This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the lighting on some activities, hobbies, niches or even social norms which are ridden with consumerism however are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could possibly be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social media marketing. You probably consider social networking in order to connect with and remain-in-touch with your friends and relatives, a method to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you simply value and perhaps even a means to meet new people. So when employed for good, social media marketing does all of those things. But there is also a hidden … instead of so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.

Dependant upon your real age, you’ve probably experienced the subsequent cycle at least one time and possibly several (or perhaps many times). A social networking launches. You will find no ads, and it is glorious and you also spend your time on the website speaking to people of great interest or checking out fascinating (or at a minimum mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network needs to earn some money. By this time, you’ve established your network and become committed to the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. Then, suddenly, you find 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 marketing is one of the shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the option of which stores you want to enter. Would you even know that you just wished to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you didn’t – until a social networking ad told you that you just supposedly did!

The bait and switch with advertisements on the majority of social networking sites is regarded as the obvious way in which consumerism is worked to the model, but it’s not probably the most insidious way.

What makes a social networking network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the quantity of data that they could drill through to be able to place their ads directly ahead of the people who are more than likely to respond to them. By “the level of data that they can drill through” we mean “the quantity of data that users provide and therefore the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, a site sharing user data with advertisers to be able to help them to optimize their marketing campaigns is in no way unfamiliar with social websites and many users never recognize that using a site or creating a merchant account on a site they are by default allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, really small print from the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious each time a social media can it?

The kind of data that you’re sharing over a social network which the social network is sharing with advertisers is simply a whole lot more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and based on other activities that you post). Would you become pregnant recently? You don’t have to share it with advertisers, you need to simply post regarding it with a social network where you might want to share it with your friends and relatives as well as the social network’s smart computer brain knows to share with advertisers to begin showing you diapers. Would you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network recognizes that dexspky04 an operation called retargeting, and from now on you’re likely to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you get to purchase it. So while data sharing is regarded as the insidious method that social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.

At Postconsumers, one of several problems that we work the most challenging to bring to people’s attention is the fact that the thing that makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday living, society and also personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer aspect of social networking. Social networking is really a lifestyle tool to enable you to express yourself and get in touch with others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in to the fabric of that particular experience is consumerism. In reality, the practice of social media depends on that. It’s assumed that folks will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect to them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of any brand over a social websites site. Yet, the charge of customer care or sales people who manage social websites presence for a corporation or brand is to speak to the buyers or brand advocates as if the company were a person. This fine line between the method that you get in touch with actual living people on social websites and brands, products or companies is really fine that you simply often forget there exists a difference. And that is certainly a risky blending of life and consumerism.

Social media advertising also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming those seemingly nearest you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more effectively influence one to buy, try or support a brand, company or product. That’s why almost all social media campaigns are meant to encourage men and women to share details about brands, products or companies on his or her social media. Once you see people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to interact with and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s probably the most virtual type of pressure from peers or “keeping on top of the joneses.” And also since people spend a lot time on certain social media sites, it features a significant cumulative impact.

So, the next time you believe you might be harmlessly updating your status to the friends, take into consideration simply how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion of your consumer machine. Then update your status about this!