This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches and even social norms which can be ridden with consumerism however they are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in numerous people’s lives, social websites. It is likely you consider social websites in an effort to interact with and remain-in-touch with your family and friends, ways to keep updated on topics and groups which you value and maybe even a means to meet new people. And when used for good, social websites does those things. But there is also a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
According to how old you are, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle at least once and possibly several (or perhaps frequently). A social networking launches. You will find no ads, in fact it is glorious so you spend all of your time on there speaking to people appealing or checking out fascinating (or at least mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking must make some money. By that period, you’ve built up your network and grow purchased the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you find your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things that you might or might not want but almost always don’t need. Social media marketing is considered the shopping mall in the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get choosing which stores you would like to head into. Have you even know that you simply desired to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social media marketing ad mentioned that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networks is regarded as the obvious way in which consumerism is worked into the model, but it’s not the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social networking network such a target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data they can drill through to be able to put their ads directly before the individuals who are probably to answer them. By “the amount of data that they may drill through” we mean “the quantity of data that users provide and therefore the social websites network shares with advertisers.” Now, to be perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers in order to help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means a novice to social networking and a lot users never know that simply by using a site or creating a merchant account on the site they can be automatically allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, really small print within the conditions and terms that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious every time a social networking does it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on the social media and that the social media is sharing with advertisers is just a lot more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced by other activities that you simply post). Did you get pregnant recently? You don’t must share it with advertisers, you simply need to post about this on a social networking where you really should share it with your friends and relatives and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to get started on demonstrating diapers. Would you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network recognizes that dexspky04 a process called retargeting, and now you’re planning to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to obtain back to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious method that social networks implement consumerism, it’s actually not one of the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, among the issues that we work the hardest to give to people’s attention is the fact that exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this point, it’s interwoven with everyday routine, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer component of social media marketing. Social media can be a lifestyle tool to enable you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. In fact, the concept of social media marketing depends on that. It’s assumed that people will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of a brand with a social networking site. Yet, the control of customer service or sales representatives who manage social media presence for a company or brand is to speak with the shoppers or brand advocates like the emblem were a person. This fine line between the way you talk to actual living people on social networking and brands, products or companies is indeed fine that you often forget there exists a difference. And that is a risky blending of life and consumerism.
Social media marketing also depends on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that those seemingly nearest to you (your social media marketing friends and contacts) can more efficiently influence one to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why just about all social media advertising campaigns are made to encourage people to share information about brands, products or companies on their social networking. Once you see people whom you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably communicate with and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s probably the most virtual type of pressure from peers or “keeping track of the joneses.” And because people spend so much time on certain social media sites, it has a significant cumulative impact.
So, the very next time you think that you are harmlessly updating your status in your friends, take into consideration just how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status concerning this!