This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches or perhaps social norms which are ridden with consumerism but are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social media. It is likely you think about social media in order to connect with and stay-in-touch with your friends and family, ways to keep updated on topics and groups that you worry about and possibly even ways to meet new people. And whenever utilized for good, social networking does all of those things. But additionally there is a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
Based on how old you are, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle one or more times as well as several (and even many times). A social network launches. There are actually no ads, and it is glorious and you also spend your time on the website speaking with people of great interest or considering fascinating (or otherwise mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social media has to earn some money. By this time, you’ve built up your network and grow dedicated to the site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. After which, suddenly, you find your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things that you might or might not want but usually don’t need. Social networking is considered the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you would like to head into. Have you have any idea that 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 which you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on the majority of social networks is the most obvious method that consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social networking network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data that they can drill through to be able to put their ads directly in front of the those who are almost certainly to respond to them. By “the volume of data they can drill through” we mean “the amount of data that users provide which the social media marketing 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 websites and a lot users never understand that through a site or creating your account on the site these are by default allowing their data to become shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print from the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But exactly what makes it more insidious every time a social media will it?
The type of data that you’re sharing on a social network and that the social network is sharing with advertisers is merely so much more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced from other activities that you post). Do you have a baby recently? You don’t should share it with advertisers, you need to simply post about this over a social network where you may want to share it with your family and friends and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to start out demonstrating diapers. Would you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network knows that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, now you’re planning to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you straight back to purchase it. So while data sharing is regarded as the insidious method that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, among the conditions that we work the most challenging to create to people’s attention is the fact the thing that makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way, at this point, it’s interwoven with daily life, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous about the consumer element of social networking. Social media marketing can be a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven to the fabric of the experience is consumerism. In reality, practicing social media relies on that. It’s assumed that individuals will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and interact with them. Much like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of any brand on a social websites site. Yet, the charge of customer support or sales representatives who manage social networking presence for a company or brand is to talk to the clients or brand advocates like the company were somebody. This fine line between the method that you contact actual living people on social websites and brands, products or companies is so fine which you often forget you will discover a difference. And that is a risky blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also relies upon 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 brand name, company or product. That’s why just about all social media marketing campaigns are designed to encourage men and women to share specifics of brands, products or companies on the social network. Once you see people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s one of the most virtual form of pressure from peers or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And furthermore, as people spend a lot time on certain social media sites, it comes with a significant cumulative impact.
So, the very next time you think that you happen to be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, take into consideration how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion of your consumer machine. Then improve your status about that!