This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms which are ridden with consumerism however they are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social media. You almost certainly think of social websites in order to connect to and stay-in-touch with your friends and family, ways to keep up-to-date on topics and groups which you cherish and possibly even a method to make new friends. And once useful for good, social networking does all those things. But there is also a hidden … instead of so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Depending on your age, you’ve probably experienced the subsequent cycle at least one time and possibly several (and even often times). A social media launches. There are actually no ads, which is glorious and also you spend all your time on there speaking with people useful or looking at fascinating (or at a minimum mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network needs to make some money. By that point, you’ve established your network and be invested in the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. After which, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for items that you may or may not want but almost always don’t need. Social media marketing is considered the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you need to enter. Did you even know that you just wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social networking ad said that you simply supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements of all social networking sites is considered the most obvious way in which consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social media network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the level of data they can drill through to be able to place their ads directly before the people who are almost certainly to respond to them. By “the volume of data they can drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide and that the social websites network shares with advertisers.” Now, being perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers in order to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way a new comer to social media and a lot users never realize that through a site or creating an account with a site they may be automatically allowing their data to get shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print from the conditions and terms that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious when a social networking does it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on a social network and therefore the social networking is sharing with advertisers is simply a lot more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and produced from other activities which you post). Have you get pregnant recently? You don’t must share it with advertisers, you need to simply post about this on the social networking where you might want to share it with your friends and relations and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to start showing you diapers. Have you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking understands that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, now you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product in a effort (usually highly successful) to help you returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is regarded as the insidious manner in which social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several issues that we work the toughest to bring to people’s attention is the fact the thing that makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is how, at this point, it’s interwoven with daily life, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer component of social websites. Social networking can be a lifestyle tool to allow you to express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in to the fabric of the experience is consumerism. In reality, the concept of social media relies on that. It’s assumed that individuals 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 a brand over a social networking site. Yet, the charge of customer care or sales representatives who manage social websites presence for a business or brand is to talk to the shoppers or brand advocates like the company were an individual. This fine line between the method that you get in touch with actual living people on social media marketing and brands, products or companies is indeed fine that you just often forget you will find a difference. And that is certainly a hazardous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also relies on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that those seemingly closest to you (your social websites friends and contacts) can more effectively influence one to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why virtually all social networking campaigns are made to encourage visitors to share specifics of brands, products or companies on the social media. Once you see people that you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s probably the most virtual form of peer pressure or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And since people spend so much time on certain social networking sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you think that you will be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, consider simply how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then update your status with that!