There are unwitting hazards lurking along the purlieu of Facebook. You won’t see it too often, nor realise its existence. Not until the symptoms start to show up.
You see this friend’s post. It shows a picture of a bag. It’s not like the one you see in the stores; this one is limited edition. Most of all, you’ve long been wanting for that bag. You might have forgotten it, but this friend’s FB post made you remember. And then you just can’t forget.
You rave for it. You hit the ‘Like’ button. And finally, after agonizing minutes, you have mustered enough strength to comment and ask: how’d you got that? Were there discounts or deals?
Welcome to the tale of purchasing madness.
Harmless clicks to wanna-buy
The thing with this particular social media network is that it acts like a mirror. A mirror that shows you both: what you don’t have and what you can have. Sure enough you’ve got your own stuff. You have your own job and live your own authentic lifestyle. You may even bring it out by posting it.
But Facebook is a horrid mirror. It stubbornly reflects that which you don’t possess. And with simple features, such as the Like or Share button, the tease for getting a hold of it starts.
Products and services
Facebook may lambast you with products, services, or exclusive deals. But the real budget-fatality lies in the potent power of social sharing. Not convinced? Perhaps, you need to steal a glance at Sociable Labs’ infographic.
To make sense of its featured figures, online marketing expert Jeff Bullas shared his insights – the “5 Reasons Why Facebook Drives Consumer Buying.”
- Social Sharing is a Vital Activity for Discovering What to Buy
- Social Sharing Causes Consumers to Act
- Positive Social Sharing Creates a Virtuous Cycle of Sharing and Purchasing
- ‘Social Proofing’ – Increases Confidence in Buying
- Match the Motivations of Sharers to Share with the Motivations of Shoppers to Act
As the study of the relationship between social sharing and consumer behaviour continues to grow, more reasons and figures will certainly be added. For now, Sociable Labs and Jeff Bullas ‘5 Reasons’ should suffice.
Outwit the FB-induced buying mania
Clearly, Facebook isn’t your sole enemy. The enemy’s twin is you. Your responses to that friend’s post or shared contents – these are the actual kryptonite. When you see that bag you’ve long been rooting for, how do you feel? And where does this feeling take you?
The key is to avoid impulsively acting on that feeling. Instead of checking if you got the spare cash, or still within the credit card limit, consider your daily or monthly budget list. Is the bag part of the short or long term budget?
Knowing which side of the budget plan that product or service (from FB) belongs is essential. For instance, if your budget has been set to buy such a bag for your upcoming travel, you may consider the deal. Now, if the price happens to be a steal and will not in any way compromise your fixed expenses, you may consider.
Do not ever set to pay it if you remain unsure. Perhaps, you can even wait until discounts are available. Ultimately, if it’s out of the budget, you have to learn to let it go.
About Author: Manuella Theissen is a junior financial consultant and a single parent. She spends quality time with her kids at their country home at Tetbury.