Influencers could succeed in reaching an audience that is not interested in news about political issues at all. Hannah Immler and Dr. Lisa Merten discovered this in an elaborate Instagram study.
People who tend to avoid news in their everyday lives can hardly be reached by traditional media with political or other socially relevant topics. Influencers on social media, however, could manage to build a bridge. This was the initial idea of Hannah Immler
and Dr. Lisa Merten
, who both research the topic of media use at the HBI.
In their study, they observed the 465 most influential influencers in German-speaking countries on Instagram for a month, analysed their posted content and categorised their audience in terms of news affinity. They were able to identify three groups of influencers, none of whom have the same potential to reach a distant audience:
"There are those who often make political statements and have a very news-savvy audience, for example Jan Böhmermann," Lisa Merten tells us. "Then there are those who don't post anything on political topics and have a news-averse audience, such as the footballer Toni Kroos. What was exciting for us were those influencers who have a rather less news-orientated audience, but who do communicate political topics in their posts, such as the singer Mandy Capristo." This third group is the most likely to succeed in reaching those who are not interested in news.
These findings are interesting for actors in news journalism, who are always faced with the question of how to reach those who have sworn off classical media or have never been socialised with them in the first place.
BredowCast Episode with Leonie Wunderlich
Dr. Lisa Merten