This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the light on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism but are often thought of as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could possibly be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social websites. You almost certainly imagine social media in order to connect to and stay-in-touch with your friends and family, a means to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you just value and maybe even a method to meet new people. And when used for good, social media does all those things. But there is also a hidden … instead of so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
Depending on your age, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle at least once and perhaps several (or even often times). A social media launches. You can find no ads, which is glorious and you also spend all your time on there speaking to people useful or checking out fascinating (or otherwise mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network needs to make some money. By that time, you’ve established your network and turn into committed to the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. Then, suddenly, you locate your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for stuff that you may or may not want but usually don’t need. Social media has become the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you would like to enter. Have you realize that you just wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social networking ad said which you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networking sites is considered the most obvious way that consumerism is worked in to the model, but it’s not the most insidious way.
What makes a social media marketing network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the level of data that they can drill through as a way to place their ads directly while watching people who are more than likely to answer them. By “the quantity of data that they may drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide and this the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, being perfectly clear, a website sharing user data with advertisers in order to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way a new comer to social networking and a lot users never know that using a site or creating a merchant account over a site these are by default allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, tiny print from the conditions and terms that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious every time a social media does it?
The sort of data that you’re sharing over a social media and that the social networking is sharing with advertisers is simply much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and based on other stuff that you simply post). Would you have a baby recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you just need to post regarding this on the social network where you might want to share it with your family and friends along with the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to get started on demonstrating diapers. Do you go to the website that sells hammers recently? Your social network knows that dexspky04 an operation called retargeting, now you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you get to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious way that social networks implement consumerism, it’s actually not one of the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of many concerns that we work the toughest to take to people’s attention is the fact why is addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way that, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday routine, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer aspect of social websites. Social media marketing is actually a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and communicate with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of this experience is consumerism. Actually, the concept of social networking relies on that. It’s assumed that individuals 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 is true of your brand on the social media site. Yet, the control of customer service or sales agents who manage social networking presence for a business or brand is to speak to the customers or brand advocates like the brand were somebody. This fine line between how you communicate with actual living people on social media marketing and brands, products or companies is so fine that you simply often forget there exists a difference. And that is certainly a risky blending of life and consumerism.
Social media also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly nearest you (your social websites friends and contacts) can more effectively influence you to definitely buy, try or support a brandname, company or product. That’s why just about all social networking campaigns are created to encourage individuals to share information regarding brands, products or companies on the social network. If you notice people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably connect to and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s probably the most virtual form of pressure from peers or “keeping track of the joneses.” And because people spend a lot time on certain social media sites, it comes with a significant cumulative impact.
So, when you believe you will be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, take into consideration how much your social media activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then improve your status concerning this!