Eleanor Pierce

Hello Ello: Is the Latest Social Network for You?

By: Eleanor Pierce | October 14, 2014 | 

Hello Ello: Is the Latest Social Network for You?By Eleanor Pierce

You may have heard of the latest and greatest social network, Ello.

If you spend time in certain online circles, you may believe that everybody and their mother is either on Ello, wants to be on Ello, or is thinking about getting on Ello.

It has a cute name and it’s certainly garnering plenty of attention in social media circles.

This is despite the fact that the big hubbub that originally brought so much attention for Ello may be defused.

The new social network rocketed into the spotlight when, because of its real name policy, Facebook began shutting down the Facebook pages of some artists who use names other than their legal names, particularly drag queens.

Now, Facebook has apologized and decided to ease up on its name policy.

And yet.

The social network that has branded itself as the Anti-Facebook, complete with an anti-advertiser manifesto and the tagline, “You are not a product,” is still getting heaped with attention.

So what’s a marketer to do?

Just because everyone’s talking about Ello, does that mean it’s worth your time?

Don’t Just Jump on the Ello Band-wagon (or Party Barge)

I’m not going to run through the problems with Ello—I mean, come on, it’s still in beta.

Ello is in its puppy stage.

Plus, others have done a fine job of outlining the shortfalls, from the privacy to the promise of this new network.

The question for communicators shouldn’t be “Ello, yes or no?” (though some have answers at the ready for that question).

To me, the question is, “How do I figure out which social networks—beta, established, or in-between—are right for my brand?”

The question is the same, no matter which platform is available or new.

Here are the top three questions you need to answer in order to know where you belong on social media:

Where is Your Community?

Start with research on where your target audience—your customers, your prospects, your ideal customers—already hang out online.

Remember that it’s always easier to build community where your audience is, whether that’s on a big, popular network or a smaller, more targeted niche network.

What are Your Social Media Goals?

Is your goal to humanize your brand and show the day-to-day, behind-the-scenes life of your company? Consider Instagram.

Is your goal to drive qualified B2B leads into your sales funnel? LinkedIn or SlideShare may be better choices for you.

Do you really need help with SEO? Think about Google+.

You can’t decide where you should be if you can’t articulate what you want to do.

What are Your Limitations?

If you’re a boot-strapping entrepreneur and running your own ship solo, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll be able to keep up a lively presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, oh—and Ello.

Make a realistic assessment of what you can do now.

It’s one thing to park usernames on all of the social media sites you may want down the line, but don’t go for fits and starts.

Decide what you can reasonably do and dedicate your time to it.

If you start posting on a network and then let it fall by the wayside, consumers will either forget about you or think something’s gone really wrong—you don’t want either of those outcomes.

One Big Caveat about Any Social Network

Remember, too, there is no social network out there you truly own (I realize this may sound blasphemous coming from someone with the words “shared media” in her title, but there you go).

Social networks can be terrific for generating social proof, word-of-mouth marketing and the like, but you don’t own them.

If you’re truly going to be building a community, think beyond social media—think about your owned assets.

So what do you think—what other questions do you ask when you’re trying to decide whether to jump on a new (or old) social network?

About Eleanor Pierce

Eleanor Pierce is a recovering journalist who can't decide which part of the country to call home. She's happiest when she's reading, though she also really likes writing, baking, dogs, and sarcasm. No, seriously.

  • scmmas

    ginidietrich EleanorPie I appreciate the Limitations paragraph. I have a client who wants to add platforms, but doesn’t tend the core. U0001f615

  • EleanorPie

    scmmas Thanks Suzi! That makes me sad – it just ends up coming off as sloppy, and that doesn’t do anyone any good. ginidietrich

  • EleanorPie

    JenClark113 Thank you Jennifer! SpinSucks

  • Very nice to see an article that doesn’t say that Ello is either the greatest thing in the world or complete hokum.  

    While Ello sounds like a lovely idea, I would be very surprised if 4 years from now, they and their investors still have the courage of their convictions. 

