This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the light on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms which are ridden with consumerism however they are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social websites. It is likely you imagine social media so as to interact with and stay-in-touch with your friends and relations, ways to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you simply cherish and possibly even ways to make new friends. And when useful for good, social media marketing does all of those things. But there is also a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
According to your real age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle one or more times as well as several (and even often). A social networking launches. There are actually no ads, in fact it is glorious and also you spend your time on there conversing with people appealing or considering fascinating (or at least mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social media has to make some money. By that time, you’ve developed your network and be purchased the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. Then, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you might or might not want but usually don’t need. Social media is considered the shopping mall of your present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you want to head into. Did you realize that you simply wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social networking ad informed you that you just supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networking sites is regarded as the obvious way that consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social websites network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data that they could drill through as a way to put their ads directly while watching those who are almost certainly to answer them. By “the volume of data that they can drill through” we mean “the level of data that users provide and therefore the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to become perfectly clear, a site sharing user data with advertisers as a way to help them optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way a new comer to social networking and the majority of users never understand that simply by using a site or creating a free account with a site these are by default allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, small print in the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious every time a social networking would it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on the social media and that the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely much more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and produced by other things that you just post). Would you get pregnant recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you just have to post regarding it with a 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 begin demonstrating diapers. Do you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social media is aware that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, now you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product in a effort (usually highly successful) to help you straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is considered the most insidious way that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of the problems that we work the most difficult to bring to people’s attention is that the thing that makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way that, at this point, it’s interwoven with everyday living, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous regarding the consumer component of social media. Social websites can be a lifestyle tool to enable you to express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven to the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. In fact, practicing social networking relies upon that. It’s assumed that people will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and interact with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same holds true of your brand with a social networking site. Yet, the charge of customer satisfaction or sales representatives who manage social media presence for a corporation or brand is to speak to the clients or brand advocates as though the manufacturer 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 really fine which you often forget there exists a difference. And that is certainly a risky blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also will depend on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that those seemingly nearest you (your social media friends and contacts) can better influence one to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why virtually all social media campaigns are designed to encourage individuals to share specifics of brands, products or companies on the social network. If you notice people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect to and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s the most virtual kind of pressure from peers or “keeping up with the joneses.” And also since people spend a whole lot time on certain social networking sites, it has a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you think that you are harmlessly updating your status to your friends, think of how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status about this!