This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms which can be ridden with consumerism however are often thought of as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in many people’s lives, social websites. You most likely think about social websites in order to connect with and stay-in-touch with your family and friends, a way to keep updated on topics and groups that you simply cherish and maybe even a means to meet new people. And when used for good, social media marketing does all of those things. But additionally there is a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
According to your real age, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle at least once as well as several (or perhaps frequently). A social network launches. You can find no ads, and is particularly glorious and you spend all of your time on there conversing with people useful or checking out fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network has to earn some money. By this time, you’ve developed your network and turn into committed to the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. After which, suddenly, you locate your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for stuff that you may or may not want but more often than not don’t need. Social websites is one of the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you wish to walk into. Would you have any idea that you desired to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social media ad informed you that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networking sites is regarded as the obvious manner in which consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social media marketing network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the amount of data that they can drill through so that you can put their ads directly while watching people who are most likely to answer them. By “the amount of data that they may drill through” we mean “the amount of data that users provide which the social media marketing network shares with advertisers.” Now, to be perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers in order to enable them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way a novice to social media marketing and the majority of users never know that through a site or creating your account on the site these are by default allowing their data to get shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print in the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But what makes it more insidious whenever a social media will it?
The particular data that you’re sharing over a social media and therefore the social networking is sharing with advertisers is just a whole lot more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and based on other things that you simply post). Would 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 want to share it with your friends and family and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to start out showing you diapers. Would you go to the website that sells hammers recently? Your social network knows that dexspky04 a process called retargeting, and today you’re likely to see ads from that website advertising that very product in an effort (usually highly successful) to get you straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious method that social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of the concerns that we work the toughest to create to people’s attention is the fact that what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday living, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous about the consumer aspect of social networking. Social websites is actually a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and get in touch with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven to the fabric of that experience is consumerism. Actually, the technique of social networking will depend on that. It’s assumed that people 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 holds true of any brand with a social websites site. Yet, the control of customer satisfaction or sales representatives who manage social websites presence for a business or brand is to speak with the customers or brand advocates as though the emblem were an individual. This fine line between how you talk to actual living people on social media and brands, products or companies is very fine that you just often forget you will discover a difference. And that is certainly a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly closest to you (your social websites friends and contacts) can more effectively influence you to buy, try or support a brand name, company or product. That’s why almost all social media marketing campaigns are meant to encourage visitors to share information about brands, products or companies on the social networking. Once you see people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more inclined to connect with and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s by far the most virtual type of peer pressure or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And since people spend a great deal time on certain social networks, it has a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you believe you might be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, consider exactly how much your social media activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then enhance your status concerning this!