This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches and even social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism however are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social websites. It is likely you consider social networking in order to interact with and stay-in-touch with your family and friends, a means to keep up-to-date on topics and groups which you value as well as even a method to make new friends. And when useful for good, social media does all of those things. But additionally there is a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Based on your age, you’ve probably experienced the subsequent cycle one or more times as well as several (or perhaps often). A social media launches. There are actually no ads, which is glorious and also you spend your time on there conversing with people of great interest or checking out fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking needs to develop money. By this time, you’ve established your network and be committed to the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. Then, suddenly, you find your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you might or might not want but usually don’t need. Social websites has become the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get deciding on a which stores you wish to head into. Have you know that you simply wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you just didn’t – until a social media ad mentioned that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networks is regarded as the obvious manner in which consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
What makes a social media marketing network this kind of target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data that they can drill through in order to place their ads directly in front of the those who are more than likely to respond to them. By “the level of data that they may drill through” we mean “the amount of data that users provide and that the social networking network shares with advertisers.” Now, to be perfectly clear, a web site sharing user data with advertisers as a way to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means unfamiliar with social websites and many users never recognize that by using a site or creating a free account on the site these are by default allowing their data to be shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print from the conditions and terms that nobody ever reads). But what makes it more insidious every time a social networking does it?
The type of data that you’re sharing on the social networking and that the social networking is sharing with advertisers is simply a lot more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and based on other stuff that you simply post). Have you have a baby recently? You don’t have to share it with advertisers, you just have to post about this over a social networking where you might want to share it with your friends and relatives and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to tell advertisers to get started on showing you diapers. Would you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking knows that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, and today you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to help you straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is considered the most insidious manner in which social networks implement consumerism, it’s actually not the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several conditions that we work the most challenging to create to people’s attention is the fact that what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is how, at this stage, it’s interwoven with everyday routine, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer aspect of social networking. Social media marketing is a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. Actually, the practice of social media will depend on that. It’s assumed that individuals will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and interact with them. Similar to the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, this is also true of your brand on the social media marketing site. Yet, the charge of customer service or sales representatives who manage social websites presence for a corporation or brand is to speak with the customers or brand advocates like the company were someone. This fine line between how you talk to actual living people on social media marketing and brands, products or companies is really fine which you often forget you will discover a difference. And that is certainly a risky blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly closest to you (your social media friends and contacts) can more effectively influence one to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why just about all social media advertising campaigns are meant to encourage individuals to share details about brands, products or companies on their social network. When you notice people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect to and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s one of the most virtual type of pressure from peers or “keeping track of the joneses.” And because people spend a great deal time on certain social networks, it possesses a significant cumulative impact.
So, the very next time you believe you might be harmlessly updating your status to your friends, consider simply how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then enhance your status concerning this!