This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches or perhaps social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism but are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in many people’s lives, social networking. You probably think about social media marketing as a way to connect to and stay-in-touch with your family and friends, a method to keep updated on topics and groups that you simply care about and perhaps even a means to meet new people. And whenever used for good, social media does all those things. But there is also a hidden … instead of so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
Depending on your age, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle at least one time as well as several (or even often). A social media launches. You will find no ads, in fact it is glorious and also you spend all your time on there speaking with people appealing or checking out fascinating (or otherwise mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network needs to develop money. By that point, you’ve developed your network and grow committed to the web site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. Then, suddenly, you locate your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you may or may not want but usually don’t need. Social media marketing has become the shopping mall of your present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get deciding on a which stores you need to head into. Would you even know that you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social websites ad mentioned that you simply supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social networks is easily the most obvious way in which consumerism is worked in to the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
Why is a social media network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data they can drill through in order to put their ads directly in front of the those people who are probably to answer them. By “the quantity of data that they may drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide and that the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, a site sharing user data with advertisers to be able to help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way a novice to social media marketing and the majority of users never recognize that by using a site or creating an account with a site they may be by default allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print within the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But why is it more insidious every time a social media does it?
The particular data that you’re sharing on the social media and this the social media is sharing with advertisers is just a lot more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced from other items that you simply post). Do you become pregnant recently? You don’t must share it with advertisers, you need to simply post about this over a social network where you might like to share it with your friends and relations and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to start showing you diapers. Did you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking understands that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, and now you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you get to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious way that social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of many issues that we work the most difficult to bring to people’s attention is the fact exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is how, at this point, it’s interwoven with daily life, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer component of social media. Social networking is really a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in to the fabric of this experience is consumerism. In reality, the concept of social media marketing will depend on that. It’s assumed that folks will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect with them. Much like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of your brand on the social media site. Yet, the charge of customer satisfaction or sales people who manage social media presence for a company or brand is to speak with the shoppers or brand advocates just like the brand were a person. This fine line between the way you contact actual living people on social media marketing and brands, products or companies is really fine that you just often forget you will discover a difference. And that is a risky blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also relies on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly nearest you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more effectively influence you to buy, try or support a product, company or product. That’s why virtually all social networking campaigns are created to encourage visitors to share information regarding brands, products or companies on their social networking. When you notice people whom you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably connect with and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s one of the most virtual method of pressure from peers or “keeping up with the joneses.” And since people spend so much time on certain social networking sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you think that you are harmlessly updating your status for your friends, think about exactly how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about this!