This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the light on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism but they are often considered to be being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in many people’s lives, social media marketing. You probably consider social websites in an effort to connect with and stay-in-touch with your family and friends, a means to keep updated on topics and groups that you worry about as well as even ways to make new friends. So when employed for good, social websites does all of those things. But there is also a hidden … and not so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Based on your actual age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle at least one time and maybe several (or perhaps frequently). A social media launches. You can find no ads, and is particularly glorious and you also spend your time on the website talking to people of interest or checking out fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social media must make some money. By that point, you’ve developed your network and become committed to the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And after that, suddenly, you find your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for stuff that you might or might not want but more often than not don’t need. Social media marketing is among the most shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get deciding on a which stores you would like to head into. Have you know which you planned to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you didn’t – until a social websites ad mentioned that you just supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networking sites is easily the most obvious way in which consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social media marketing network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data that they can drill through in order to put their ads directly in front of the individuals who are more than likely to answer them. By “the amount of data that they may drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide and this the social websites network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, a site sharing user data with advertisers in order to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means a new comer to social websites and many users never realize that through a site or creating a merchant account over a site they may be automatically allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print within the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious whenever a social networking can it?
The sort of data that you’re sharing on the social network and that the social media is sharing with advertisers is merely so much more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and based on other stuff that you post). Would you have a baby recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you just need to post about this on a social media where you might want to share it with your friends and relatives and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to start out showing you diapers. Do you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network knows that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, and now you’re planning to see ads from that website advertising that very product in a effort (usually highly successful) to help you get straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious manner in which social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several problems that we work the most difficult to give to people’s attention is the fact that exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way, at this stage, it’s interwoven with everyday routine, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous about the consumer aspect of social networking. Social networking is actually a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of that experience is consumerism. The truth is, the practice of social media relies on that. It’s assumed that men and women will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and communicate with them. Similar to the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same holds true of the brand on a social media marketing site. Yet, the control of customer satisfaction or sales agents who manage social media presence for a business or brand is to talk to the buyers or brand advocates as though the emblem were a person. This fine line between the method that you communicate with actual living people on social media and brands, products or companies is so fine which you often forget you will find a difference. And that is a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that those seemingly nearest you (your social media friends and contacts) can more effectively influence anyone to buy, try or support a brandname, company or product. That’s why just about all social media advertising campaigns are meant to encourage men and women to share details about brands, products or companies on the social media. When you see people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to communicate with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s the most virtual form of peer pressure or “keeping track of the joneses.” And since people spend a great deal time on certain social networks, it possesses a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you believe you will be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, think about simply how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then update your status with that!