This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms which can be ridden with consumerism however are often considered to be being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in numerous people’s lives, social media marketing. It is likely you think about social media in order to connect to and remain-in-touch with your friends and relatives, ways to keep updated on topics and groups that you care about as well as even a means to meet new people. And when utilized for good, social media marketing does all those things. But additionally there is a hidden … and not so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Depending on your real age, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle one or more times and perhaps several (or perhaps often times). A social network launches. You can find no ads, and it is glorious so you spend all your time on the website talking to people of interest or looking at fascinating (or otherwise mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking should develop money. By that time, you’ve built up your network and be dedicated to the web site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. Then, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things that you may or may not want but typically don’t need. Social networking has become the shopping mall in the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get deciding on a which stores you wish to head into. Have you even know that you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social media ad mentioned that you just supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social media sites is considered the most obvious way that consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
Why is a social media marketing network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the amount of data that they can drill through to be able to place their ads directly in front of the individuals who are more than likely to answer them. By “the volume of data that they could drill through” we mean “the quantity of data that users provide which the social media marketing network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a web site sharing user data with advertisers as a way to help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means new to social media marketing and most users never realize that by using a site or creating a merchant account with a site they may be by default allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print in the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But exactly what makes it more insidious whenever a social networking does it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on the social networking and that the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely a lot more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and derived from other items which you post). Would you get pregnant recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you just have to post about it on a social network where you may want to share it with your friends and family and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to start out demonstrating diapers. Do you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social media understands that dexspky04 an operation called retargeting, now you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious way that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not one of the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several concerns that we work the most difficult to bring to people’s attention is the fact why is addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way that, at this stage, it’s interwoven with everyday life, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer element of social networking. Social websites is actually a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in to the fabric of this experience is consumerism. Actually, the concept of social media will depend on that. It’s assumed that individuals will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and interact with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of any brand with a social networking site. Yet, the charge of customer satisfaction or sales people who manage social media presence for a corporation or brand is to speak to the customers or brand advocates just like the brand were a person. This fine line between how you talk to actual living people on social networking and brands, products or companies is very fine that you just often forget there is a difference. And that is certainly a hazardous blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also depends on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly nearest you (your social media friends and contacts) can better influence you to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why just about all social media marketing campaigns are created to encourage men and women to share information regarding brands, products or companies on their social media. Once you see people that you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to interact with and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s the most virtual type of pressure from peers or “keeping with the joneses.” And since people spend so much time on certain social networks, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you believe you will be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, think about simply how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about this!