Tips to control your social media shopping as ads become more targeted

Jeff Ehling Image
Friday, January 8, 2021
Tips to control your social media shopping
EMBED <>More Videos

It's hard to have impulse control when Instagram shows you an ad for something you feel like you need. Here are some expert tips.

In the year 2020, almost everyone turned to online shopping, and now social media is becoming a place where you or your kids can spend a lot of money with a simple click.

If you aren't on TikTok or Instagram, your kids probably are, and these are just two social media platforms among many that allow users to buy products directly.

Walmart got into social media shopping during the holiday season by having influencers showcase products directly to users.

Instagram has recently placed a large focus on its in-app shopping features, making the "shopping tab" more prominent in a recent update.

The algorithms these companies have use your likes, who you follow, and other information to bring products they think you will want to buy right to your fingertips.

There are certainly perks to this type of shopping, especially in a world where people don't want to shop in-person, but there are down sides as well when it comes to impulse control.

RELATED: Need to return a gift? Here's how retailers are making it safer during the pandemic

Impulse buying and overspending can lead to huge credit card bills.

One expert who spoke to ABC13 emphasized the importance of talking to your kids about advertisements.

"Encourage your kids to create lists. Amazon has a list feature. So when you are shopping on Amazon, you can add items to the list before you check out," digital marketing expert Ashley Small said. "Instagram has this list too. So you can create lists within the Instagram shopping app and save for later."

"You can share your wish list, and your friends can see what you are looking at. I would say take advantage of that list feature so you don't have to be tempted to spend right there in the moment," Small advised. "Save a little money, think about it a little more, and you can buy later."

As ads continue to become more targeted on social media, it may be a good idea to take a look at the privacy settings on your profiles to make sure you are comfortable with the amount of information you are sharing.

Follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.