This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the light 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 may be the most ubiquitous presence in numerous people’s lives, social media marketing. You most likely think of social media in an effort to interact with and remain-in-touch with your friends and relations, a means to keep updated on topics and groups that you worry about as well as even a means to make new friends. And when employed for good, social networking does all of the things. But there is also a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Based on your age, you’ve probably experienced the subsequent cycle at least one time and possibly several (as well as often times). A social networking launches. You will find no ads, and it is glorious and you also spend all of your current time on there speaking with people of great interest or considering fascinating (or at least mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking has to earn some money. By that time, you’ve established your network and be purchased the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. Then, suddenly, you discover your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things that you may or may not want but more often than not don’t need. Social media marketing is one of the shopping mall from the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you would like to go to. Do you have any idea that you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you just didn’t – until a social networking ad told you that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on the majority of social networking sites is considered the most obvious way that consumerism is worked in to the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social networking network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the amount of data that they can drill through in order to place their ads directly before the people who are most likely to answer them. By “the volume of data that they could drill through” we mean “the amount of data that users provide which the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, a site sharing user data with advertisers as a way to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way unfamiliar with social networking and many users never know that by using a site or creating your account with a site they may be automatically allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print in the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But what makes it more insidious when a social networking would it?
The sort of data that you’re sharing on a social network and that the social networking is sharing with advertisers is definitely so much more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and derived from other items that you post). Did you have a baby recently? You don’t have to share it with advertisers, you need to simply post regarding this over a social networking where you may want to share it with your family and friends and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to inform advertisers to begin demonstrating diapers. Have you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking is aware that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, now you’re likely to see ads from that website advertising that very product in an effort (usually highly successful) to help you returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious manner in which social networks implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several problems that we work the toughest to bring to people’s attention is the fact that what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way, at this point, it’s interwoven with daily life, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer element of social media marketing. Social networking is actually a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and get in touch with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in the fabric of the experience is consumerism. In fact, the concept of social media marketing will depend on that. It’s assumed that folks 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 is true of any brand on the social networking site. Yet, the charge of customer support or sales agents who manage social media marketing presence for a business or brand is to talk to the clients or brand advocates as though the company were somebody. This fine line between the way you communicate with actual living people on social websites and brands, products or companies is so fine that you simply often forget there exists a difference. And that is certainly a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also depends on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly nearest to you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more effectively influence you to definitely buy, try or support a product, company or product. That’s why nearly all social networking campaigns are made to encourage people to share specifics of brands, products or companies on his or her social networking. Once you see people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect to and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s by far the most virtual type of peer pressure or “keeping track of the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend so much time on certain social media sites, it has a significant cumulative impact.
So, the very next time you believe you are harmlessly updating your status in your friends, think about exactly how much your social media activity is facilitating the intrusion in the consumer machine. Then enhance your status with that!