This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining light on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism but are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in lots of people’s lives, social websites. You probably imagine social websites in order to get in touch with and remain-in-touch with your friends and family, ways to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you just care about and maybe even a method to make new friends. And when useful for good, social media marketing does all those things. But there is also a hidden … instead of so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
Dependant upon your real age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle one or more times and perhaps several (or perhaps frequently). A social networking launches. There are actually no ads, which is glorious so you spend all of your current time on there speaking to people of great interest or looking at fascinating (or at least mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking needs to develop money. By that point, you’ve built up your network and become invested in the internet site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And after that, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for stuff that you might or might not want but almost always don’t need. Social networking is one of the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you need to go to. Would you know which you desired to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you just didn’t – until a social media ad mentioned that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements of all social networks is easily the most obvious method that consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social networking network this kind of target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data they can drill through to be able to put their ads directly before the those people who are almost certainly to answer them. By “the amount of data that they may drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide which the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a website sharing user data with advertisers so that you can assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means unfamiliar with social websites and a lot users never recognize that using a site or creating your account with a site these are by default allowing their data to be shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print from the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious whenever a social network can it?
The particular data that you’re sharing with a social media which the social network is sharing with advertisers is simply so much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and based on other stuff that you just post). Have you have a baby recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you simply need to post about this on the social media where you may want to share it with your friends and family as well as the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to start out demonstrating diapers. Do you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network knows that dexspky04 an operation called retargeting, and today you’re gonna see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to help you get to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious manner in which social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not by far the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of the problems that we work the most challenging to bring to people’s attention is the fact exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is how, at this stage, it’s interwoven with daily life, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer element of social media. Social networking is actually a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of that experience is consumerism. In fact, the concept of social media marketing relies upon 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 your brand over a social media marketing site. Yet, the charge of customer satisfaction or sales people who manage social media presence for a company or brand is to speak with the buyers or brand advocates just like the company were someone. This fine line between how you get in touch with actual living people on social media marketing and brands, products or companies is really fine that you simply often forget there exists a difference. And that is a hazardous blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also depends on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming those seemingly nearest you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more effectively influence you to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why virtually all social media advertising campaigns are designed to encourage individuals to share information regarding brands, products or companies on their own social network. When you notice people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect to and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s one of the most virtual type of pressure from peers or “keeping up with the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend a lot time on certain social networking sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, when you believe you will be harmlessly updating your status for your friends, think of exactly how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion from the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about this!