This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches and even social norms which can be ridden with consumerism but they are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in lots of people’s lives, social media marketing. It is likely you think about social websites so as to interact with and stay-in-touch with your friends and relatives, a method to keep updated on topics and groups that you simply cherish and perhaps even a way to meet new people. So when used for good, social websites does all those things. But there is also a hidden … and not so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew.
Dependant upon your age, you’ve probably experienced these cycle at least one time and possibly several (and even frequently). A social media launches. There are actually no ads, which is glorious and you spend your time on the website talking to people appealing or looking at fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social media must make some money. By that period, you’ve developed your network and be 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 stuff that you may or may not want but usually don’t need. Social networking is among the most shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get choosing which stores you want to enter. Do you even know that you just desired to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social websites ad said that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networks is the most obvious way in which consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not probably the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social media network such a target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data they can drill through to be able to put their ads directly in front of the those people who are probably to answer them. By “the amount of data that they can drill through” we mean “the amount of data that users provide and therefore the social networking network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a web site sharing user data with advertisers so that you can help them optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way a novice to social media and a lot users never know that by using a site or creating your account on a site these are by default allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print within the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious every time a social media would it?
The type of data that you’re sharing on a social media and therefore the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely a whole lot more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and derived from other activities that you just post). Do you have a baby recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you just need to post regarding it with a social media where you really should share it with your family and friends and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to inform advertisers to get started on showing you diapers. Have you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network understands that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, now you’re gonna see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you back to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious way that social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not by far the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, among the conditions that we work the most difficult to bring 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 daily life, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous about the consumer part of social media marketing. Social websites can be a lifestyle tool to enable you to express yourself and get in touch with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in to the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. In reality, the practice of social networking depends on that. It’s assumed that men and women 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 a social websites site. Yet, the charge of customer support or sales representatives who manage social websites presence for a business or brand is to speak with the customers or brand advocates just like the manufacturer were somebody. This fine line between the method that you talk to actual living people on social networking and brands, products or companies is really fine that you simply often forget there exists a difference. And that is certainly a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media also will depend on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming those seemingly nearest you (your social media friends and contacts) can better influence one to buy, try or support a product, company or product. That’s why nearly all social media advertising campaigns are meant to encourage individuals to share information regarding brands, products or companies on their social media. When you see people whom you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably interact with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s one of the most virtual method of peer pressure or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend a lot time on certain social networks, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you think that you might be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, think about how much your social media activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about this!