This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms which can be ridden with consumerism but are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could be the most ubiquitous presence in many people’s lives, social media marketing. You almost certainly think of social media in an effort to get in touch with and stay-in-touch with your friends and relatives, a way to keep updated on topics and groups which you worry about and maybe even ways to make new friends. So when useful for good, social media marketing does all those things. But there is also a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
Dependant upon your actual age, you’ve probably experienced these cycle at least one time and maybe several (or perhaps often). A social media launches. There are no ads, and is particularly glorious and you spend all of your current time on the website speaking with people of interest or considering fascinating (or at a minimum mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking should develop money. By that period, you’ve built up your network and become committed to the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And after that, suddenly, you discover your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for items that you might or might not want but usually don’t need. Social media is one of the shopping mall in the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you want to enter. Did you realize that you simply wished to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social websites ad told you that you simply supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social networks is easily the most obvious method that consumerism is worked into the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
What makes a social media marketing network this kind of target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data that they can drill through so that you can place their ads directly before the individuals who are probably to respond to them. By “the level of data that they could drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide and that the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to be perfectly clear, a website sharing user data with advertisers as a way to assist them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way unfamiliar with social media marketing and a lot users never understand that using a site or creating a merchant account over a site they may 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 what makes it more insidious each time a social network can it?
The type of data that you’re sharing over a social networking which the social network is sharing with advertisers is definitely so much more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and produced by other activities which you post). Would you get pregnant recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you need to simply post regarding this on the social networking where you might like to share it with your friends and family as well as the social network’s smart computer brain knows to tell advertisers to start showing you diapers. Would you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking understands that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, and now you’re likely to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to obtain returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is regarded as the insidious method that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not one of the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of the problems that we work the hardest to create to people’s attention is that exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday life, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous regarding the consumer aspect of social websites. Social media can be a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and get in touch with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven to the fabric of this experience is consumerism. Actually, the concept of social media marketing depends on that. It’s assumed that men and women will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and communicate with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, this is also true of a brand with a social websites site. Yet, the control of customer service or sales people who manage social media presence for a business or brand is to talk to the buyers or brand advocates just like the brand were somebody. This fine line between how you will contact 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 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 media friends and contacts) can more efficiently influence one to buy, try or support a brandname, company or product. That’s why just about all social media advertising campaigns are created to encourage men and women to share information regarding brands, products or companies on the social media. When you notice people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to interact with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s the most virtual form of peer pressure or “keeping track of the joneses.” And also since people spend a lot time on certain social networking sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, the next time you believe you happen to be harmlessly updating your status to your friends, think of simply how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then improve your status about this!