This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches and even social norms that happen to be ridden with consumerism however are often thought of as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could possibly be the most ubiquitous presence in lots of people’s lives, social media. It is likely you imagine social media marketing in an effort to get in touch with and remain-in-touch with your family and friends, a way to keep updated on topics and groups that you just care about and possibly even a method to meet new people. And when useful for good, social networking does all those things. But additionally there is a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew.
Based on your age, you’ve probably experienced the following cycle at least once and possibly several (and even often). A social network launches. You can find no ads, and it is glorious and you spend all your time on the website speaking to people useful or considering fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network should make some money. By this time, you’ve built up your network and be 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 stuff that you might or might not want but almost always don’t need. Social websites has become the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you would like to walk into. Would you realize which you desired to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you just didn’t – until a social networking ad told you that you just supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on most social media sites is regarded as the obvious way in which consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not by far the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social websites network this kind of target-rich environment for advertisers is the level of data that they can drill through so that you can put their ads directly before the people who are most likely to answer them. By “the amount of data they can drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide and that the social media marketing network shares with advertisers.” Now, to be perfectly clear, a website sharing user data with advertisers to be able to enable them to optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means a new comer to social media marketing and a lot users never understand that through a site or creating a free account with a site they may be 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 whenever a social media can it?
The particular data that you’re sharing over a social networking which the social networking is sharing with advertisers is just a lot more intimate. Social media sites share your interests (both stated and based on other activities that you just post). Did you become pregnant recently? You don’t have to share it with advertisers, you just need to post regarding it on a social networking where you might want to share it with your friends and relations and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to get started on showing you diapers. Have you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network understands that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, and from now on you’re planning to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you get returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is regarded as the insidious way that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several issues that we work the most difficult to create to people’s attention is that exactly what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way that, at this stage, it’s interwoven with daily life, society and even personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer component of social websites. Social websites can be a lifestyle tool to enable you to express yourself and communicate with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in to the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. Actually, the concept of social networking relies on that. It’s assumed that people will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect with them. Similar to the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, this is also true of the brand over a social media site. Yet, the charge of customer support or sales people who manage social media presence for a company or brand is to talk to the shoppers or brand advocates as though the emblem were an individual. This fine line between the way you communicate with actual living people on social media marketing and brands, products or companies is so fine that you often forget you will find a difference. And that is certainly a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also will depend on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming those seemingly closest to you (your social media friends and contacts) can more efficiently influence you to definitely buy, try or support a product, company or product. That’s why almost all social media advertising campaigns are made to encourage men and women to share specifics of brands, products or companies on the social network. When you see people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to communicate with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s probably the most virtual form of peer pressure or “keeping track of the joneses.” And because people spend a whole lot time on certain social networks, it features a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you think that you happen to be harmlessly updating your status for your friends, think of how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then improve your status about that!