This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms which can be ridden with consumerism but are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in numerous people’s lives, social media. It is likely you consider social networking in an effort to get in touch with and remain-in-touch with your friends and relatives, a way to keep updated on topics and groups which you value and perhaps even a method to make new friends. And when useful for good, social networking does all those things. But additionally there is a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Dependant upon your real age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle at least once and possibly several (as well as often times). A social networking launches. You can find no ads, and is particularly glorious so you spend your time on the website speaking with people useful or taking a look at fascinating (or otherwise mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking has to develop money. By that time, you’ve built up your network and grow dedicated to the internet site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you discover your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things that you may or may not want but usually don’t need. Social media marketing is considered the shopping mall of your present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you need to walk into. Would you even know that you just 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 simply supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social media sites is the most obvious method that consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social media marketing network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data that they can drill through as a way to place their ads directly while watching those people who are most likely to respond to them. By “the quantity of data they can drill through” we mean “the quantity of data that users provide and therefore the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a web site sharing user data with advertisers in order to help them optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means new to social websites and a lot users never know that through a site or creating a free account with a site they can be automatically allowing their data to get shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, really small print inside the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But why is it more insidious every time a social media will it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on the social media and therefore the social networking is sharing with advertisers is definitely so much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced by other activities that you post). Would you have a baby recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you just have to post about this over a social networking where you might want to share it with your friends and family along with the social network’s smart computer brain knows to tell advertisers to get started on demonstrating diapers. Do you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network recognizes that dexspky04 a process called retargeting, now you’re gonna see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to get you returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious manner in which social networks implement consumerism, it’s actually not by far the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of the issues that we work the most challenging to take to people’s attention is that exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this point, it’s interwoven with daily life, society and in many cases personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer element of social websites. Social media marketing is really a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and communicate with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of the experience is consumerism. Actually, the technique of social networking relies on that. It’s assumed that individuals 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, the same holds true of the brand with a social media site. Yet, the control of customer service or sales people who manage social media marketing presence for a business or brand is to speak to the clients or brand advocates just like the manufacturer were somebody. This fine line between how you will contact actual living people on social media and brands, products or companies is very fine which you often forget you will find a difference. And that is a hazardous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that those seemingly closest to you (your social media friends and contacts) can more effectively influence one to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why just about all social networking campaigns are created to encourage men and women to share information regarding brands, products or companies on their social networking. When you notice people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more inclined to communicate with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s the most virtual method of pressure from peers or “keeping track of the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend a lot time on certain social networking sites, it comes with a significant cumulative impact.
So, the very next time you think that you might be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, think of just how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about this!