Finding yourself addicted to the social stream?

You’re not alone.

It was only 11 years ago that Facebook was created, yet no one could have predicted that it would have such a major societal impact. In 2011, 48% of 18-34 year olds were checking Facebook when they woke up. In October 2014 Facebook announced that 864 million people were logging on daily.

Our addiction to the social stream

In the last decade, we have developed a strong addiction to the social stream, the never ending flow of information, images, content and communication, whilst developing a simultaneous need to contribute to it. With international travel becoming cheaper and easier to organise, Facebook has given travellers the perfect platform to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as an easy way to visually share their overseas experiences (which in some cases has lead to insane holiday envy).

The Facebook “News Feed” since its introduction nine years ago, has revolutionised the way society interacts online and as a result, has contributed to the development of what can only be defined as the ‘brag culture.’  This new cultural trait of first world consumers, is why Facebook is such a valuable platform for brands to connect with their customers.

Improve your customer’s social status

As consumers, we are becoming fixated on the way that our lives appear online. If your brand/business/product/service can improve the appearance or social status of your consumer online, then you are already ahead of the game. Fashion brands excel on social media as they use their consumers’ vanity to sell clothes.

They encourage consumers to share outfit choices with their online social circles, then brands share the best images on their own pages. This gives some customers their 15 minutes of fame, and influences others to share brand images across their social circles. All in the hope of achieving their own 15 minutes of fame.

It is most interesting however to think about how businesses that are not in fashion, can capitalise on this new brag culture. How they can develop a deeper brand relationship with their consumers by raising their social standing online.

Take charity organisations for example. Whilst not focused directly on improving appearance, donating can be an act of vanity if the motive behind it to improve social standing. If a charity promotes profiles of those who donate, it’s not only free advertising to the business it is also free ‘social advertising’ for the user.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the transformation of the social stream in the comments.