This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms which are ridden with consumerism but they are often thought of as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social media. It is likely you think of social media in an effort to connect with and remain-in-touch with your family and friends, a way to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you simply care about and possibly even a means to meet new people. So when employed for good, social networking does all those things. But additionally there is a hidden … instead of so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Based on how old you are, you’ve probably experienced these cycle at least once and maybe several (as well as often times). A social networking launches. You will find no ads, and it is glorious and you spend all of your time on there talking to people appealing or taking a look at fascinating (or at least mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking must make some money. By that point, you’ve established your network and be invested in the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. After which, suddenly, you see 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 websites is one of the shopping mall in the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you wish to enter. Do you even know that you planned to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social networking ad informed you that you simply supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social networking sites is considered the most obvious way in which consumerism is worked in to the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social websites network such a target-rich environment for advertisers is the level of data that they can drill through as a way to place their ads directly ahead of the people who are most likely to respond to them. By “the amount of data that they may drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide which the social networking network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a site sharing user data with advertisers so that you can help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means new to social websites and many users never recognize that by using a site or creating a merchant account over a site these are by default allowing their data to be shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print in the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But what makes it more insidious when a social network would it?
The particular data that you’re sharing on the social networking and that the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely so much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and derived from other activities which you post). Would you become pregnant recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you simply need to post regarding it on the social media where you really should share it with your family and friends and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to inform advertisers to begin showing you diapers. Have you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social media recognizes that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, now you’re likely to see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to help you returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is regarded as the 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 hardest to bring to people’s attention is why is 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 about the consumer component of social media marketing. Social media is actually a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and get in touch with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of this experience is consumerism. In reality, the technique of social networking depends on that. It’s assumed that men and women will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect to them. Similar to the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of any brand over a social media site. Yet, the charge of customer support or sales people who manage social media marketing presence for an organization or brand is to talk to the shoppers or brand advocates as if the manufacturer were somebody. This fine line between how you will talk to actual living people on social media and brands, products or companies is so fine that you just often forget you will discover a difference. And that is a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also will depend on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly closest to you (your social media friends and contacts) can more effectively influence you to definitely buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why just about all social media campaigns are meant to encourage individuals to share specifics of brands, products or companies on their own social media. When you notice people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably interact with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s the most virtual method of peer pressure or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend a great deal time on certain social media sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you think that you happen to be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, think of just how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status with that!