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Snapchat users in Germany are overwhelmingly young, and most are keen to keep up with at least some well-known personalities, according to a study by Professor Claudia Gerhards, Ph.D., and students at the Hochschule Düsseldorf (HDE) produced in cooperation with digital strategy agency whylder.
Teens dominated Germany's Snapchat audience, the study found. Nearly two-thirds (65.7%) of users in the four weeks prior to polling in November 2016 were ages 14 to 19, while 29.3% were ages 20 to 29. Very small percentages—2.5% and 2.4%, respectively—were younger than 14 or older than 29.
Notably, seven in 10 respondents (70.9%) were female.
Some 55% of respondents said they looked at other people's posts and also posted their own. But checking out other users' contributions was far more important; fewer than 3% said they chiefly uploaded their own posts.
Lenses and Stories were the most popular Snapchat features—more than 63% of users engaged with these often or very often. Around 44% were also frequent users of the social network's Chat feature and geofiltered content. The Discover function was the only one respondents had little time for; 52.2% said they never used it.
Following celebrities, including online figures, was a major feature of Snapchat use for most users in Germany. More than half (55.0%) said they followed between one and 10 individuals; 22.2% followed between 11 and 20.
Usefully for marketers, around 11% of Snapchat users had followed a brand or a company because an influencer recommended it. At the same time, though, the connection between brand and influencer had to appear genuine; nearly three-quarters of users said it was important that an influencer was personally active in the brand's own communications channels.
Over 16% of users said a celebrity's recommendation on Snapchat had made them aware of a brand or company they hadn't known about. Six percent said they had changed their mind about a brand or firm as a result, while 5.7% had actually purchased that brand or product.
The plans of many marketers in Germany seem closely aligned to this level of consumer response to influencers. A June 2016 survey by Territory Webguerillas found that 58% of marketing decision-makers planned to devote between 5% and 10% of their 2017 budgets to influencer marketing, while 29% aimed to spend less than 5% on such efforts.
Of course Snapchat is just one platform where marketers can test the strength of influencer power. For brands aiming at older age groups, Instagram may be more successful. According to Kantar TNS, 30% of Germany's internet users ages 16 to 65 used Instagram in 2016, compared to 19% who used Snapchat.
—Karin von Abrams
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