Social media are getting too much

For a long time there was a clear sender-recipient relationship in the media: a sender - for example in the form of a newspaper or a radio station - spread messages to a large number of recipients. Today it looks very different: Almost everyone can communicate with anyone. Even companies and even private individuals can reach a broad masses in a very short time and it finds a place diverse exchange instead of.

Have a decisive role in this development social media. What influence they have on the use of the Internet in general and on marketing for companies in particular, we use the latest figures and trends to shed light on.

What is social media?

Social media are websites and platforms on the Internet through which users create their own content (so-called User generated content) produce and share with the public share can. On the other hand, they consume content themselves, react to it and enter into an exchange with other people. In technical jargon, there is talk of many-to-many communication.

In contrast to traditional mass media, social media are not limited to a single communication channel. Where newspapers can only use text and images and radio stations can only use audio, social media offer a variety of ways to express yourself.

The term “social media” is often only associated with platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. In fact, it also includes blogs, forums, review portals, question portals, messenger services and all other websites that users visit be able to post content and communicate with one another.

Who uses social media?

Social media are a central part of the internet and enjoy it great popularity in a wide variety of population groups.

The Digital 2020 study showed that around 77.8 million people in Germany - around 93 percent of the total population - use the Internet. 38 million - 45 percent - used social media in January 2020. Compared to the previous year, this was an increase of 6.5 percentage points.

According to the study, an average of one hour and 19 minutes is spent on social media per day. On average, each user has profiles on 5.9 different platforms.

Overall, it can be said that social media are used by men and women of all ages. Companies and organizations also maintain their own profiles. Depending on Interests and personal usage preferences however, different platforms are preferred.

The current trends: These social media are the most popular

The exact number of users of the individual social media channelsare constantly changing and not all providers communicate them regularly. Nevertheless, we want to try to give you an overview of the most important platforms:


The WhatsApp Messenger belongs to Facebook and was actively used by 58 million people in Germany in November 2019. According to the ARD / ZDF online study 2020, WhatsApp is in this country the most popular social medium. 68 percent of people over the age of 14 use it every day, 80 percent at least once a month.


The video portal YouTube is accessed by 55 percent of Germans at least once a month. There are a good 28 million users every day.


The last official Facebook figures for the DACH region are from March 2019. At that time, visited in Germany 32 million people the network per month, 3.9 million in Austria and 3.8 million in Switzerland.


Also the Photo platform Instagram belongs to Facebook. In 2020 it was used by 21 million people in Germany. More than 90 percent follow at least one company.

It is noticeable that Instagram is particularly popular with young people under the age of 29. While 24 percent of all Germans visit the social network at least once a month, the figure among 14 to 29-year-olds is 68 percent.


Snapchat is also very popular, especially among the young target group. Eleven percent of Germans use it Instant messaging service at least once a month. Among the 14 to 29 year olds it is 43 percent.


The Short message service According to the ARD / ZDF online study, Twitter is used by eight percent of Germans every month. Around 1.4 million people are active on this social media channel every day.


XING is a network in which above all professional contacts to be cared for. In the DACH region, it had around 19.5 million users in the second quarter of 2020.


LinkedIn is probably the fiercest competitor of XING, depends in the User numbers But back a little: there are around 15 million active users in the DACH region.


The Search engine for images Pinterest had more than 13 million users in Germany in the third quarter of 2020. At least 69 percent are female. 74 percent are between 18 and 44 years old.


TikTok is another platform that is more popular with young users than older users. Six percent of Germans are on the at least once a month Video portal on road. Among the 14 to 29 year olds it is 23 percent.

Social media in marketing

Because of its enormous reach, social media are hardly out of the question Marketing mix to imagine a company without. The targeted use for economic purposes has various advantages:

  • When you set up a company profile and your audience follows you, interacts with your posts, and maybe even text you, you won't just learn a lot about Your customers and their needs - You can also target advertising campaigns more precisely and thus achieve better results.

  • 54 percent of social media users research in social networks active for products. If you present your offer in an appealing way, this will result in considerable sales potential.

  • Through direct contact, you can achieve that your customers receive a emotional relationship to build your business. This also increases customer loyalty.

  • Social networks make it very easy Customer ratings to be received and recommended.

  • Through social networks you can reach not only customers but also employees. A survey by the Federal Statistical Office has shown that 60 percent of companies use social media to to attract new staff.

Conclusion: Social media hold enormous potential for companies

An internet without social media is hardly conceivable anymore. Internet users are used to and appreciate being able to produce content themselves and to be able to enter into a direct exchange with private individuals as well as organizations and companies.

With the exception of Facebook, all important social networks have gained users in recent years. Huge leaps such as Pinterest (37 percent growth within one year) are rare, but there is a clear trend towards more and more social media activity.

At the same time, it is hardly affordable for companies to be represented with the same intensity on all platforms. Social media thrives on interaction. So it is not enough to just create a company profile and wait. If you want to see success quickly, you have to open up to dialog with your customers - and that takes time and energy.

So before you get started on social media, it's important to know your target group to evaluate. Which websites does she prefer to visit? Then invest your resources in exactly these platforms.

It is also helpful to keep an eye on current developments in the area of ​​social media. Don't hesitate on new trends to jump up, provided that these correspond to your target group. So you are always one step ahead of your competition.

Cover picture: Urupong / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Originally published February 2, 2021, updated February 02, 2021

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