This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining light on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism but they are often considered to be being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in numerous people’s lives, social media marketing. You most likely imagine social websites in order to connect to and stay-in-touch with your friends and relations, a method to keep updated on topics and groups which you cherish and possibly even ways to meet new people. And when used for good, social media does all of the things. But additionally there is a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew.
Depending on your real age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle at least once and possibly several (or perhaps often). A social networking launches. You can find no ads, and it is glorious and also you spend all of your time on there speaking with people appealing or considering fascinating (or at a minimum mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network needs to make some money. By that point, you’ve built up your network and become dedicated to the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And after that, suddenly, you locate your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for stuff that you may or may not want but typically don’t need. Social websites is considered the shopping mall in the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get choosing which stores you need to go to. Have you even know which you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social media ad told you which you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social media sites is easily the most obvious method that consumerism is worked into the model, but it’s not by far 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 so that you can place their ads directly ahead of the people who are almost certainly to respond to them. By “the volume of data they can drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide and this the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a website sharing user data with advertisers to be able to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way unfamiliar with social media and many users never realize that simply by using a site or creating a merchant account on the site they may be by default allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, really small print from the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious every time a social network will it?
The particular data that you’re sharing on a social network which the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely a lot more intimate. Social media sites share your interests (both stated and based on other items that you just post). Would you become pregnant recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you just need to post regarding this on the social media where you may want to share it with your family and friends along with the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to begin demonstrating diapers. Did you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking understands that dexspky04 a process called retargeting, and from now on you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product in a effort (usually highly successful) to get you returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious way that social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several concerns that we work the toughest to give to people’s attention is the fact that what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is how, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday life, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer element of social networking. Social media can be a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. In reality, practicing social media advertising relies upon 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 a brand over a social networking site. Yet, the control of customer care or sales agents who manage social networking presence for an organization or brand is to talk to the buyers or brand advocates as if the brand were someone. This fine line between the way you get in touch with actual living people on social websites and brands, products or companies is indeed fine that you simply often forget you will find a difference. And that is certainly an unsafe blending of life and consumerism.
Social media also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly nearest to you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more efficiently influence you to definitely buy, try or support a brand name, company or product. That’s why almost all social media campaigns are made to encourage men and women to share specifics of brands, products or companies on their social media. Once you see people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably connect to and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s the most virtual method of pressure from peers or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And since people spend a great deal time on certain social networking sites, it comes with a significant cumulative impact.
So, when you think that you might be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, think of just how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about that!