This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches or perhaps social norms which can be ridden with consumerism however 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. You almost certainly think about social media in an effort to connect with and stay-in-touch with your friends and relations, a way to keep updated on topics and groups that you just cherish and maybe even a way to meet new people. And when useful for good, social media marketing does all of the things. But there is also a hidden … and not so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
According to your age, you’ve probably experienced these cycle one or more times and maybe several (or even often). A social network launches. There are no ads, which is glorious and you spend your time on the website speaking with people useful or considering fascinating (or at a minimum mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social media should make some money. By that period, you’ve developed your network and grow committed to the internet site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. After which, suddenly, you discover your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you might or might not want but typically don’t need. Social media marketing is considered the shopping mall in the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you would like to walk into. Did you realize which you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social networking ad informed you that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on the majority of social media sites is considered the most obvious way in which consumerism is worked in to the model, but it’s not probably the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social media marketing network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data that they can drill through in order to put their ads directly before the those who are most likely to answer them. By “the quantity of data they can drill through” we mean “the quantity of data that users provide which the social media marketing network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, a web site sharing user data with advertisers so that you can assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means new to social networking and a lot users never realize that by using a site or creating a free account with a site they may be automatically allowing their data to get shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print inside the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious each time a social network would it?
The particular data that you’re sharing with a social network and this the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely so much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced from other stuff that you post). Would you have a baby recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you just have to post regarding this on the social network where you may want to share it with your friends and relatives and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to inform advertisers to start out demonstrating diapers. Do you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking knows that dexspky04 an operation 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 obtain back to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious method that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not by far the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, among the conditions that we work the most challenging to take to people’s attention is the thing that makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way that, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday living, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous about the consumer component of social networking. Social media can be a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven to the fabric of that experience is consumerism. In reality, the technique of social media advertising relies upon that. It’s assumed that men and women will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect with them. Much like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same holds true of your brand with a social media marketing site. Yet, the charge of customer support or sales representatives who manage social media presence for a business or brand is to speak to the buyers or brand advocates like the company were a person. This fine line between how you get in touch with actual living people on social networking and brands, products or companies is very fine that you simply often forget there exists a difference. And that is certainly a hazardous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly nearest to you (your social media marketing friends and contacts) can better influence you to definitely buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why nearly all social networking campaigns are meant to encourage visitors to share specifics of brands, products or companies on their social network. If you notice people whom you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably connect with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s probably the most virtual method of pressure from peers or “keeping track of the joneses.” And since people spend so much time on certain social networks, it has a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you believe you happen to be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, take into consideration simply how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then improve your status with that!