    I like to use the metaphor “You don’t own your social channels, but you can rent with a great lease if you’re willing to pay enough” It’s night and day if you are a significant ad buyer.

  • I like to use different social networks for different goals/purposes. I’m honestly still trying to figure out how I might want to use Ello.

  • EleanorPie

    martinwaxman Agreed! SpinSucks

  • stevesonn

    You hit many of the key points to think about when considering a new social media site. I would say to think about the overall marketing goals and objectives. Would the new site contribute to meeting those? Also, is there a good “fit” between the brand and the social site? Does is it look and feel natural for the brand to be there, or is it just awkward? Very helpful post, thanks.

  • Excellent advice Ellie. New social networks emerge quickly and we simply can’t keep up with all of them.

    Ello certainly seems to have drawn a lot of attention, but the key question: Is it useful for us? Who really knows?

  • ClayMorgan  I’m sure you’ll let us know as soon as there’s a worthwhile stamp collecting network though, right??

  • stevesonn Of course! Those social media goals should absolutely tie into your overall marketing goals, which should be driven by your business goals.

  • LauraPetrolino Me, too. I’m pretty ambiguous about it at the moment, but that’s true for most social networks when I first jump on.

  • HeatherTweedy Yeah, I’m somewhere in the middle. Maybe a little north of “meh.”

  • I was excited because it is Vermont based. But I can’t figure out how to use it! LOL I found no stream feed etc. But a lot of people found me and followed me (ones I already knew). Which had me thinking is a stream the de facto social interface? Maybe not. So while I stopped checking it out meaning to read some how to’s I hope there is no stream or feed. It would upend everything!

    But now to your point. My view? Stop chasing people on Social networks. We the people do not want to be chased. Now GeoMarketing is taking off because networks have launched to follow your mobile handset and serve you advertising based on where you are.

    I think that is the back lash. When I got into advertising in Mid-Carrer with a consumer view point I felt ‘Why are brands ruining everywhere I look with my eyes?’ Well except here in Billboard free Vermont! But seriously. Should Comm Pros be telling clients to chase customers everywhere they go when we already have 24/7 access to every brand on earth on command everywhere we have a cell network or wifi? I am not so sure that should be the directive.

    And the failure of Facebook Brand pages to me says ‘Brands beware. Customers were supposed to flock to brand engagement and it was rejected’ Be cautious and listen to Eleanor Pierce she knows what she is doing.

  • davedelaney

    ginidietrich what do you think of Ello?

  • Agree with your points, Ellie. And as a general social media fan, I am just running out of interest in adding more things to follow/track/do.  I did have sufficient FOMO that I signed up for ello and enjoyed being able to hook a few people up with invites of their own but I doubt I’ll remain very involved.

  • biggreenpen FOMO! I can’t believe I neglected an opportunity to talk about FOMO in a blog post!

  • Howie Goldfarb Ello in particular seems like a risky place to chase (and annoy) your potential audience, since it’s specifically designed to make people feel like they’re NOT a commodity. 
    Also: ‘Why are brands ruining everywhere I look with my eyes?’ is the quote of the day. Bumper sticker material.

  • WhatsYourAvocad

    I wonder if, and when, we’ll approach social media saturation. Perhaps, instead, we’ll see a true fracturing of social media users who self-select one or two, and eschew the rest. Teens on Snap Chat and Instagram, Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers on Facebook, Women 30 to 65 on Pinterest. Just as cable TV segmented audiences by demographic and niche interest, I believe social media will choose its target, or be chosen by an audience, and thrive in that niche. Otherwise, we’d spend all day Tweeting, Ello-ing, Facbooking, Pinteresting, and every other outlet, never actually getting any other work done. Ah, if only we could be paid to read status updates!

