This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining light on some activities, hobbies, niches and even social norms which are ridden with consumerism but 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 websites. You almost certainly think about social media marketing so as to connect with and remain-in-touch with your friends and relations, a means to keep updated on topics and groups which you value as well as even a means to make new friends. And whenever employed for good, social networking does all those things. But there is also a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Depending on your actual age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle at least once and perhaps several (or even many times). A social network launches. There are no ads, in fact it is glorious and you spend all of your current time on there conversing with people appealing or looking at fascinating (or at a minimum mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network should develop money. By that period, you’ve developed your network and be invested in the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you may or may not want but almost always 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 would like to walk into. Did you have any idea which you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social media marketing ad told you which you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social media sites is regarded as the obvious method that consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social networking network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data that they may drill through in order to place their ads directly before the those who are almost certainly to respond to them. By “the level of data they can drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide which the social websites network shares with advertisers.” Now, being perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers so that you can help them optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means a novice to social media marketing and a lot users never understand that by using a site or creating a free account with a site they can be by default allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print inside the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious when a social media does it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on a social network and therefore the social networking is sharing with advertisers is merely much more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and based on other stuff that you simply post). Did you become pregnant recently? You don’t have to share it with advertisers, you just have to post about this on a social media where you might like to share it with your friends and relations as well as the social network’s smart computer brain knows to inform advertisers to get started on demonstrating diapers. Have you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network knows that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, and today you’re likely to see ads from that website advertising that very product in an effort (usually highly successful) to obtain returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is considered the most insidious way in which social networks implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of many concerns that we work the hardest to take to people’s attention is why is addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way, at this point, it’s interwoven with everyday living, society and in many cases personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer aspect of social networking. Social websites is really a lifestyle tool to let you express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven to the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. In reality, the technique of social media relies on that. It’s assumed that men and women will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, this is also true of any brand on a social media marketing site. Yet, the charge of customer care or sales people who manage social networking presence for a company or brand is to talk to the shoppers or brand advocates just like the company were somebody. This fine line between how you will talk to actual living people on social websites and brands, products or companies is so fine that you simply often forget there is a difference. And that is a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also relies on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming those seemingly nearest to you (your social media marketing friends and contacts) can better influence one to buy, try or support a brand name, company or product. That’s why virtually all social media advertising campaigns are designed to encourage people to share information regarding brands, products or companies on their own social network. When you notice people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to interact with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s the most virtual type of peer pressure or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And because people spend a whole lot time on certain social media sites, it possesses a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you think that you will be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, consider just how much your social media activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then update your status about that!