This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism but are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could possibly be the most ubiquitous presence in numerous people’s lives, social media marketing. You almost certainly think of social media marketing in order to connect to and remain-in-touch with your friends and relations, a way to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you value and perhaps even a method to meet new people. So when used for good, social media does all of those things. But additionally there is a hidden … and not so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
Depending on your actual age, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle one or more times and maybe several (or perhaps frequently). A social networking launches. There are no ads, in fact it is glorious and also you spend all of your current time on the website talking to people of great interest or looking at fascinating (or otherwise mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network must make some money. By that time, you’ve established your network and turn into dedicated to the internet site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. After which, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things that you may or may not want but typically don’t need. Social media is considered the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you want to go to. Would you even know that you simply wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social media ad told you which you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social networks is regarded as the obvious way that consumerism is worked in to the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
Exactly 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 ahead of the those people who are most likely to respond to them. By “the amount of data they can drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide which the social networking network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers so that you can assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means new to social media and a lot users never recognize that using a site or creating a merchant account on a site these are by default allowing their data to be shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print inside the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But why is it more insidious every time a social networking would it?
The sort of data that you’re sharing over a social networking and that the social networking is sharing with advertisers is just a whole lot more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and based on other things which you post). Did you get pregnant recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you just need to post about this over a social network where you really should share it with your family and friends and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to inform advertisers to start out showing you diapers. Have you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network knows that dexspky04 a process called retargeting, and from now on you’re gonna see ads from that website advertising that very product in a effort (usually highly successful) to obtain straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious way in which social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not one of the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of many concerns that we work the most challenging to bring to people’s attention is why is addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way that, at this time, it’s interwoven with everyday life, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer aspect of social websites. Social media marketing is really a lifestyle tool to enable you to express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven to the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. In fact, the technique of social media advertising relies on that. It’s assumed that folks will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect with them. Similar to the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, this is also true of any brand on a social networking site. Yet, the charge of customer care or sales people who manage social networking presence for a business or brand is to talk to the customers or brand advocates like the company were an individual. This fine line between how you talk to actual living people on social media and brands, products or companies is so 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 depends on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly nearest you (your social networking friends and contacts) can better influence you to definitely buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why virtually all social media advertising campaigns are meant to encourage people to share information about 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 communicate with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s the most virtual method of pressure from peers or “keeping with the joneses.” And also since people spend so much time on certain social networking sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you think that you are harmlessly updating your status in your friends, think of simply how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status with that!