German Social Media Consumer Report 2012/2013
This report was designed and carried out by the Social Media Think:Lab, a joint research initiative of the University of Münster’s Marketing Center and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. We have established the Think:Lab to better understand the social media-induced structural changes in society and businesses alike and to offer companies compelling ways to cope with these changes. Our research projects conform to the methodical and ethical standards of academic research. We are driven by curiosity and gladly share our research results openly with all who are also passionate about social media.
Social media are now an integral part of many consumers’ everyday lives. In 2012, 92.6 % of German citizens with Internet access had at least one social network account. The country-wide acceptance and application of social media, together with the increasing distribution of smartphones, indicate a fundamental and ongoing change affecting all elements of German society. The idea of the present study is to protocol this change in a representative manner.
Essentially, this report provides indisputable evidence that social media has become a key element of German consumers’ lives. We believe that several managers today ignore the dramatic dimension of change that social media brings about for consumers and firms, misjudging social media as just another new communication tool.
The change caused by social media in terms of consumer perceptions and behavior cannot be left to agencies or social media managers alone, but must be reflected much deeper in company value chains. In this sense, the present report issues a warning, but also indicates the enormous business potential that the social media revolution offers to those who are able to act progressively and proactively.