested in brand social media pages doesn’t mean they are not paying close attention to social media. A July 2012 study from Roland Berger found that nearly three-quarters of internet users in the country were on Facebook—and that 77% of these Facebook users said they checked it every day. According to eMarketer, 32.4 million consumers in Germany will be social network users at the end of this year, accounting for 55.6% of all internet users in the country.

Top 10 Social Media Sites Among Internet Users in Germany, July 2012

International social juggernauts Facebook and YouTube are the two most popular social sites in Germany, but several local social networks have a following as well, including Wer-kennt-wen (German for “who knows whom”) and StayFriends.de. Google+ too had a smaller but devoted user base: Half of the 20% of internet users on the site said they used it every day.

It’s no surprise then that a small but significant cohort of consumers in the country do look to social media when they’re making purchases: Roland Berger found that 7.4% said social media influenced purchase decisions. That’s more than those who said they were influenced by public advertising (6.8%) and nearly as many as said they were influenced by television (8.3%).

Influences on Purchase Decisions According to Internet Users in Germany, July 2012 (% of respondents)

Social media is still not as widely cited as a purchase influence as the “traditional internet,”which influenced more consumers than any other channel except for recommendations from family and friends. But there’s no question that internet users in Germany are tuned in to social media, and that the right message can make a difference.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Traditional Media Spend Dips Lower as More Dollars Shift to Digital” and “How Does Wi-Fi Affect Mobile Shoppers?

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