This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches or perhaps social norms which can be ridden with consumerism but are often considered to be being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could possibly be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social websites. You almost certainly think about social media marketing so as to get in touch with and stay-in-touch with your friends and relatives, ways to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you just worry about and maybe even a means to make new friends. So when used for good, social media marketing does all of those things. But additionally there is a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Depending on your age, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle at least one time and maybe several (or perhaps often). A social media launches. There are no ads, in fact it is glorious and you also spend all of your current time on there talking to people useful or looking at fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking needs to earn some money. By that point, you’ve built up your network and be committed to the internet site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. After which, suddenly, you discover your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for stuff that you might or might not want but almost always don’t need. Social media marketing has become the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get deciding on a which stores you need to go to. Have you know which you wished to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you just didn’t – until a social media marketing ad said that you just supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements of all social networks is the most obvious method that consumerism is worked into the model, but it’s not the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social media marketing network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the amount of data that they could drill through in order to place their ads directly before the individuals who are almost certainly to answer them. By “the amount of data that they could drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide and this the social media marketing network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a site sharing user data with advertisers as a way to help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way a novice to social networking and a lot users never know that through a site or creating a merchant account with a site they can be automatically allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, tiny print inside the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But why is it more insidious each time a social network would it?
The type of data that you’re sharing over a social networking and this the social networking is sharing with advertisers is merely a lot more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced from other items which you post). Did you have a baby recently? You don’t must share it with advertisers, you just have to post regarding this on the social networking where you really should share it with your family and friends and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to start demonstrating diapers. Have you go to the website that sells hammers recently? Your social media knows that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, and from now on you’re gonna see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to obtain to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious way that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of many concerns that we work the toughest to give to people’s attention is why is addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this moment, it’s interwoven with daily life, society and in many cases personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous regarding the consumer aspect of social media. Social networking is actually a lifestyle tool to let you express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of that experience is consumerism. In reality, the practice of social media depends on that. It’s assumed that people will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and communicate with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same holds true of the brand on a social networking site. Yet, the control of customer care or sales people who manage social networking presence for a business or brand is to talk to the shoppers or brand advocates as though the emblem were an individual. This fine line between the method that you contact actual living people on social media and brands, products or companies is so fine that you often forget you will find a difference. And that is a risky blending of life and consumerism.
Social media also depends on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly nearest you (your social media friends and contacts) can better influence you to buy, try or support a brand name, company or product. That’s why nearly all social media marketing campaigns are meant to encourage visitors to share information regarding brands, products or companies on his or her social media. Once you see people whom you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect with and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s by far the most virtual kind of pressure from peers or “keeping up with the joneses.” And since people spend a whole lot time on certain social networks, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you believe you might be harmlessly updating your status for your friends, think about simply how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then improve your status about this!