How Marketers Use Your Social Media To Sell You Stuff
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Your Social Media Profile Is Giving Marketers Everything They Need To Sell You Their Stuff

Privacy on the internet is a long shot

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Your Social Media Profile Is Giving Marketers Everything They Need To Sell You Their Stuff
https://unsplash.com/photos/OwvRB-M3GwE

So I've been looking into online business and creating an e-Commerce site. Part of my research was to figure out how to use online marketing techniques to find the most relevant customers. I learned A LOT on how social media sites use and sell your information.

Pretty much when you sign up for any social media site all of the personal information you post on them are put on full blast for advertising companies to take advantage of so they can sell you stuff. Let me give you an example: It's as if you're walking in a public area like a bus station and you're talking on the phone talking about your lower back pain. Lo and behold, a shoe salesman who happened to be standing next to you overheard your conversation tells you about his magical new shoe technology that zaps away back pain away, and he gives you his business card.

Well, that's pretty much how online advertising and marketing works. Social media sites are like giant public spaces where people can overhear each you: only difference is that these people can profile you by age, gender, location, what school you went to, what you search on google, whether you just got married or had a kid, what kind of movies/tv/music, etc. They do all of this with the purpose of finding you the perfect product to buy.

Anything you put on your profile, Facebook especially, can be used to target you. In fact, one of the first steps in starting an online business is to develop an ideal customer profile/avatar. Using internet data, a theoretical "perfect" customer profile is created to get a better idea of this customer's basic personal info and interests as well as fears, desires, and dreams. Once a profile is created, all of the attributes that were identified in research can be plugged into targeting platforms where anyone that falls within the criteria defined by a marketer will be shown paid-for advertisements tailored to them specifically.

Which is why you always see ads of that thing you literally just googled two minutes ago. Or when you click on a product link in FB you start seeing more and more ads for similar products. Everything you do is tracked and all internet behavior and links that you click are recorded in order to target "warm" leads (potential customers) easier.

This can be a good thing and a bad thing. The good is that this internet marketing machine can pick up on your psychological cues and give you all the relevant products and services you may want before you make any real effort to seek them out. The bad thing is that you are pretty much reduced to a list of numbers and behaviors just so some dude you don't even know can shove product ads under your nose.

While this was crazy information to learn, I wasn't all too surprised. You literally sign up to these sites and agree to their terms and conditions. Of course, they're going to utilize your information for profit. That's how these things work, nothing is really "free," there is always some sort of exchange. There may be cries of privacy concern (as there should be) but social media is essentially a communication tool and should be treated so. It can be fun, just be aware of what you are doing and what you post.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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