This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms which are ridden with consumerism but they are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in lots of people’s lives, social websites. You most likely consider social media in an effort to interact with and stay-in-touch with your friends and relatives, a way to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you cherish and maybe even ways to make new friends. And whenever useful for good, social networking does all of the things. But there is also a hidden … and not so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
Depending on your real age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle one or more times as well as several (as well as many times). A social media launches. There are no ads, in fact it is glorious and you spend your time on there talking to people of interest or checking out fascinating (or at least mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking has to develop money. By that time, you’ve developed your network and become invested in the web site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you find your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you may or may not want but more often than not don’t need. Social websites has become the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get choosing which stores you wish to walk into. Did you even know which you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social media marketing ad informed you that you simply supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on the majority of social media sites is easily the most obvious way that consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social media marketing network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the level of data that they may drill through as a way to place their ads directly while watching those who are almost certainly to answer them. By “the quantity of data that they can drill through” we mean “the amount of data that users provide which the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to be perfectly clear, a web site sharing user data with advertisers to be able to enable them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means a novice to social media and a lot users never recognize that through a site or creating a free account on a site they can be automatically allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, tiny print inside the conditions and terms that nobody ever reads). But exactly what makes it more insidious whenever a social network does it?
The type of data that you’re sharing over a social network and that the social network is sharing with advertisers is simply so much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced from other things that you just post). Do you become pregnant recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you need to simply post regarding this on the social media where you might like to share it with your friends and relations as well as the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to start out showing you diapers. Did you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking recognizes that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, and from now on you’re gonna see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to obtain straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is regarded as the insidious method that social networks implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of the concerns that we work the most challenging to bring to people’s attention is the fact that the thing that makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is how, at this point, it’s interwoven with everyday living, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer aspect of social websites. Social websites is actually a lifestyle tool to let you express yourself and get in touch with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in the fabric of this experience is consumerism. In fact, the concept of social media marketing relies on that. It’s assumed that individuals will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of a brand over a social networking site. Yet, the control of customer care or sales agents who manage social media marketing presence for a corporation or brand is to talk to the customers or brand advocates just like the company were an individual. This fine line between the way you contact actual living people on social networking and brands, products or companies is so fine that you simply often forget there is a difference. And that is certainly a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media marketing also relies on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that individuals seemingly nearest to you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more efficiently influence anyone to buy, try or support a product, company or product. That’s why almost all social media advertising campaigns are designed to encourage men and women to share details about brands, products or companies on his or her social media. If you notice people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more inclined to connect with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s by far the most virtual method of peer pressure or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend a whole lot time on certain social media sites, it has a significant cumulative impact.
So, when you think that you might be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, take into consideration exactly how much your social media activity is facilitating the intrusion of your consumer machine. Then enhance your status about that!