  • I just wish people wouldn’t get SO up in arms about the newest shiny thing. I mean, sheesh, if you couldn’t win – if you were interested in checking it out and getting an invite – you were somehow a loser-dork-face, but then if you ignored it….you were either a stuck-up snob, or an idiot. Yet another issue with the so-called social ‘community’ – too many opinions. 😉

  • ginidietrich

    davedelaney It’s okay. I’m not in love with it. One more place you have to go.

  • belllindsay True. Dat.

  • WhatsYourAvocad Get paid to read status updates? That’s what both of my nieces think I do for a living … they basically think I’m living the dream.

  • @ginidietrich davedelaney it is so primitive i dont get the hype and no mobile app? the networks that stay don’t get hyped at beta they get hyped after attracting millions of rabid users like snapchat, instagram and whatapp did. the lbs networks all died because the hype was more than the paltry user numbers.

  • davedelaney

    ginidietrich my biggest complaint is the inability to reply to specific comments in threads. #ello

  • Eleanor Pierce biggreenpen FOMO carries with it potential for MULTIPLE blog posts!

  • biggreenpen Funny about the FOMO. I am starting to feel like these platforms are getting to be more like a BOGO! Although curious about Ello, I try to avoid returns and already have trendy items in my SM closet that I wear once and then they just hang there collecting dust.

  • EleanorPie

    HeatherleePSU Thanks Heather!

  • ginidietrich

    davedelaney Yes! And having to scroll through your home page to find anything

  • annelizhannan biggreenpen ha! Yes. It’s a bit overwhelming at times … there are so many networks out there I actually enjoy and would like to spend more time on if I actually had free time (for instance: I think Vine is a blast), so spending a lot of time digging into each flash-in-the-pan? Siiiiigh.

  • annelizhannan biggreenpen so do I …

  • Eleanor Pierce annelizhannan biggreenpen If I had an invite, I would go and check out the merchandise 😉

  • annelizhannan Haha, see?! It’s irresistible! Don’t worry, I got what you need. Just need your email address.

    The first invite’s free …. 😉

  • Eleanor Pierce Figured everyone was coveting their invites for those that will actually use it rather than a be a voyeur but thanks for your hospitality and I will take a gander. I had just put myself on the waiting list earlier. ahannan6835@gmail.com

  • WhatsYourAvocad

    Eleanor Pierce WhatsYourAvocad That’s so funny. If they only knew!

  • MyrnaKJ

    Howie Goldfarb Eleanor Pierce Alaska is also billboard free… the state tourism board does’t even use billboards to advertise in other states! (at least they didn’t used to)

  • EleanorPie

    EmilyKantner Thanks miss!!! 🙂 SpinSucks

  • annelizhannan Nah. I think probably 3/4 of the people on there are just checking it out. Invite sent!

  • MyrnaKJ Howie Goldfarb Eleanor Pierce I was just there last summer and I didn’t even notice that! Interesting …

  • Late to this, but here’s one more criterion: aesthetics. A marketing/design friend of mine was so turned off by the type font they use that she refused to have anything more to do with it.

  • Eleanor Pierce Thanks, I just received the invite and already have a headache as can’t figure out how to put my avatar in despite instructions that it is in settings. Oh well I am just a smile for now.

  • WhatsYourAvocad

    RobBiesenbach You know, that struck me as odd, too. It was like an old Courier font like they used to use on typewriters. It actually looked like a mistake! Design does matter!

  • profkrg

    I logged onto Ello, noted that I didn’t really care for its interface, logged off, and now I have another social media account out there.

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  • EleanorPie

    MonicaMRodgers Thanks Monica!! SpinSucks

  • EleanorPie

    jennimacdonald Gracias, Jennifer! Hope all’s well with you!

  • jennimacdonald

    EleanorPie You’re welcome, it was too good not to share. Happy Friday!

  • MonicaMRodgers

    EleanorPie SpinSucks Thx for sharing! I’ve been thinking about trying Ello, but I didn’t want to get sucked into “shiny and new” syndrome.

  • EleanorPie

    MonicaMRodgers SpinSucks It’s interesting – worth checking out, maybe. But not thrilling, in my book.

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