The business of conversations: Market social media surveillance and visibility

Daniel Trottier


Businesses increasingly rely on social media for personal information, which renders their market more visible. This paper draws on a surveillance studies perspective to consider the growth of market surveillance on social media. Drawing on a series of 13 semi–structured interviews with professionals who use Facebook as a business tool, this paper considers three emerging strategies. Radical transparency imports self–presentation tactics in a corporate realm, furthering corporate visibility. Listening refers to the surveillance of personal information. Finally, a conversational approach combines the visibility of both the market and the corporate actor. While popular literature celebrates this as a kind of mutual transparency, corporate actors are strategic in terms of what they present on social media.


social media, surveillance

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