First I’m going to give you guys some background info about Germany and their Culture and then talk about the site I chose.Germany has approximately 81.3 million people and is one of the largest countries in Europe.According to the Internet World Stats: Germany ranks number 1 out of the Top 10 Internet using countries in Europe with approximately 67.4 million users.However, Germany still lags behind other major European markets and globally compared to the U.S. and Asia-Pacific with social media use. One of Germany’s largest social networking platforms is StudiVZ.
At First I wondered, Why do they lag in social media? Well that has a lot to do with their culture…. Germans tend to be more private and reserved and they don’t freely share personal information as much.Many Germans feel that their data is not safe online. And they are also resistant to change. Each time a social media platform introduces new features, Germans immediately express their discontent.Germans use social media to communicate and share news but not as much personal information. Many Germans don’t share pictures of themselves which has led to issues with Facebook. Recently Germans have given Facebook an ultimatum with their Facial Detection software. This is the software that helps tag people in pictures. The ultimatum being they can be sued or opt for it to not be used.
So the site I chose is a social networking platform for students attending colleges and universities in Europe and is based in Berlin, Germany. It was launched in 2005 a year after Facebook had been launched. The name of the site is an abbreviation meaning student’s directory. The site claims to be one of the biggest social networks in Europe, with over 16 million members, most of who are in Germany. However traffic on the site has been steadily declining since 2009. Some of its features include maintaining a personal page containing information about their name, age, study subjects, interests, courses, and group memberships within the site and there is also an option to upload photos. The members can search former classmates, fellow students, learning partners or people with the same interests. Alexa.com is a site that rates other sites by their success worldwide and by country. In Germany StudiVz did not even come close to the top ten sites visited in Germany. Actually, it ranked 683 among users in Germany. Alexa.com also shares demographics of the users of each site. The social network site tended to have more women than men and between the ages of 18-34. The market included college students and recent grads who view the site mostly at school and/or work. The graph on this slide just proves to show the steady decline that StudiVz has been experiencing.
The most common criticism of the site is its strong similarity to Facebook.The creator Dariani has even admitted that his site is based on Facebook.However, there are a few features that set the two sites apart, such as... being able to see who most recently visited your profile and the most notable is that the features bear German names rather than English names. The poke feature has been renamed to a German word that is a mixture of two German words meaning to greet someone and to hug someone. Some of the error messages reveal that one of the folders on the site is called “FAKEBOOK”, indicating that the developers were well aware of the similarities. Facebook also sued StudiVZ in California federal court and in Germany in 2008 for copying. It was a messy complicated lawsuit that ended up being settled for an undisclosed amount in 2009.
Now I’d like to share some information on business use of social media. SocialMedia users in Germany tend to be active with brands on social media sites. According to a survey conducted by Tomorrow Focus Media, 66.8% of those who followed brands on social media read the posts and messages of brands or products they followed. 29.6% shared posts with others as well. Nearly all brand fans 85.6% expected to be kept up to date with current information and news about their chosen brands while 57.8% expected custom content. Despite high user numbers Germany still has the lowest social media penetration among internet users out of France, Italy, Spain, and the UK.
Currently Business use is limited on StudiVZ however companies can choose to use targeted or non-targeted banners on the site. Many businesses in Germany are still somewhat hesitant to advertise online but it is becoming more popular. Facebook is being used to advertise more than StudiVz because of the decline in usage and the limited Target Market. A situation where advertising went wrong was a few years ago when… Mobile and broadband giant Vodafone launched a German social media marketing campaign, a first of its kind in the region. It ended up facing harsh criticism for violating a handful of social media offenses including using social media sites to blast out promotional information and not listen or interact with its’ consumers. They were accused of faking it and not understanding their target audience. The Vodafone campaign used Denglisch which is German mixed with English terms in an attempt to sound cool. But this tactic backfired and Germans complained that they would have preferred to be reached via German or English just not a combination. They received thousands of negative comments and still failed to adjust their marketing approach.
Since the decline of StudiVZ and the increase in Facebook worldwide more people in Germany are switching and following others onto Facebook. Currently, if I were a college student in Germany, I would use Facebook. Facebook is currently the most widely used social networking platform in Germany. Germany is slowly but surely coming around in the world of social media. As for StudiVZ, I fear their days are numbered. Facebook, the social giant, has proven that it is stronger and is number one, for now at least.
Studi vz powerpoint
Devon HummelWichita State University
Approximately 81.3 million people One of the largest countries in Europe Ranks number 1 in the Top 10 Internet Countries in Europe Germany lags in Social Media
Private and reserved online Many Germans feel that their information is not safe online Resistant to change Uses social media differently than the U.S. Problems with facial Detection
Target Market: College Students Studiverzeichnis=St udent’s Directory Comparable to Facebook 16 million members Declining in Use Ranked 683 on Alexa.com
Too similar to Facebook Features bear German rather than English names “Poke” - “Gruscheln” Error Messages- “Fakebook” Sued by Facebook in 2008
Business use is limited on StudiVZ Can advertise through targeted or non- targeted banners Many businesses are hesitant Facebook Vodafone Incident