This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism however 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 almost certainly think about social websites in order to connect with and remain-in-touch with your friends and relations, a way to keep updated on topics and groups that you simply worry about and maybe even a way to meet new people. So when used for good, social websites does those things. But additionally there is a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Depending on your age, you’ve probably experienced these cycle one or more times and perhaps several (or even often). A social media launches. There are actually no ads, which is glorious so you spend your time on the website speaking to people of great interest or looking at fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking needs to make some money. By that point, you’ve developed your network and turn into purchased the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for stuff that you might or might not want but usually don’t need. Social media has become the shopping mall of your present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you wish to enter. Have you have any idea that you simply wished to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you didn’t – until a social media marketing ad informed you that you just supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social networking sites is considered the most obvious method that consumerism is worked in to the model, but it’s not the most insidious way.
Why is a social media network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data that they could drill through as a way to place their ads directly ahead of the individuals who are more than likely to answer them. By “the quantity of data that they could drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide and therefore the social websites network shares with advertisers.” Now, being perfectly clear, a website sharing user data with advertisers to be able to help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way unfamiliar with social media and many users never recognize that using a site or creating a merchant account over a site they may be by default allowing their data to get shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, really small print in the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But what makes it more insidious when a social networking would it?
The particular data that you’re sharing on the social networking and this the social networking is sharing with advertisers is simply so much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced from other things that you simply post). Do you have a baby recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you just need to post regarding this on the social networking where you might want to share it with your friends and family as well as the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to begin demonstrating diapers. Did you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking knows that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, and from now on you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to get you straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious way that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not by far the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of many concerns that we work the toughest to take to people’s attention is the fact that what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this stage, it’s interwoven with daily life, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous regarding the consumer component of social websites. Social websites is a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of this experience is consumerism. The truth is, 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 to them. Much like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, this is also true of your brand on a social websites site. Yet, the charge of customer care or sales representatives who manage social media marketing presence for a corporation or brand is to speak with the buyers or brand advocates as though the manufacturer were someone. This fine line between the method that you communicate with actual living people on social websites and brands, products or companies is indeed fine that you often forget you will discover a difference. And that is certainly a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media marketing also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly nearest to you (your social websites friends and contacts) can better influence you to definitely buy, try or support a brandname, company or product. That’s why nearly all social media advertising campaigns are made to encourage visitors to share information regarding brands, products or companies on his or her social media. When you see people that you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more inclined to interact with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s probably the most virtual kind of pressure from peers or “keeping with the joneses.” And also since people spend a lot time on certain social networks, it comes with a significant cumulative impact.
So, the very next time you think that you will be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, think of simply how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion in the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about this!