Free Essay Example - Social Media Identity

Published: 2023-01-30
Free Essay Example - Social Media Identity
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Advertising Social media Human behavior Customer service
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 893 words
8 min read

Social media has had a significant influence on the way people interact. Social networking sites allow people to share information and content with an online audience. Social media platforms will enable the creation of an online identity that enables users to present their information and at large themselves in a particular manner. Users have the autonomy to choose a way that they want their audience to recognize them. The online identity created via social platforms often contrasts with the real personal character of the users. Advertisers often use the online identity created in social media platforms to drive consumer engagement. This paper aims to compare and contrast the real user identity and the online identity that is targeted by advertisers.

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Online identity

Online users create content that usually reflects their daily activities. The information shared on social platforms forms the highlights of the users' day to day experiences. Individual users create an online identity that reflects their offline personality. Their online audiences mainly influence individuals, and their response serves a motivation to continue sharing their information and content online (Crocilla). The attention that social media users get when they post and share content is what shapes their online identity. The virtual engagement with friends and followers gives social media users the urge to continue posting online. Social networking sites offer users a platform to share their personal information, and this way helps people to create close bonding between users.

In most instances, the online identity created by users can be a reflection of their offline personality. However, there is online pressure to conform to specific standards which will attract likes and positive comments from the audience (Deutsch). Online viewers have a significant influence on the nature of the information that an individual will share online. Social media users have fallen prey into the influence of their audience, and in some instances, they feel the pressure to post only appropriate content that enhances their online image. Individuals may be forced to exaggerate the content their share with their online audience to gain positive reactions. The fabrication of the offline personality breeds a fake online image that is in much contrast with the real-life identity.

Social network advertising

Social network advertising taps into online identities to market their products and services. The information shared online such an individual's gender, age, and interests allow advertisers to create advertisements that match these identities. Online identities make it possible for marketers to individualize their messages and relay their ads to specific target market niches. Advertisers use online characters to create ads that appeal to the interest of the social media users based on their preferences and personal traits (Shaw). Audience targeting allows advertisers to select a specific audience based on the behavior of online users, such as their purchasing patterns.

Social marketers use behavioral targeting for marketing their products to a target consumer base. Advertisers create ads that match the profile of social media users by tracking the information and content that is shared online. Behavioral targeting allows advertisers to build a standardized self-identity that closely reflects the online profiles of social media users. Behavioral, generated ads that are sent to consumers can influence the type of behavior that social media users portray online. Individuals often tend to modify their behavior and identity to be consistent with the self-image promoted by advertisers. Audience targeting thus has an impact on shaping the self-perceptions and personalities of individuals.

Advertisers use different techniques of persuasion to attract customers to purchase their products and services. The use of self-identity images by advertisers is an example of a persuasion technique that is used in customer engagement. Social media marketers strive to create identity ads that will increase the desire of consumers to purchase their products. Based on consumer behavior, advertisers will create an ideal identity that consumers can relate to (Reczek). The use of models in advertising is seen as a way of creating a recognizable image that consumers will want to emulate. Advertisers idealize certain self-images that push consumers to buy their products in a bid to look like the identity projected in social platforms. Most people will spend their hard-earned money to purchase products that will give them the idealized self-identity that has been popularized in social media.


In conclusion, there exists a contrast between the online identity of individuals and their real-life personal identity. Social media platforms have enabled users to share information and content about their real-life experiences to an online audience. The online behavior of social media users has been used as a predictive tool to create behaviourally targeted ads. The advertising identity that is projected in social platforms is usually based on the past online behavior of social media users. These advertising identities are generally standardized and idealized to promote products and services. The reality, however, is that these identities are fabricated and thus can be a mismatch to an individual's real-life personal identity.

Works Cited

Crocilla, Kaitlin. Social Media Personas | Reality vs. Online Identities. 15 June 2017. 26 July 2019.

Deutsch, Bob. Why Everyone and Everything on Social Media Is Fake. 19 April 2018. 26 July 2019.

Reczek, Rebecca Walker. Online ads know who you are, but can they change you too. 2 March 2016. 26 July 2019.

Shaw, Mary. What Is Social Media Advertising? 29 May 2017. 26 July 2019.

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