Social Media Exploits Customers

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Social media becomes a platform to exploit consumers

Social media, especially social network websites such as Facebook and Twitter, provides business companies with large platforms for advertising. According to the guardian (2009), online advertising spend is expected to increase as rapidly as 7.6% per year across Europe. Consumers who use Internet regularly are exposed to these advertisements all the time when they browse websites. As a result, the effectiveness of social media facilitates advertisers to use biased information to exploit consumers through increased interaction.

Advertising on social media is so effective that consumers are forced to receive advertisements. For example, Facebook,the largest social network website, keeps the margin of its page for advertisers. In addition, YouTube, the largest online video share website, fixes a fifteen-second compulsory advertisement at the beginning of its videos. Therefore, users have no option but to watch the mandatory advertisements. Moreover, advertisements on other media have a motley consumer base. On the contrary, online advertisements are designed for targeted consumers. Social network websites are able to provide advertisements to different clients with various preferences because they hold a rich source of information from their real-name users. As a result, companies are more likely to captivate their consumers. Mike Gatti (2009), executive director for Retail Advertising and Marketing Association comments that the web provides efficient, convenient ways for brand to stay in front of their most loyal shoppers and attract new ones.

Since social media effectively amasses a large number of customers, companies can mislead them with biased information. Some people may argue that it is easy for customers to detect biased information because they can also make their comments online. However, firstly, single customer can’t access to as many consumers as business companies can. Secondly,...
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