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 considered to be being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social networking. You almost certainly consider social media marketing so as to connect with and remain-in-touch with your friends and family, a method to keep updated on topics and groups that you simply value and maybe even a means to make new friends. And when utilized for good, social networking does those things. But there is also a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew ltd.
According to your actual age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle at least once as well as several (or even often times). A social media launches. You will find no ads, which is glorious and you spend all of your current time on there conversing with people useful or looking at fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking has to develop money. By that point, you’ve developed your network and become invested in the web site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And after that, suddenly, you locate your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you might or might not want but almost always 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 choice of which stores you need to enter. Did you even know that you wished to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social media ad told you that you just supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on the majority of social media sites is considered the most obvious way in which consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not probably the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social networking network such a target-rich environment for advertisers is the level of data that they may drill through to be able to put their ads directly before the people who are most likely to answer them. By “the amount of data that they may drill through” we mean “the amount of data that users provide which the social networking network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers so that you can help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means new to social media marketing and most users never know that using a site or creating an account with a site they can be automatically allowing their data to get shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, tiny print within the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But exactly what makes it more insidious when a social network will it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on a social media and therefore the social media is sharing with advertisers is definitely so much more intimate. Social media sites share your interests (both stated and derived from other items that you post). Do you have a baby recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you simply need to post about it on a social networking where you really should share it with your friends and family along with the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to start demonstrating diapers. Have you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network recognizes that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, and today you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product in an effort (usually highly successful) to obtain to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious way that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not by far the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several concerns that we work the hardest to bring to people’s attention is the fact that exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way that, at this time, it’s interwoven with everyday living, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer component of social networking. Social media can be a lifestyle tool to let you express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in to the fabric of that experience is consumerism. The truth is, practicing social media depends on that. It’s assumed that people 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, this is also true of your brand on a social media site. Yet, the charge of customer satisfaction or sales agents who manage social media presence for a corporation or brand is to talk to the shoppers or brand advocates just like the manufacturer were somebody. This fine line between how you talk to actual living people on social media and brands, products or companies is really fine that you just often forget there is a difference. And that is certainly a hazardous blending of life and consumerism.
Social networking also will depend on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming those seemingly nearest to you (your social media marketing friends and contacts) can better influence one to buy, try or support a brand name, company or product. That’s why nearly all social media marketing campaigns are designed to encourage individuals to share information about brands, products or companies on their social networking. When you notice people that you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably interact with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s one of the most virtual kind of pressure from peers or “keeping track of the joneses.” And since people spend so much time on certain social networking sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, the very next time you think that you are harmlessly updating your status in your friends, think about exactly how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion in the consumer machine. Then improve your status with that!