This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining light on some activities, hobbies, niches and even social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism but are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could be the most ubiquitous presence in lots of people’s lives, social websites. It is likely you think of social websites as a way to connect to and stay-in-touch with your friends and relations, a means to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you just worry about and perhaps even a means to meet new people. And whenever useful for good, social media marketing does those things. But there is also a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
According to your real age, you’ve probably experienced the subsequent cycle at least one time as well as several (as well as often). A social network launches. There are actually no ads, and is particularly glorious and you spend your time on the website talking to people useful or taking a look at fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social media needs to earn some money. By that period, you’ve developed your network and be purchased the web site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for items that you might or might 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 choice of which stores you wish to head into. Have you know which you wished to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you didn’t – until a social networking ad told you that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements of all social networks is regarded as the obvious way that consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not probably the most insidious way.
What makes a social websites network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data that they could drill through to be able to place their ads directly while watching individuals who are probably to answer them. By “the volume of data that they could drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide and therefore the social media marketing network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers in order to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means new to social networking and the majority of users never understand that by using a site or creating a merchant account with a site they may be by default allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, really small print in the conditions and terms that nobody ever reads). But why is it more insidious every time a social networking will it?
The sort of data that you’re sharing on a social networking and that the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely a whole lot more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and produced from other stuff that you simply post). Have you have a baby recently? You don’t have to share it with advertisers, you need to simply post regarding this on a social networking where you really should share it with your friends and relatives along with the social network’s smart computer brain knows to tell advertisers to begin showing you diapers. Do you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social media is aware that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, and today you’re gonna see ads from that website advertising that very product in an effort (usually highly successful) to obtain 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 many problems that we work the most challenging to bring to people’s attention is exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this time, it’s interwoven with everyday life, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous about the consumer element of social media marketing. Social websites is really a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and communicate with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in the fabric of the experience is consumerism. The truth is, the concept of social media advertising relies on that. It’s assumed that people will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect to them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same holds true of a brand on the social media site. Yet, the charge of customer service or sales representatives who manage social networking presence for a company or brand is to speak to the buyers or brand advocates like the manufacturer were somebody. This fine line between how you talk to actual living people on social websites and brands, products or companies is very fine that you just often forget there exists a difference. And that is certainly a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also will depend on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly nearest you (your social media marketing friends and contacts) can more effectively influence anyone to buy, try or support a brandname, company or product. That’s why nearly all social media advertising campaigns are meant to encourage people to share specifics of brands, products or companies on their own social network. If you notice people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more inclined to connect to and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s the most virtual kind of peer pressure or “keeping with the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend so much time on certain social media sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you believe you happen to be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, consider exactly how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status with that!